The Last Patrol

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The Last Patrol
Park Rangers Bob Seibert and Roger Semler
click photo to launch gallery

Two Park Rangers complete one more journey celebrating their lengthy careers with the National Park Service

During the month of September 2007, Bob Seibert from Bozeman, MT and Roger Semler from Great Falls, MT completed a 28-day, 300-mile-circumnavigation of Glacier National Park’s backcountry. The expedition was supported by ProLite Gear.

View the photo gallery from their trip.

Bob and Roger are both recent retirees from lengthy careers as Park Rangers with the National Park Service. Bob retired in 2005 as the West District Ranger at Yellowstone National Park following 34 years of service. Roger retired in 2003 as the Chief of Operations at Gates of the Arctic National Park & Preserve following 26 years of service.

The expedition involved a nostalgic journey through Glacier’s spectacular backcountry, where both Roger and Bob spent memorable portions of their careers. Bob was stationed at Glacier for four seasons early in his career as a Ranger Naturalist and Backcountry Ranger, while Roger spent 13 years in Glacier as a Subdistrict Ranger, Law Enforcement Specialist, and Wilderness Manager Positions.

The theme of the expedition was to commemorate their careers as Park Rangers in the National Park Service and to re-live their former occupation by conducting a backcountry patrol for the Park through the NPS “Volunteer in Parks” program. Their responsibilities included assisting park visitors in the backcountry and documenting significant resource impacts, violations of park regulations, and wildlife observations. A detailed patrol report is being submitted to Glacier Park officials.

Bob and Roger elected to travel as light as possible during the expedition. This strategy was not easy, as typical autumn weather conditions in Glacier make finding a balance between light weight and appropriate preparedness a significant challenge. You can count on rain and snow at some point during the month of September in Glacier, and indeed the last four major passes they negotiated were all snowbound. ProLite Gear helped Roger and Bob in accomplishing their lightweight goals while effectively coping with the elements.

The weight of their base gear (backpack, tent, sleeping bag, and sleeping pad) ran at 8 lbs. 1 oz. for Bob and 9 lbs. 4 oz. for Roger. Gear that received very high marks from Bob included his GoLite Quest Pack, Phantom GoreTex Jacket, and Ether Wind Shirt; Montbell Alpine Light Down Jacket, Ultra Light Down Inner Pants, and Ultra Light Stretch Gaiters; Snow Peak Titanium GigaPower Canister Stove with 1.4 Liter Titanium Pot; Thermarest Prolite 4, 3/4 length Sleeping Pad; and Komperdell Carbon Duolock Trekking Poles. For shelter, Bob had great success with a Tarptent Squall 2 Tent. Roger gave high praise to his Osprey Atmos 65 Backpack, Big Agnes Seedhouse 1 Superlight Tent, Thermarest ProLite 4 Sleeping Pad, GoLite Down Cumulus Sweater and Phantom GoreTex Jacket, and Komperdell Carbon Duolock Trekking Poles.

This journey brought back many special memories from Roger and Bob’s lives as Park Rangers. Highlights included the wonderful social interaction with other backcountry parties in the designated campsites; the excellent condition of Glacier’s trail system; the sense of discovery in observing the effects of fire, flood, avalanche, and time; and the nostalgia associated with traveling through wild country that they knew well and loved as younger men. They were truly in awe of Glacier’s spectacular scenery and wild country and constantly reminded of Glacier’s status as a “world class” backpacking destination.

A quote from Roger sums up the experience. “As I embarked on this adventure, my goal was to savor every bear scat, revel in every storm, and celebrate every sunset. At the conclusion of our patrol I can honestly say that this goal was met in a way that words cannot describe. This journey also rejuvenated our pride in having served as Rangers in the National Park Service and having the unique experience of serving as stewards of our national treasures and guardians of visitors who come to experience and enjoy them.”

The entire team at ProLite Gear wishes to congratulate Bob Seibert and Roger Semler on their unforgettable journey, and thank them for their service as Park Rangers with the National Park Service.

The Last Patrol Photo Gallery

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