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geyer
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PostWed Aug 28, 2019 8:51 pm 
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Dates: August 16-24, 2019 (about 8 full days)
Distance:  105 miles
Cumulative Elevation Gain: 28k ft
Total Lakes Seen: 80
Total Passes Ascended: 14-16?
Total Peaks Summitted: 1

It was around last October when I got the idea to go on a traverse of the Winds and not long after that I recruited my buddy Mike. I was so excited that I couldn't help myself from going straight into planning, so I started connecting the dots between passes and before I knew it I had a route! Only thing was, it was completely unattainable -- I don't still have the originial versions, but I think it penned out to something like 120 miles and 75k of elevation gain - just a ludicrously painful collection of ups and downs over nearly every pass. This wouldn't do.

There was hardly a week that went by where I didn't come home from work and tinker with the route, changing little portions to be more forgiving, cutting out portions that seemed repetitive or unnecessary, matching destinations with Nancy Pallister's Beyond Trails in the Wind River Mountains of Wyoming: Off-Trail Routes of the Advanced Backpacker. And at long last, I caved and compared my route to that of the likes of Andrew Skurka and an assortment of other routes that had been publicly uploaded to Caltopo. A lot of it was similar, with a few important distinctions that I was not willing to compromise on: (1) a tour of Temple Cirque (2) camping at Mount Hooker and Baptiste Lake without backtracking, (3) traveling both Titcomb Basin and the Dinwoody/Gannett Glaciers, (4) an exit via Bear Basin. You can [temporarily] see my original planning here (not the final route): https://caltopo.com/m/0DC3

Weeks went by and soon it was time to organize gear and food too! I got an ursack to save weight and space rather than a bear can - I think this was worth it. I caved into the inReach craze even though it feels like a tether to society [cue Edward Abbey: “There's another disadvantage to the use of the flashlight: like many other mechanical gadgets it tends to separate a man from the world around him...Leaving the flashlight in my pocket where it belongs, I remain a part of the environment I walk through.] I dehydrated most of the food myself after discovering the website https://thrueat.com/, making the Cottage Pie (favorite), Cheesy Chicken Couscous (also very good), Spinach Parmesan Bacon Grits (still good, but less so), strawberry & cream oatmeal, and "Coconut Chai Fat Bomb" oatmeal, among other snacks and treats.

The day came, and I was ready. We decided to drive separately, Mike coming from the southwest meeting me at the Green River Lake TH and shuttling cars down to the Big Sandy TH where we would begin. We got there so early (~5pm) that we started hiking a day early. And awaaay we go!

Day 0: Big Sandy TH to Big Sandy Lake
Distance: 5.4 miles
Elevation: +781'/-194'
Humans Seen: A significant number, full trailhead parking lot
Lakes: 1

Day 0 elev
Day 0 elev

This was an easy hike out to our first campsite at Big Sandy Lake. Our packs were heavy, but it allowed us to set up a base camp for Temple Cirque the next day

Big Sandy Lake
Big Sandy Lake
Big Sandy evening
Big Sandy evening
alpenglow on East Temple
alpenglow on East Temple
camp site night 1
camp site night 1

Day 1: Big Sandy Lake to Texas Pass/Cirque of the Towers
Distance:  12.3miles
Elevation: +3460'/-1200'
Humans Seen: A significant number
Lakes: 10
Passes: 1

Day 1
Day 1
Day 1 elev
Day 1 elev

Ahh, day 1. So young, so innocent. So starry-eyed of what was to come. We awoke at 5:30 and casually got out of bed. After all, we were already miles ahead of schedule and could even leave our heavy packs behind for a few hours while we sauntered into Temple Cirque. Temple cirque was beautiful. It set the bar high for the rest of the trip. Open meadows, lakes on lakes, shear granite faces, and slabby paths. We would come to miss all that clean granite slab very soon. The original plan was to camp near Temple lake on night 1, but for as gorgeous as it was, I’m glad we got that head start and saved our legs a bit. It was Mike’s first backpacking trip of the year somehow, and my first since July 4. Our work was cut out for us.

morning reflections
morning reflections
Making our way over to Temple Cirque with day packs
Making our way over to Temple Cirque with day packs
Big Snady
Big Snady
flowers
flowers
meadows before Temple Lake
meadows before Temple Lake
Miller Lake
Miller Lake
Temple Lake
Temple Lake
Temple Lake
Temple Lake
East Temple
East Temple
deep lake
deep lake
deep lake pano
deep lake pano
shores of deep lake
shores of deep lake
slabby
slabby

When we got back to camp, we packed up and began what would have been a long trek in to Baptiste lake to remain a full day ahead of schedule. Up the first pass we went, meeting a woman hiking the alternate spur of the CDT. She had already done a version of the WRHR (and the PCT among other trails…) and was STOKED for us. We met another group who, just like the woman, asked us if we were hiking “THE” Wind River High Route. “Whose route are you taking? Skurka’s? Adventure Alan’s?” “Uhh I basically made my own,” I’d say. This insistence that there was an established high route that everyone needed to follow annoyed me to no end, but the priceless look of confusion on their faces was a nice consolation. “We’re trying to go to Baptiste lake tonight.” Again, another look of confusion…

Now these people were all very nice, but if you’ve been through the Winds multiple times and haven’t heard of the relatively famous Baptiste Lake and Mount Hooker, how much are you really exposing yourself to the endless possibilities that await? It all just added fuel to the fire against the seemingly more common attitude that people need to be following someone else’s line/track/gpx/beta/whatever in order to travel in the backcountry. Every time you emphasize “THE” Wind River High Route, you’re effectively saying that all other routes are illegitimate because they weren’t published online by some “Joe Alpine.” I get it… hike your own hike, higher chances of “success” by following others, etc… but it is far more rewarding when I can travel the paths of my own preparation, whether it’s successful or not. Even if you don’t at have the time to prepare something of this magnitude on your own, at least make yourself aware of what else is around in case you need to bail or find yourself lost! [ends rant, steps off soapbox]

We continued upward and passed a few small lakes. Travel seemed slow even though it was technically on trail. This should have been a red flag for all the off-trail travel that lay ahead. We were already double-digit miles into the day when we reached Lonesome Lake, even though it was barely afternoon, so we decided to stop and eat lunch on a rock at the lake. The day was far too windy to jump in, but it would have felt nice.

back towards big sandy
back towards big sandy
up to jackass pass
up to jackass pass
near War Bonnet
near War Bonnet
climbers on war bonnett
climbers on war bonnett
Looking up War Bonnet
Looking up War Bonnet
passing war bonnet and arrowhead lake
passing war bonnet and arrowhead lake
Jackass pass
Jackass pass
Jackass Pass
Jackass Pass
Cirque of the Towers Pano
Cirque of the Towers Pano
Pingora
Pingora
Climbers on Pingora
Climbers on Pingora
tent in the cirque
tent in the cirque

We continued upward and climbed to about 11,000 ft where we reassessed our day’s goal. Baptiste Lake was still two passes and many miles away. We had gone double digit miles, and were over 10,000 ft already on our supposed “day 1.” You know what, we thought, let’s just set up camp here for the sweet sunrise view of the Cirque of the Towers and we’ll get to Hooker on Day 2. (Hooker was going to be a campsite one way or the other, that was non-negotiable.) So that’s what we did.

family backpackers in the cirque
family backpackers in the cirque
Pingora
Pingora
Climbers topping out
Climbers topping out

We took a side trip up to Texas Pass, and cycled our feet in the painfully cold snow melt stream – foot therapy, as it would come to be known. Smoke blew in from the nearby Skull Lake fire, putting a slightly opaque film over our panoramic view. My shepherd’s pie was possibly the most delicious backpacking meal I’ve ever had. A relaxing and easy second night.

day trip to Texas Pass
day trip to Texas Pass
smokey
smokey
tonight's dinner - Cottage (shepherd's) Pie, with cheesy potatoes
tonight's dinner - Cottage (shepherd's) Pie, with cheesy potatoes

Day 2: Cirque of the Towers to Baptiste Lake
Distance:  10 miles
Elevation: +3190'/-3780'
Humans Seen: none between Barren Lake and Baptiste Creek
Lakes: 11
Passes: 3

Day 2
Day 2
Day 2 elev
Day 2 elev

Day 2 started with a lazy wake-up to catch the sunrise on the cirque. The smoke was mostly gone and the views were incredible. We packed up and headed over the extremely windy Texas Pass down to Texas and Barren Lakes where we crossed paths with a few more people. This was where we left trail, and consequently, the other high routes. “Washakie Glacier Pass” (Washakie Pass is an already named pass with a trail over it) was our destination – a mellow rise in elevation to a broad pass followed by a chossy descent on the Washakie Glacier moraine. The moraine descent was far from fun and the glacier has probably seen better days, but it got the job done. Loose rock was bountiful and it didn’t exactly feel like the safest or most commercially viable route if I’m Andrew Skurka or Adventure Alan, so I can understand why they chose differently. But it cut off miles and felt like more of an adventure than sticking to the trails, so it had that going for it…

Wind took my camera with it and ruined my screen
Wind took my camera with it and ruined my screen
sunrise
sunrise
moon
moon
camera pano
camera pano
vs. phone pano
vs. phone pano
enjoying the views while staying warm
enjoying the views while staying warm
down Texas Pass
down Texas Pass
cheesing
cheesing
looking up to our pass
looking up to our pass
Illinois "Pass" - not where we went
Illinois "Pass" - not where we went
Pano from Washakie Pass
Pano from Washakie Pass
chillin
chillin
peaks poking out over Washakie Pass
peaks poking out over Washakie Pass
Washakie Glacier
Washakie Glacier
chossy moraine
chossy moraine
huge loose boulders
huge loose boulders

Next we skirted the east side of Pass Lake, bushwacked up to the actual Washakie Pass trail, saw no one, and took the trail for approximately 15 feet before turning off to ascend Macon Lake Pass – an even mellower and broader pass. This Washakie basin was full of lakes, but somehow lacking character – it’s hard to describe why, but it just wasn’t very noteworthy.

some nice flowers to greet us off the moraine
some nice flowers to greet us off the moraine
glacial melt
glacial melt
shore of macon lake
shore of macon lake
looking back to Washakie and Illinois passes (right-left)
looking back to Washakie and Illinois passes (right-left)

But what lay on the other side of Macon Lake Pass was a wonderland of green, shear rock faces, and big lakes. “Rabbit Ears Lake” was directly in front of us, and we decided that we’d stop there for lunch after miles of winding through the mazes of low evergreen shrubbery. When we arrived, we took our shoes off and made time for another foot therapy session – but that wasn’t enough. I noticed it was warm out, the sun was shining, and there was a momentary break between gusts. Time for our first lake jump. Well, mine at least, but guilt-saddled Mike decided he wasn’t going to let me go it alone. We both jumped in and were instantly gasping for air, thrashing at anything to get back to a dry rock. FREEZING!! It wasn’t nearly long enough to wash the grime off our backs, but it was definitely refreshing.

Note the smiley face in the snow
Note the smiley face in the snow
view from Macon Pass
view from Macon Pass
look back
look back
Rabbit Ears Lake
Rabbit Ears Lake
small view of Grave Lake
small view of Grave Lake

From here, we dropped down towards a creek that feeds Grave Lake and traveled through a forest that had little underbrush. Easy travel, good shade, and a nice change of pace and scenery. Until we turned a corned and scared off a black bear… at least I think it was a black bear – all I could see was a dark blur running through trees, and it sounded too haphazard and alarmed to be a deer. We crossed the creek and bushwacked our way close to the steep ridge on our left before reaching another deep ravine with raging waters – Baptiste Creek. This was somewhat tricky to cross, but we made it over with our feet still dry and climbed straight up until we found a trail! Hooray! The trail was steep and not any physically easier than hiking off-trail, but it let us put our brains on auto-pilot for a while as we approached Baptiste Lake.

raging stream we had to cross
raging stream we had to cross
Baptiste Creek Waterfall
Baptiste Creek Waterfall

Once we got above treeline, the view was magnificent! Musembeah Peak to our right, Mount Hooker’s north face rising straight out of the ground to our left, meadows all around, and a babbling brook to wrap it all up. Easily one of the most scenic places on the entire traverse.

Meadows near Hooker
Meadows near Hooker
Musumbeah
Musumbeah
Sunny meadows
Sunny meadows

The views kept getting better and better, and before we knew it, we had arrived at Baptiste Lake where we would set up camp for the night. Shockingly, nobody else was around, but in the next hour, 3-4 more groups approached and set up camp in the grove of trees, including one that decided to loudly bivy less than 50 feet away in an unprotected area, despite having the entire basin to choose from. Interesting choice to say the least…

Baptiste Lake
Baptiste Lake
Hooker
Hooker
flowers + hooker
flowers + hooker

While Mike relaxed at camp and the lake, I explored around the nearby area, scoped out what I thought our route would be tomorrow, and found a nice perch for photography. Night 3 was a good night.

dinner with a view
dinner with a view
sunset
sunset
camera pano
camera pano
vs phone pano
vs phone pano
phone shot of cotton candy skies
phone shot of cotton candy skies
nightscape
nightscape
moonrise
moonrise
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geyer
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Joined: 23 May 2017
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PostWed Aug 28, 2019 8:51 pm 
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Day 3: Baptiste Lake to Bewmark Lake
Distance: 10.9 miles
Elevation: +3730'/-3610'
Humans Seen: 1 group of tents at Middle Fork Lake
Lakes: 9
Passes: 2

Day 3
Day 3
Day 3 Elev
Day 3 Elev

Day 3 got off to the perfect start - it honestly could not have been closer to what I imagined - with a glorious sunrise lighting up the east-facing monolith of Mount Hooker. It was a moment that felt like my plans were coming to fruition just as I had hoped. That feeling was short lived.

Hooker Sunrise
Hooker Sunrise
fly fisher bros
fly fisher bros

Today was meant to be a big day - multiple mountain passes, double-digit miles - and it still was a big day, but we ended up well short of our intended camp. Luckily we had wiggle room built into the schedule. The first task was finding our way out of the Baptiste Lake basin and over to the headwaters of Bonneville Basin -- this was not a standard route, and as far as I could tell, a route that did not have any records of passage memorialized on the interwebs. From my best photo and satellite research, it looked like there was a very specific location on the ridge that was not shear cliffs or granite slabs on both the east and west sides, and this was where we were headed.


Only problem was that we over-eagerly bee-lined straight to the wrong location. We went where we wanted the pass to be, rather than where my research showed it to be and didn't realize it until we were probably 200 feet below the ridge... A costly 2 hour/ 800' elevation gain mistake once we had fully backtracked to the basin. It was a bit of a blow to morale. We still had the option to backtrack completely to the south and exit the basin via Hailey Pass, but this would add a lot of miles, even if they were mostly on trail.

us going up the wrong route
us going up the wrong route
could see these flowers from really far away
could see these flowers from really far away

No, this wouldn't do. I was confident and adament that we stick to my planned route, but I definitely had a knot in my stomach knowing how much of a jackass I would feel if the route didn't go. Up until this point, I had been carrying my camera zoom lens (a light APS-C lens which gives the equivalent of 82-315mm), but this came in handy to convince Mike that the route up was passable - the zoomed shot showed a series of grassy ledges going up to the ridge. "Follow the green" would become a time-tested motto when analyzing possible routes up these slopes.

zoom lens helping us confirm the route
zoom lens helping us confirm the route
low lake
low lake

There were two "moments of truth" on the route -- the first came as we made it around the westward reaching ridge and looked to our ENE to see if there were any mellow locations to traverse and cross over the north-reaching ridge. A sigh of relief came over us as we saw the traverse to be easy boulder hopping and the ridge to be passable.

look back
look back
floral ascent
floral ascent
look up at the route
look up at the route
up near the ridge
up near the ridge

Once we came up to the second ridge, we had our second moment. As we peaked our heads over the ridge, we were greeted with a full on gale force wind, but it felt so good once we realized the route would go! We would have to drop down further than anticipated due to a steep granite slab coming off the ridge to the north, but everything panned out! Stoooooked. party.gif  Here, we took a break, enjoying the view, the wind, and the luxury 4g cell connection out of Pinedale.  Mike asked if anyone had done this route before, and when I said no, he said "Good, we'll call it Irish Pass" after our alma mater -- a little bit of cultural misappropriation, but not entirely out of place given the names of the other passes (Europe, Texas, Illinois, etc.)

bouldery traverse over to other ridge
bouldery traverse over to other ridge
Sheila Lake, Bonneville Basin
Sheila Lake, Bonneville Basin

If I were to do this route again, I think I would start ascending one small drainage further north so I wouldn't have to cross two ridges. I avoided that in planning because the topo maps show a permanent snowfield over a steep-ish area, but reality proved that snowfield to be much smaller and easily avoidable.

The traverse over the highest Bonneville Lake (Sheila Lake) was a preview of the coming days with lots of boulder hopping as we stayed high and once again "followed the green" across to the pass between Nylon Peak and Peak 11925 (Nylon pass would be a smooth name for it). From here, we took the easy slopes down to the small tarn at about 10850', dropped our packs and took day packs up to Donna Lake at the base of Pronghorn Peak, and Noel Lake, tucked away in the cirque north of Noel Peak.

Bonneville Basin
Bonneville Basin
Over the pass, view of Pronghorn dominates
Over the pass, view of Pronghorn dominates

The trip to Donna Lake was easy enough and was totally worthwhile (~200' gain). Pronghorn Peak is absolutely breathtaking. The trip to Noel lake on the other hand, was something I was looking forward to, but was mildly disappointing. I expected a bigger glacier/snowfield, and the 800' ascent on a never-ending boulder field tired us out more than we thought it would. There was a good view of Moraine Lake(s) to the north of Lander Peak below. On our way down from Noel, we nervously laughed at how little progress we had made on the day, even though it was already well into the afternoon.

Danna Lake
Danna Lake
Middle Fork basin
Middle Fork basin
Noel Lake
Noel Lake

We grabbed our bags and looked forward in dread as we started the bushwack down to the Middle Fork basin -- shrubbery blocking the way down. Granted, the shrubs here are only thigh high and not particularly rigid, but the fact that it was blocking the way between our high perch and the shoreline trail below was mentally draining.


When we got down to the trail, progress picked up, but not long after the trail started, it disappeared again. This seemed to be a common theme with Wind River trails -- even the ones on the map were not necessarily maintained or highly established. Between the smaller lake and bigger Middle Fork Lake, there were several social trails that disappeared into much taller, head-high brush. Mike wisely stayed higher and laughed at me as I struggled on the shoreline. I eventually stubbornly gave up with my shoreline plight and joined Mike high above.

Lee Lake
Lee Lake
Middle fork and Lee Lakes
Middle fork and Lee Lakes

At this point, we had rejoined the Andrew Skurka high route and were supposed to cut off a few miles by taking the direct route up to Bewmark Lake 10765 from Middle Fork, instead of following the trails tha went way west before cutting back way east. We suspected there might be a bootpath from the Skurka disciples, but couldn't find one at first. Mike remarked that if he were starting a route going up, he would want to at least get views of the waterfall. So that's where we started and it wasn't long until we started noticing the effects of other High Route traversers boots on the hillside. I imagine this could be a problem in future years if his high route continues to gain traction and suspect that a switchbacking trail could be constructed at some point.


The views from Bewmark Lake were astounding. Plus, we had another glimpse of 4G cell service because of the Westerly window towards Pinedale. My route plan had us going another ~4 miles to Halls Lake, but this location would be more than adequate. Plus, we had run out of daylight.

Bewmark Lake (4g signal here)
Bewmark Lake (4g signal here)

Day 4: Bewmark Lake to Little Golden Lake
Distance: 14.6 miles
Elevation: +3470'/-3510
Humans Seen: 1 group of N-S traversers
Lakes: 14
Passes: 1

Day 4
Day 4
Day 4 Elev
Day 4 Elev

One of the positive things about putting so much effort into the planning stages was that we could call audibles to our route as we went. Day 4 was the king of "f### it, we'll do it live!" as Bill O'Reilly would say.

Our first deviation was to stay south of our planned route which was already south of Skurka's Photo Pass Reservation route - a route which I initially wanted to follow, but decided against, mainly due to the logistics and uncertainties of which days we would be crossing the Reservation. We were supposed to curl around the high point 11122' and get a view of lake 10935, but instead we stayed even more south and crossed a series of grassy ledges ("follow the green") with expansive views of the meadows to the west. These took us down to a high basin with lots of tarns and shrubs, and back up to a pass.

morning reflections
morning reflections
traverse over ledges to Hall Lake
traverse over ledges to Hall Lake

The view of Halls Lake was stunning, but we didn't like what we saw in our terrain selection going down to Halls, so we pulled another audible - we descended a small grassy slot towards "upper" Halls Lake, SW of point 11164 instead of the steep chossy stuff which went directly to Halls - this probably took more time than a direct descent, but seemed like the safer bet.

went down that little gulley to Mike's Left
went down that little gulley to Mike's Left

From here, we went north of point 10855, following fishing trails on the shores of Shoestring Lake and another pond -- a surprising but welcome development. The fishing trails led to actual trails not shown on the maps in a unique meadow, where we came across a group of 4 heading southbound on the High Route. They had a lot of questions for us; we didn't quite have as many questions for them.

dry pond-bed
dry pond-bed

Eventually we reached lake 10864 and the nearby pass connecting the basin to Europe Canyon. We ate lunch here and admired our impressive progress on the day. There was a chossy boot trail going down the kitty litter to the lake, which made things manageable.

We went down to lake 10642 and bypassed in on the boulders of the east side. From here, we were supposed to go over to lake 10147 and traverse down the drainage and back up Hay Pass. Frankly, it looked like a lot of routefinding aroudn those low lakes and a lot of ups and downs -- I was ready to turn my brain off and go on auto-pilot for the day so I asked Mike if he wanted follow more trails up to Europe Pass and follow the Continental Divide down from the ridge of Europe Peak. He was down for it ("It's not a high route unless you're staying high, right?")

Lake 10642 in the background
Lake 10642 in the background

We passed by a few parties on the way up to Europe Pass, including a group of older gents who had been out fishing for a 8 days; one of the men only carried a small backpack, so they must have been catching a lot of fish to have so little food.

lake 11023 - europe pass
lake 11023 - europe pass

Once at Europe Pass, we took a hard left and climbed straight up the ridge of Europe Peak. The scrambling was fun once we got high enough and there was one crux move that was exposed 4th/low 5th class -- we may have been off route, but it definitely got the blood pumping. From here, we dropped packs and went the extra ~200' to the summit of Europe Peak 12259' - our first and only summit of the trip! The view was nice and Pasayten-like and came packaged with 4G cell service.

Europe Pass
Europe Pass
asending class 3/4 ridge to Europe Peak
asending class 3/4 ridge to Europe Peak

Once we got back to our bags, we could see our road ahead as far as the horizon went. Just endless rocks and dispersed grasses.

endless summit plateau taking us down to Golden Lakes
endless summit plateau taking us down to Golden Lakes
the tall guys loom in the distance
the tall guys loom in the distance
look back at Europe Peak
look back at Europe Peak

At one point, a couple miles in on the ridge and past our last high point of the ridge, we stopped next to the stream feeding the Golden lakes for some foot therapy, our first in two days and much needed!

We continued down the stream in some of the most amazing and memorable terrain of the entire trip. Eventually, as we ran out of daylight, we stopped at a lake which we thought was Golden Lake, but was actually just a smaller, higher pond which I'll dub "Little Golden Lake." It looked like perfect moose territory, but alas, we still gotten a good look at any wildlife bigger than a marmot on this trip.

sunset from our campsite
sunset from our campsite
tent shot at little Golden Lake
tent shot at little Golden Lake

This was far and away, our worst campsite of the trip. And it was still pretty good.
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geyer
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PostWed Aug 28, 2019 8:51 pm 
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Day 5: Little Golden Lake to Indian Basin
Distance:  14.5 miles
Elevation: +4310'/-3711'
Humans Seen: 1 person at lake 10787, 1 tent in Indian Basin
Lakes: 12
Passes: 4

Day 5
Day 5
Day 5 Elev
Day 5 Elev

Day 5 would go down as the most difficult day on the traverse and it wasn't even close.

What made Day 5 so bad wasn't so much the physicality of almost 15 miles and more elevation than any other day so far, but the mentally draining lack of diversity in landscapes. Endless boulders. Golden Lakes Pass? Boulders. Douglas Peak Pass? Boulders. Alpine Lakes? Boulders, Descent to the Knife Point Glacier?... you guessed it: boulders. If this day were taken out of context as a day hike, the landscapes we passed would have been absolutely stunning, but the constant effort to cross over boulder after boulder made it nearly impossible to appreciate where we were and how incredible everything was.

The day started off pretty well, following a rare trail along the Golden Lakes after our earliest camp departure yet: about 6:50 am. The alpenglow coming off the glassy refelection in a place called Golden Lakes seemed so fitting. Stranger yet, was that there was tree cover, an abundance of wildflowers, and a cool morning breeze. Heck, this may have actually been the best start to a day so far and we were enjoying every second of it.

tent shot at little Golden Lake
tent shot at little Golden Lake
lower golden Lake
lower golden Lake
up towards Hay Pass
up towards Hay Pass

The trail took us up to Hay Pass which brought us slightly down to Lake 10787, where we restocked on water and analyzed our route up. We decided it was best to take a high ledge over the NE shore of the lake and follow the wall all the way up to the top. This proved to be the best route, not only based on our own experience (having a wall to balance next to was great for uphill travel), but also because we saw someone try to cross the lake on the shoreline only to be cliffed out and have to de-pants and swim the short crossing. I'm sure everything he owned got wet.

douglas peak
douglas peak
up Douglas Peak Pass
up Douglas Peak Pass

OH! I forgot to mention: on day 2, Mike's 2nd pole snapped in half, and on day 3, mine followed suit. And on day 4, the rubber on the bottom of my shoe began to lose its adhesive (duct tape was a temporary fix, but quickly wore down from the granite). My pack shoulder strap was also hanging on by about 5 stitches on my right shoulder, but this was less worrisome because the cushioning part of the strap doesn't do most of the load-bearing. Sooooo... yeah... gear failures were adding up and it was something that both of us had in the back of our minds the rest of the trip -- what would we do if our gear failed even more?

We made our way up the ~850' ascent to Douglas Peak Pass, only to be met by some of the loosest kitty litter of a bootpath down the other side. Nope, not doing this, I decided. So I continued to follow along the eastern cliffs using the walls to my right for support. It was a much easier descent over there than trying to follow the bootpaths. From the pass, we could see our destination at the end of the Alpine Lakes Basin and it was not pretty. I estimated that we would be in good shape if we made it to the pass by 2:30 pm. It was only about 9:30am, so it didn't seem unreasonable.

Alpine Lakes Basin -- aka hell
Alpine Lakes Basin -- aka hell
sure looks nice though
sure looks nice though

Alpine Lakes Basin was miserable. Seriously. Awful.

We boulder hopped past the east side of our first lake (~11000') and crossed the outlet stream to the west side of lake 10895 where we were met with more boulders. Clouds began to roll in, putting a sort of desaturated film over the basin and similarly wiping our enthusiasm. Between lake 10895 and lake 10988 was a mix of massive car-sized boulders and grassy patches. We actually had to ascend to over 11000' before dropping down - the lakes were not connected by a stream.

Lake 10988 was visually intriguing because of the snowfields calving off creating a unique contrast between the dark green waters and the white icebergs. there was also a small strait of water surrounded by steep cliffs on the SE side. It would have been amazing had we been in the right headspace.

clouds rolling in
clouds rolling in
thunderstorms skirt over us
thunderstorms skirt over us
cool isthmus
cool isthmus
view up to the pass
view up to the pass

Soon the clouds turned darker and thunder began rumbling -- we had lucked out on the weather the first few days, with the exception of the strong winds (which turned out to be a blessing, keeping the bugs at bay). I was concerned and pulled out my inReach for the first time to get a weather update: "Sunny and 63 degrees" it said.... useless piece of crap, I murmured under my breath.

After passing Lake 10988, little did we know, but the worst was still yet to come. Once again we had to ascend to get to the next lake, Lake 11335. This lake had the challenge of being surrounded by intermittent cliffs. In addition to the challenge of balancing on unstable boulders for the entirety of this traverse, we would now have to routefind and scramble our way up and over these cliffs, which were sometimes slabby and exposed. As an added bonus, this lake was infested with the biggest concentration of mosquitoes I have ever seen. On every single rock, hundreds -- yes, HUNDREDS -- of mosquitoes lay dormant due to the cold temps, waiting for blood donors to pass by. For those of you who love spiders, there was also approximately one orb-weaver waiting in the boulders for their dinner between every gap in the boulders we had to step across. With each and every step, the mosquitoes awoke, erupting into a dark cloud of pure buzzing evil, making it impossible to breath without inhaling at least a couple. Mike and I donned our mosquito nets and faced the difficult task of ignoring them in order to keep our balance and yelling things like "YEAH THATS RIGHT BITCH, YOU DON'T LIKE MY PERMETHRIN SOAKED CLOTHES, HUH?"

It's quite possible we were losing our cool.

We arrived at the base of the snow traverse at the NW end of Lake 11335 around 3:00. I wanted to be at the pass at 2:30. I had no idea how we were going to make it across the Knife Point Glacier to anywhere remotely campable before dark, but dammit we were going to try. I led the snow crossing because I have more snow travel experience and a moderate numbness to exposure at this point. We crossed the snow at a steeper angle than Mike would probably have liked, but I was sick of boulders and snow was a welcome relief - by the end of the traverse Mike agreed and even said "I could travel on this stuff all day!"...Tsk, tsk... Didn't your mother tell you to be careful what you wish for Mike? [Continued day 6,7]

first snow climb
first snow climb

When we got to the 11160' pass at 4:45 (yes that's right, it took us 7 hours to cross 4 miles), I didn't like what I saw - The glacier was not a continuous mass like the maps showed. Also, we would have to drop down on some of the loosest boulders we had encountered yet [gloomy-basin-shortcut loose as reference for Aaron and Jake if you read this]. Moraines are the worst. We made it down and were contemplating going all the way down to the terminal moraine lake, and coming up safer snow slopes, but instead decided the glacier was safe and flat enough to walk across.

Once we started, travel on the blue ice was extremely easy with our microspikes and morale skyrocketed! Something about the sights and sounds of streams of meltwater running down mini-moulins was extremely invigorating. Or maybe it was the fact that we were moving faster than 0.5 mph. Or maybe it was the completely new ecosystem we had just entered - something different than the miles and miles of lakes and boulders. Whatever it was, it was unique, refreshing, and we loved it!

reach other side of ridge, see Knife Point Glacier
reach other side of ridge, see Knife Point Glacier
streams running over the top of the ice
streams running over the top of the ice

It only took us 45 minutes to cross from the Alpine Lakes pass over to Indian Pass, where 4G cell service and wind protection from a giant bivy shelter existed. Ahh this was the life. We took off our shoes to air out the pups and just sat there, completely content to not move. We stayed there for at least half an hour and finally made our way down, knowing that we had a trail to guide us down to Indian Basin where we would camp for the night, still several miles behind schedule, but in good position to get back on track the next day.

first view indian basin side
first view indian basin side

For me, I think Indian Basin was the biggest surprise of the trip. Endless fields of grasses, wildflowers, and running water all while jagged peaks surround you. Fremont Peak, the 2nd tallest in the Winds guarded the NW flanks, while Harrower Peak guarded the SE. I wanted to scramble Fremont, but we passed it up, too tired for that effort. The trail meandered further towards Fremont Peak than the USFS maps indicated, but I didn't mid too much since it was all extremely scenic.

Indian Basin
Indian Basin
flowers everywhere
flowers everywhere
Harrower Peak
Harrower Peak

We finally settled down next to slabs in the Indian Basin and within sight of two lakes and a babbling brook before eating dinner in the dark. Funny how the worst day of the traverse was sandwiched between what was probably the best morning start and best evening finish.
Day 5 had been long and tough, but entirely necessary. We both felt at ease, with the thought that the worst was likely behind us.

It was behind us, wasn't it??

Day 6: Indian Basin to Dinwoody/Bastion Peak Area
Distance: 15 miles
Elevation: +4330/-3200'
Humans Seen: Several in Indian Basin, 2 people at Titcomb, 2 people on Gooseneck Glacier descending Gannett Peak
Lakes: 7
Passes: 3ish

Day 6
Day 6
Day 6 Elev
Day 6 Elev

We awoke on day 6 in a surprisingly good mood, even after the pain of day 5. We knew what was coming if we were going to get back on track and it hurt to think about, so we focused on other things like what we were going to eat when we got off the trail (steak, BBQ, burgers, pancakes.....) When we were exiting Indian Basin, we passed a group of "old dudes with rockin' beards" who had just climbed Fremont Peak the day before. Right on.

We left Indian Basin and made the hard right into Titcomb Basin. I had been recommended by multiple people to go through Titcomb basin, so I didn't want to miss this. I couldn't be sure if it really was going to be that much better than everywhere else, or if it was just the most accessible location that a lot of people had seen and therefore the most recommended. It turned out that Titcomb was amazing, but essentially on par with the rest of the scenery we had seen thus far. The main difference was the presence of glaciers on one of the more jagged ridges we had seen. Aside from that, there were still gorgeous alpine lakes and wildflowers in abundance.

morning flowers
morning flowers
entering Titcomb Basin
entering Titcomb Basin

Titcomb passed by way too quickly and before we knew it, we were once again off-trail, heading up Bonney Pass. Bonney is used regularly by mountaineers trying to climb Gannett, so I knew it would go, but the biggest question was if the snow would be too steep for trailrunners and microspikes. It turned out that there was plenty of steep rock to climb up. Once we got to the top, we took our shoes and socks off, and aired out our feet, which were burning from the lack of foot therapy on Day 5. There was a nice rock bivy shelter at the pass, and an even better view of the Dinwoody Glacier, Woodrow Wilson Peak, and the high point of Wyoming - Gannett Peak.

snow climb up to Bonney Pass
snow climb up to Bonney Pass
followed by steep boulders
followed by steep boulders

We may have overextending our stay at the pass, not looking forward to the initially chossy descent down to the glacier. After getting down to snow, things got a bit shaky. The Dinwoody Glacier was not nearly as mellow as I had thought it would be. We didn't have a rope, but we also weren't turning back. We must have jumped over a few dozen crevasses and snowbridges on our way down to the terminus, each one making us more and more nervous. Finally, we got down to the base where the snow cover had melted and any crevasses would be apparent. We stopped to gather ourselves at the base.

descending the Dinwoody
descending the Dinwoody
exposed ice under the rubble
exposed ice under the rubble
two Gannett Summiters
two Gannett Summiters
you can see them here too
you can see them here too

After navigating through the massive boulders, we again had to ascend back up to a small pass nest to West Sentinel. What we saw when we reached the top was mind-blowingly martian - an 11,000' flat basin of rock and ice with no views out to the flatlands to the east or west, and seemingly no life. From here, travel was easy with our microspikes providing plenty of traction to cross the Gannett Glacier.

up another pass
up another pass
Mike's over the top, where the wild things are-esque, totally not staged stream crossing
Mike's over the top, where the wild things are-esque, totally not staged stream crossing

To get out of this basin, we had to climb up some very steep snow (steep for microspikes at least. ~35 degrees) I again led the way up, with Mike following, precariously setting each and every step so as not to lose my footing and make it easier for Mike. We finally got to the top of the snow, where there was a bank of rocks below us, protecting any falls about 30 feet down. Here I got careless. There was a snow lip to climb over, and instead of getting the proper footing to go over the lip, I tried to pull myself over it and ended up losing my footing and going for a ride. As soon as I started sliding, I panicked for about 0.0000001 seconds before turning to see the boulders that would stop my slide before I could pick up too much speed and was resigned to my fate. Nothing bad came of it, but it was a scary moment.


We again went back down a steep gully, with loose kitty litter which led to a wild glacier lake. However, it was getting to be very late in the day, probably about 6:30pm, and we knew we had only about 90 minutes of daylight to get out of this 2nd lifeless basin.


I was running out of gas, not mentally like on day 5, but physically. Six days of caloric deficits, miles and miles of boulders, and now energy-sucking trail-runner kick-steps had done me in. I tried convincing Mike that we should set up camp in the basin, but he was the voice of reason and led the way out to higher ground, off the glacier and moraine, just as the map showed.

It was here that we set up camp for the night, with mere minutes to spare before sunset. This camp had the most alpine vibe of the entire trip.

our most alpine campsite yet
our most alpine campsite yet

Before we went to bed, Mike requested a late start the next morning and I was 100% with him. We were both exhausted, but had officially caught up with the original itinerary and were happy that Day 7 was supposed to be shorter. (wishful thinking again...)
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geyer
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PostWed Aug 28, 2019 8:51 pm 
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Day 7: Dinwoody/Bastion Peak Area to Daphne Lake/Bear Basin
Distance: 12.3 miles
Elevation: +3140'/-4030'
Humans Seen: Nobody
Lakes: 7
Passes: 1ish

Day 7
Day 7
Day 7 Elev
Day 7 Elev

Day 7 was supposed to be an easy 8-mile day so that we could have a break after the long days preceding it and to get up early on day 8 to finish it out. It wasn't the hardest day by any means, but it still ended up taking nearly all of the available daylight, which I attribute to a few reasons: physical exhaustion, rugged terrain, deceptive maps, and lots of breaks because it was so dang beautiful!

I had been really looking forward to this part of the traverse mainly due to the unknowns of the Bear Basin area and all the glacial alpine lakes -- it absolutely delivered.

When we woke up on day 7, as requested, I let the alarm snooze for an extra 30 minutes or so before we slowly got out of bed and watched the alpenglow develop on the nearby Bastion Peak (13,494'). Our camp was situated at over 12,100' and we could sense it - the air was so clear and pure, there was no noise except that of the hundreds of small streams trickling down and the occasional groan of the glaciers nearby. (Or maybe that was the two of us groaning because our feet hurt so much from kicking steps in hard snow in trail runners and microspikes  waah.gif ) It really was the most perfect day for a relaxed start.


I wrapped my feet in first aid tape and moleskin - the left side of both feet were wrecked because every snow traverse we had done was left to right and setting the steps always involved kicking the edge of the left side of my shoe into the snow. The fix felt good for a short time, but as with most foot tape-jobs, it came undone quickly.

Our morning routine had become efficient by day 7, and even though we woke up later, we were still packed and ready to go shortly after 8 am. We traveled slowly to start the day - partly because our feet hurt, partly because the terrain was covered in loose glacial moraine boulders, and partly because we were gawking at the glacial ice calving into the icy blue lakes.

"life finds a way"
"life finds a way"
Another Glacier
Another Glacier

The traverse continued up and over a glacier to the ridge (continental divide) where we didn't even put on spikes because the grade was so mellow and the suncups were numerous. We took a detour to a cliff overlooking Klondike Peak, the Sourdough Glacier, and Iceberg Lake.
Two words: Worth. It.

Iceberg Lake + Baker Lake
Iceberg Lake + Baker Lake

From here, we traveled down from 12700' to 11800' and back up to 12700' again. Our legs were so fatigued on the way back up that we zig-zagged the entire route at a mellow grade instead of the typical "hey diddle diddle, straight up the middle" fashion we had been following before. When we reached the ridge, we were again greeted with a fantastic view of the Connie Glacier and Upper Kevin Lakes.

Kevin Lakes
Kevin Lakes
Connie Glacier
Connie Glacier

Our mentality had changed in regards to route finding on Day 7. We were no longer interested in following the planned route if we thought we could find a way to shave off miles and avoid tedious traversing - views be damned! I thought we could maybe avoid traversing around the lower Kevin Lake (11302) by following its shores, but my zoom lens again proved useful by confirming that the shoreline cliffed out on both sides of the lake, which was a bit of a mental blow - neither of us were excited about traversing around cliffs to get to locations we could see right in front of our eyes. (This is par for the course in Bear Basin.) Instead, we saw a series of green ledges and scrambled straight up them. Maybe it didn't save us much time or energy, but it was a mental break.

zoom lens beta
zoom lens beta

The geology of the Wind River had been gradually changing with every ridge we crossed and basin we hiked, but once we got over the ridge near Kevin Lake, the geology became drastically different. Gone were the gradual chossy passes that made traversing easy; they were replaced by steep cliffs and slabby basins. Gone was the gray granite we had seen for most of the southern winds and intermittently in the middle Winds; it was mostly replaced by rusty iron-red granitic gneiss. Gone were the glaciers allowing easy travel and wide open lakes with vast views; they were replaced by deep gorges, lakes walled in on four sides, and difficult navigation. (I downloaded a google earth bedrock kmz overlay file and it gets pretty wild in this area. I couldn't find a surface geology file.)

When we got to top of the ridge, my route plan was to find a steep, but usually manageable 30-35° face that we could travel down. We got there, but the face was entirely composed of rock slabs. We made a feeble attempt to go down some ledges to the left, but it looked like we were going to be cliffed out, so we bailed. And it was a good choice, because the skies darkened and it began to drizzle/hail/sleet/graupel on us. I really wanted the route to go, because it would have meant losing less elevation. The valley below us was intimidatingly deep, with a scenic winding "Clear Creek" feeding the deep gorge that was filled with Bear Lake. The rock was a unique combination of red and gold with grass in between. I wish we could have just sat here and created a time lapse of the clouds and sun passing over.

Bear Basin
Bear Basin

The smarter thing to do was backtrack and head down the west arm of the ridge into the valley, losing about 1000 feet before heading back up again. If you look at the map, the terrain countours are deceptively mellow. I swear the entire area must be small ups and downs less than 40' tall, because it is not nearly as flat as the map suggests.

Anyway, we made it down where the grass was kind of swampy and went back up to a series of lakes which were all surrounded by 200' hill that we had to go up and over repeatedly. This area just had the most wild, untouched feel to it.

We passed by several more lakes, and for the first time in seven days, we had to get out our rain gear, when the clouds turned black and opened up on us - we could see the rain coming and had hoped that it would avoid us, but we had run out of luck. It only lasted about 5 minutes before turning to snow and stopping after another 10 minutes. Enough to get us wet, but not enough to dampen our spirits. wink.gif

glimpse of bear lake
glimpse of bear lake
first storm coming
first storm coming
bear lake
bear lake

We finally got to a lake that was fed by the melt of Northwest Peak (13246) and had to drop down again to traverse over to Daphne Lake, where we would camp for the night. The view here of Bear Lake is out of this world. There's a small pond on the the traverse which you would think would be completely out of the way for humans, but nope -- we found a cairn and kid-sized footsteps. Who would bring their kid out here!? There was evidence of a fishing trail too. Wow, that's incredible...

the most random cairn in what we thought was the middle of nowhere
the most random cairn in what we thought was the middle of nowhere

I won't lie, that final traverse over to Daphne Lake was a killer. Both of us were exhausted and were ready to plop down wherever we found flat ground, but I knew the views from Daphne would be worth it and trudged onward (Mike on the other hand, thought maybe the juice wasn't worth the squeeze...I commpletely disagree  hockeygrin.gif )

When we got to Daphne, we set up camp in an amazing location with the bowl-ish Daphne lake on one side and the outlet stream flowing over smooth slabs to extraordinary views of Bear Lake on the other. I felt like we teleported to a different mountain range - this was completely unlike the entire rest of the Winds.

Daphne outflow
Daphne outflow

After some more "foot therapy" we ate dinner on the slabs, watching the sun set and feeling the sudden realization that we were almost completely finished with the route. We would soon have to return to civilization and give up the simplicities that we had grown accustomed to - eat, walk, eat, unpack, sleep, re-pack. We tried our best to soak it all in, but exhaustion got in the way, and we both ended up going to bed before the sun even set at 8:15pm.

Was the juice worth the squeeze?
Was the juice worth the squeeze?
tent shot
tent shot
Daphne Sunset
Daphne Sunset
tent shot 2
tent shot 2

Day 8: Daphne Lake to Green River Lake TH
Distance: 10.2 miles
Elevation: +840'/-3680'
Humans Seen: a group heading up to Clear Lake, several near Green River Lake
Lakes: 3
Passes: 1ish

Day 8
Day 8
Day 8 elev
Day 8 elev

Day 8 was all set to be the last day. We had already decided that we were going to try to cut down on some of the proposed path in order to get out early enough to eat late lunch in Pinedale and get a chunk of driving back home out of the way. The planned route had us traveling through the maze of boulders over to crescent lake, where we would choose to either  travel north, south, or up and over Osbourne Mountain. I noticed that there was a gully on the map that would take us there direct, so we opted to attempt this shortcut. And the map showed trails at Faler Lake going north and Clear Lake going south. Faler and Clear lakes were less than a mile away from each other as the crow flies, so I was thinking (hoping? praying??) that there would be a connector trail between the two lakes.

We left our final campsite in a bittersweet flurry and came across a few lakes. It was a beautiful and still morning, where every lake shined with an unblemished glassy reflection. After a few lakes, we arrived at the gully. Yuck. It looked passable, but it was not going to be fun. Car-sized boulders littered the route.

8 days of trash!
8 days of trash!
leaving bear basin
leaving bear basin
last reflecitons on our way out
last reflecitons on our way out

We donned our helmets and slowly made our way down the gully, no longer being as kind to all the orb-weaver spiders in our path. When we got down to the meadow below, there was a trail to the north, but not to the west as we had hoped. We followed a stream, navigating around steep cliffy sections and through the mostly brush free terrain beneath a dark canopy. The trees were our first since Day 2. There were moments where we passed over what looked like a bootpath, but they were short-lived.

choice route
choice route
the fun don't stop
the fun don't stop
hundreds of these
hundreds of these
fun fun fun
fun fun fun
escaped the boulders
escaped the boulders

Soon, we reached a definitive boot path, littered with cairns, which we called "the path of righteousness." We would shout "RIGHTEOUS" every time we came across a new cairn, which became pretty often after a while. If we ever lost the path, we were immediately hit with dense brush and the pain of bushwacking, whereupon we would assume that karma was punishing us for leaving the righteous path and we begged for its forgiveness  lol.gif Soon, we reached Clear Lake, which was just about the most unclear lake we had seen in all eight days.

Schwack to get to Clear Lake
Schwack to get to Clear Lake

The bootpath led us to a boulder field on some southern slopes that we followed for a while, but got tempted by the seemingly easy terrain closer to the creek below. Bad choice. There must have been a forest fire there not too long ago, because downed trees were everywhere and travel became slow. Eventually, we made it back to the boulder field where we resumed the unpleasant slog.

descend on slabs
descend on slabs
limited route options
limited route options

Finally, we hit real, permanent, maintained trail and it was glorious. There were even people! What are these strange two-legged sapiens creatures before us? Why do they drag smaller four-legged fur-baby slaves leashed to their wrists? When we reached Green River Lake, it became very real that we were almost done, and we became very aware of our natural odorous stench every time we had to pass people. I can't speak for Mike, but I wanted nothing less than to stop and talk to these people and yet every single person just had to say something to us.... Smile and nod, smile and nod... What I wanted most was to get to the car, take these clothes off, and go for a swim in the river.

Green River Lake
Green River Lake

It was so close, but so far. Green River Lake is about two miles long and with every step, we became more aware of the body parts that were hurting and the gear that was failing. WHEN WILL THIS END!?!

elation
elation

Finally we reached the car! The end of the high route was here and we could finally bathe ourselves and eat that massive meal we'd been thinking about since day 2.


I don't think I'll ever forget these 8 days in Wyoming. The planning stages were long and intense, but it gave me an intimate understanding the Winds' terrain and was absolutely worthwhile. If people ask me "Was it worth it? Would you go back?", they're really asking the wrong questions. The questions they should really be asking are "When will you go back, and how many times?"  hockeygrin.gif
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olderthanIusedtobe
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PostWed Aug 28, 2019 9:02 pm 
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up.gif  Wow, great start, looking forward to seeing further installments.

Only time I was in the Wind Rivers was Big Sandy and Cirque of the Towers.  Amazing area but I realize I barely scratched the surface.
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Downhill
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PostWed Aug 28, 2019 9:43 pm 
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Wow!  Just wow!
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Matt
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PostWed Aug 28, 2019 9:48 pm 
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Huh, we just did a Wind Rivers loop on August 17-24.  I wonder if we crossed paths with you anywhere.

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“As beacons mountains burned at evening.” J.R.R. Tolkien
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geyer
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PostWed Aug 28, 2019 10:25 pm 
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Matt wrote:
Huh, we just did a Wind Rivers loop on August 17-24.  I wonder if we crossed paths with you anywhere.

I already talked with Carla about it! But no, I don't think we crossed paths
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fourteen410
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PostWed Aug 28, 2019 10:58 pm 
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ooooo ahhhh  up.gif
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RichP
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PostThu Aug 29, 2019 7:24 am 
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Stunning.  smile.gif

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Without obsession, life is nothing. John Waters
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Bootpathguy
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PostThu Aug 29, 2019 8:40 am 
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geyer wrote:
camera pano
camera pano
vs phone pano
vs phone pano

Phone cameras really are impressive

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neek
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PostFri Aug 30, 2019 8:27 am 
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The Winds seem to be generating a lot of attention these days.  Can't wait to see the rest.
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geyer
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PostTue Sep 03, 2019 7:35 pm 
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Days 3-4 added. Enjoy the eye candy  wink.gif
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Grannyhiker
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PostTue Sep 03, 2019 7:47 pm 
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Lotsa eye candy!  Looking forward to more!

(Avatar is of the late Hysson at Marm's Lake in the southern Winds.)

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May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view.--E.Abbey
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Lakes&Summits
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PostTue Sep 03, 2019 9:24 pm 
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Fabulous pics and description. I was there Aug 8-15, but started at Green River Lakes and came out Big Sandy just as you were heading in!
It was epic. Fun to see some of the places you hit that we missed. But it's all amazing...
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Forum Index > Trip Reports > Wind River High Traverse - 8/16-24-2019 (update: Full TR)
  Happy Birthday outdoorgirl, wildernessed!
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