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Topic: Thinking about the Winds, Open to suggestions< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 08 2013, 4:19 pm  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I've never been to the Winds--I'm thinking that I may need to correct that this summer.

I'm not a newbie or an idiot--I know how to research trips on my own. But I thought I'd throw it open to the experts as well.

So, if you had approx. a week for a trip in the Winds, where would you go?

My general preferences:

Some off-trail travel. Comfortable up to class 3, but summits aren't the be-all, end-all. (For example, if I were in Titcomb Basin, I'd absolutely travel to Bonney Pass for the view, but wouldn't necessarily feel the need to climb any of the actual summits.)

Solitude in at least some of my camps.

I like to include at least one base-camp day, for summits, off-trail exploration, etc.

I don't fish (or never have carried the gear before, anyway), so that's not really a factor.

I'd almost surely be in a 2WD passenger car.

Feel free to offer up suggestions. I've been thinking of targeting the Titcomb Basin/Bonney Pass/Knapsak Col area, but I know it's a huge range with lots of other great spots, too.
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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 08 2013, 5:04 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I've never been on Bonney, but have been on top of Fremont Peak and would not pass up that opportunity if nearby. And, yep, read your preference, just suggesting Fremont's summit view may be worth you reconsidering.

Other than that I'll defer to deep Winds expertise of others on this board.
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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 08 2013, 8:44 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

(1) Head to Island Lake, Scramble up Fremont, Walk to the end of Titcomb Valley and Back. (Begin @ Elkhart)

(2) Head to Big Sandy Lake, Go over Jackass Pass, down to Lonesome Lake, then over Texas Pass, to Shadow Lake follow Washakie Creek then turn left and head back to Big Sandy TH.

(3) From Big Sandy TH head up to Dad's Lake, make a right at Marm's Lake, Cross Washakie Creek and into East Fork Valley, Head over Hailey Pass, past Graves Lake then over Washakie Pass and back to Big Sandy TH.

(Options 2 and 3 can be tied together in some sort of variation)

Big Sandy Trailhead IS accessable (sp) by 2WD.
Elkhart TH is reached by 13 mile paved road from Pinedale.
Begin and/or end all backpacking trips on the Pinedale side on the deck at the Wind River Brewpub.

That's it, life is good.
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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 09 2013, 3:31 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Had a really nice trip to the Winds in Aug '12. We did a loop from Elkhart Park-Mary Lake-Tommy Lake-Jean Lake-Shannon Pass to Peak Lake. Then over Knapsack Col to Titcomb-Seneca lake and out. We got the heads up on this route from folks on the forum, and it worked out great. "Best of the Winds". Offtrail from Peak Lake, over Knapsack Col to Titcomb, but nothing technical.  It's really a special place, have fun with the planning!

http://forums.backpacker.com/cgi-bin....atomicx
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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 09 2013, 6:43 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

East Fork to Europe Canyon area, consider some off trail stuff as well.
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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 09 2013, 10:02 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Since this is your first trip, I'd suggest the best of the best two loops on the west side. (There's better on the east, but it takes 2/3 times as long)

If you can afford the cost of a shuttle, park at Spring Creek TH and hike Glimpse Lk, past Heart, Dean and the Cutthroat Lakes to the No Name Lks. Then past Summit Lk towards Elbow, over Shannon Pass to Peak Lk, over Knapsack Col into the Titcomb Gorge than back out to the Elkhart Pk TH.

If you want a one TH option loop, than Elkhart Pk, east on the Pole Crk /Seneca Lk/Indian Pass trails. Turn north just before Island Lk and take the Highline trail N past the Jean Lks to Shannon Pass, down to Peak Lk, east to Knapsack Col , than back down to Elkhart Pk.

The Titcomb Gorge rivals Yosemite Valley in scenery and relief, but it's completely above timberline. There's no sense of scale, until you start hiking the valley.

What looks like 1-2 miles turns into 5-6 miles +

Camp in Titcomb Gorge, or the short detour up to Indian basin and you can probably miss the "crowds" around Island Lk.

Hint : 99.9% of the people that camp at Island Lk, camp at the little bluff just below Indian Pass, where the trail intersects the lake at the minimal distance for LNT . That leaves ~ 20mi of shoreline completely empty if you want to walk a few 100 yds off the main trail north, east or south.


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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 09 2013, 11:42 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(swimswithtrout @ Nov. 09 2013, 9:02 pm)
QUOTE
If you can afford the cost of a shuttle, park at Spring Creek TH and hike Glimpse Lk, past Heart, Dean and the Cutthroat Lakes to the No Name Lks. Then past Summit Lk towards Elbow, over Shannon Pass to Peak Lk, over Knapsack Col into the Titcomb Gorge than back out to the Elkhart Pk TH.

Thanks. That seems like an awesome loop. Is that about 40 miles?

I'm intrigued about the longer east side trips. Want to spill it?
I've always tried to hold a solo trip to 6 days. That pack would get awfully heavy with 10+ days worth of food. Maybe I need to learn to fish.
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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 10 2013, 9:01 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Winds 2009..... 115 miles, 13 days.  Pack weighed 41 lbs less water at start.  Had all food, camera gear, fishing gear.  Piece of cake.
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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 11 2013, 3:32 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Cweston,

There are several loops that I can certainly recommend, none require a shuttle:

1. Elkhart Park up toward Island lake, dayhike Titcomb, up to Indian Basin and climb Fremont. Offtrail out of Indian basin towards Wall Lake over the Island-Wall Pass then past Cook Lakes on the Pole Line trail to Elkhart.

2. Elkhart Park up to Jean Lakes. Then over to Peak Lake and Knapsack Col, then down into Titcomb basin. A side trip up Indian Basin and a summit of Fremont Peak. Finally complete the loop down to Island Lake and back out to Elkhart.

3. Big Sandy to Marms and Pyramid Lakes. Up through East Fork Valley (spectacular) and over "Raid" Pass to Little Bonneville Lakes. Down that "use" trail to the Fremont trail and back to Big Sandy.

4. Scab Creek up to Middle Fork Lake. Spend a couple of nights up at Bewmark Lake, dayhiking Kagevah Peak, Photo pass etc. Views are outstanding and I think they rate right up there with the East Fork Valley. Offtrail over to Halls Lake, then back down the Fremont Trail to the Scab Creek trail and out.

All of these have some offtrail sections, nice passes and views. I can personnally recommend any of these and can provide much more detail.

Enjoy,

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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 11 2013, 4:07 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

You can do several trips out of Elkhart, over the divide and into the Fitzpatrick Wilderness on the East slope in about 60 miles. I have done two of those. Indian Pass or Angel Pass both work. IMO it would be much more fun with more than 6 days though. I did my two trips in 9 and 10. But I like to spend time fishing and rest a bit. :-)

I'll let Dave give you the details on the east slope.
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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 12 2013, 11:32 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

It's funny that the highest Peak in WY is climbed from the east side, has the largest living glaciers in the US Rockies extending for nearly 20 mi in both directions, but you almost never see a thread here about it.......

Of course it doesn't hurt that most people do the approach from the west past this.















How long do you have ?




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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 13 2013, 8:35 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(swimswithtrout @ Nov. 12 2013, 10:32 pm)
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How long do you have ?



Well, for that view I might find the time. :)

I'm guessing that view is looking west to Gannett et. al. from the plateau which extends NNE from Febbas. Yes?
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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 13 2013, 11:08 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

SWT.... where is pic 3 and 4 taken from?  I know the east side, but I'm wondering if it's part where our route next year is across.
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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 14 2013, 12:27 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(cweston @ Nov. 13 2013, 6:35 am)
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[quote=swimswithtrout,Nov. 12 2013, 10:32 pm]How long do you have ?


Well, for that view I might find the time. :)

I'm guessing that view is looking west to Gannett et. al. from the plateau which extends NNE from Febbas. Yes?

Correct !

You can do a 10 day loop that will take you " there and back again"


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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 14 2013, 12:39 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(bbobb169 @ Nov. 13 2013, 9:08 pm)
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SWT.... where is pic 3 and 4 taken from?  I know the east side, but I'm wondering if it's part where our route next year is across.

Both were taken coming down the N side of Bonney Pass crossing the huge Dinwoody Glacier.

#3 is looking towards Mt Warren with Elsie col  to it's left.

#4 is from near the same location looking SW towards The Sphinx and Mt Woodrow Wilson.


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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 14 2013, 12:29 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Dave,

I went up Gannett from the west side, across Mammoth Glacier and up an un-named col just north of Glacier Pass. Popped out on the ridge adjacent Gooseneck and ran into a group coming up the "standard" route. They were quite shocked to see us. Later we ran into a ranger and told them where we had gone and they too were surprised and indicated that almost no one goes that way. Which of course our answer was, "That's why WE went that way!"

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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 14 2013, 1:01 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(swimswithtrout @ Nov. 13 2013, 11:27 pm)
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(cweston @ Nov. 13 2013, 6:35 am)
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[quote=swimswithtrout,Nov. 12 2013, 10:32 pm]How long do you have ?


Well, for that view I might find the time. :)

I'm guessing that view is looking west to Gannett et. al. from the plateau which extends NNE from Febbas. Yes?

Correct !

You can do a 10 day loop that will take you " there and back again"

Do tell.

Down the Glacier trail to Dinwoody Glacier, scramble up to Horse Ridge, travel atop Horse Ridge back to Ink Wells trail, across the bridge over Dinwoody creek to Glacier trail and back out?

That seem like less than a ten-day trip, though.

Or are you thinking of something more elaborate from one of the east-side trailheads?
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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 14 2013, 1:18 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(swimswithtrout @ Nov. 13 2013, 10:39 pm)
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(bbobb169 @ Nov. 13 2013, 9:08 pm)
QUOTE
SWT.... where is pic 3 and 4 taken from?  I know the east side, but I'm wondering if it's part where our route next year is across.

Both were taken coming down the N side of Bonney Pass crossing the huge Dinwoody Glacier.

#3 is looking towards Mt Warren with Elsie col  to it's left.

#4 is from near the same location looking SW towards The Sphinx and Mt Woodrow Wilson.

Kinda what I thought..... really don't want an ice axe,  crampons maybe.   Excellent pics by the way.

Heading through in there next year I think.
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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 14 2013, 3:14 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Cweston,

I did an 11 day trip from Elkhart Park that went up through Peak Lake, Over Mammoth Glacier for a climb up Gannett, over Knapsack Col into Titcomb, into Indian Basin and a clim up Fremont and finally back past Island Lake and out. It could very easily be modified to go over Glacier Pass and then up Dinwoody Pass to get back to Titcomb.

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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 16 2013, 1:16 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(cweston @ Nov. 14 2013, 11:01 am)
QUOTE

(swimswithtrout @ Nov. 13 2013, 11:27 pm)
QUOTE

(cweston @ Nov. 13 2013, 6:35 am)
QUOTE

(swimswithtrout @ Nov. 12 2013, 10:32 pm)
QUOTE
How long do you have ?



Well, for that view I might find the time. :)




You can do a 10 day loop that will take you " there and back again"


Do tell.

Or are you thinking of something more elaborate from one of the east-side trailheads?


Bingo ! Again !!!

The best of both sides loop.

Elkhart Pk TH towards Island Lake but take the Jean Lk detour up the Highline TR, over Shannon Pass to Peak Lk, from Peak Lk, do the the double pass day, Knapsack and Bonney Pass down to Elk Lk below the terminal moraine of the Gannett Peak's glaciers.

Start up toward Blaurock Pass but take the first obvious shallower gulley east towards  Pt. 12,700.

Meander across the huge tilted peneplain, around Knoll LK past Pt. 12,210 and curl down towards Don/Cub Lks at Pt. 12,015.

From Don Lk, head towards Lk 10,725 aka "Rock Lk", then over the north Indian Pass, then towards the south Indian Pass.

Take the south Indian Pass back into Indian Basin, and Island Lk, then back to Elkhart Pk TH

If you're feeling strong and have made good time or have time to spare, don't take the south Indian Pass, but instead head into the Alpine Lks and out at either Tiny Glacier Pass or Angel Pass, and back toward Elkhart Pk.

There you go, the best of the best loop in the Winds.

Of course it's mostly off trail, in EXTREMELY remote country, with quite of bit of glacier travel, as well as steep snow passes in season, the preferable time to attempt this.

Enjoy !


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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 16 2013, 9:36 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

That sounds awesome, SWT...

1. If I did it, I'd go up Titcomb Basin instead of to Peak Lake, since I've never been to Titcomb Basin.

2. I'd be a little hesitant about the glacier travel if I were solo. I know the glaciers in the Winds aren't known to be heavily crevassed, but...Seems like early in the season would be the time to do this route (snow travel is generally much better than boulder hoping & talus in my book), but that's when crevasses are hidden by snow.

3. I see the route clearly on the topos except maybe from North Indian pass to South Indian pass. I see that one could drop immediately to North Fork Bull Lake Creek and then follow one of it's tributaries directly SW to the Knife Point Glacier. Or did you stay high crossing the lower portions of the glaciers?
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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 16 2013, 4:34 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

SWT......you pegged the last half of the route I'm looking at.  But we are starting at Green River TH, coming down off Grasshopper Glacier, then ending at Elkhart. TH.  Can you come off the east side of Bonney Pass without a iceaxe? I wouldn't think so.
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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 16 2013, 10:40 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(cweston @ Nov. 16 2013, 7:36 am)
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That sounds awesome, SWT...

1. If I did it, I'd go up Titcomb Basin instead of to Peak Lake, since I've never been to Titcomb Basin.

2. I'd be a little hesitant about the glacier travel if I were solo. I know the glaciers in the Winds aren't known to be heavily crevassed, but...Seems like early in the season would be the time to do this route (snow travel is generally much better than boulder hoping & talus in my book), but that's when crevasses are hidden by snow.

3. I see the route clearly on the topos except maybe from North Indian pass to South Indian pass. I see that one could drop immediately to North Fork Bull Lake Creek and then follow one of it's tributaries directly SW to the Knife Point Glacier. Or did you stay high crossing the lower portions of the glaciers?

In order

1 You'll pass through Titcomb Gorge twice !

The Jean Lk/ Shannon Pass/Peak Lk/ Knapsack Col is a "Must Do" if you're to visit the Winds. It's 2nd only to Titcomb Gorge in the northern range.

The east side of Knapsack Col IS Titcomb Basin and from the pass you'll have a birds eye view of the entire Gorge. You'll drop down from the pass and traverse the head of the Gorge before climbing Bonney Pass and it's incredible views of "The Gorge".

On your return from the east side, you'll pass through Indian Basin, a "side canyon" of Titcomb Gorge, but quite spectacular in it's own rights, and after the long xc day over both Indian Passes, you can set up camp and spend the night right in "The Gorge" vs Island Lk.

2. The route I mention, is mostly just steep snow fields, except for the section on the N side of Bonney Pass where you will be a true Glacier. In that section, the crevasses are few and quite small. It's the main thoroughfare for climbers heading towards Gannett Pk from the west side.

There will always be well trodden "path" in the snow that avoids any of the larger crevasses a little ways to the west.  

3  DO NOT try to follow the N Fork creeks , stay a little higher on the bench, just below the glaciers, but well above the creek. I can PM you the details and a map showing the route, but it's fairly easy to see on a topo and is the logical route through the area.

On my first trip through there, I found an ancient Native American constructed trail, exactly where I'd planned "my" route.

When I saw that, I knew I'd made the right decision.


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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 18 2013, 1:28 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Lots of great advice on this thread.  Are you going to reply to anybody other than Swimsy????  Seriously, look back at this thread.  Just send Swimsy a PM.

Don't be a suck up, because that's how you come across.


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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 18 2013, 6:53 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(RobinHood @ Nov. 18 2013, 12:28 am)
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Don't be a suck up, because that's how you come across.

Seriously? Don't be an a-hole, because that's how you come across.

You're right--there's lots of great advice in this thread (except for yours), and I appreciate it.

As far replying to SWT, it's pretty obvious that he responded here in a different style than others did, one that anticipates further questions.

I kind-of understand this type of response in TPA, where people have chosen to discuss what they know are contentious topics, but I can't for the life of me figure out why anyone would want to inject this kind of petty confrontation into a discussion about hiking routes. It's puzzling.
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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 18 2013, 5:27 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(cweston @ Nov. 18 2013, 6:53 am)
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(RobinHood @ Nov. 18 2013, 12:28 am)
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Don't be a suck up, because that's how you come across.

Seriously? Don't be an a-hole, because that's how you come across.

You're right--there's lots of great advice in this thread (except for yours), and I appreciate it.

As far replying to SWT, it's pretty obvious that he responded here in a different style than others did, one that anticipates further questions.

I kind-of understand this type of response in TPA, where people have chosen to discuss what they know are contentious topics, but I can't for the life of me figure out why anyone would want to inject this kind of petty confrontation into a discussion about hiking routes. It's puzzling.

+1

I would keep picking Dave's brain. If you've got a week then I'd probably follow Dave's advice and head up to the Jeans, Peak Lake, Knapsack, Titcomb, Indian Basin, Wall Lake, Cook Lakes and out. Plenty of sights to keep you occupied.  Maybe check out Pole Creek headwaters (lake 10832)?
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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 18 2013, 7:55 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(RobinHood @ Nov. 18 2013, 1:28 am)
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 Are you going to reply to anybody other than Swimsy????  Seriously, look back at this thread.  Just send Swimsy a PM.

Don't be a suck up, because that's how you come across.

What was the point of that ridiculous post? Everyone on this thread is trying to be helpful, and as I've said before, this forum is THE BEST source of info for backpacking the Northern Rockies. It was SWTs slideshow that inspired me to take my first trip to the Winds, backpacking after a rather long hiatus. Dave, Dorf, Jer, Buddero, Offtrail, and many others are all willing to share their expertise, and it is invaluable. I posted my TR for whatever it was worth, and now I'm getting some more ideas. Winds 2014?
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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 18 2013, 8:26 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Plus one. No reason for the disrespect to cweston, SWT. Not good for this thread, not good for the Forums period.
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Del Gue Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 19 2013, 1:50 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(cweston @ Nov. 18 2013, 4:53 am)
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(RobinHood @ Nov. 18 2013, 12:28 am)
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Don't be a suck up, because that's how you come across.

Seriously? Don't be an a-hole, because that's how you come across.

You're right--there's lots of great advice in this thread (except for yours), and I appreciate it.

As far replying to SWT, it's pretty obvious that he responded here in a different style than others did, one that anticipates further questions.

I kind-of understand this type of response in TPA, where people have chosen to discuss what they know are contentious topics, but I can't for the life of me figure out why anyone would want to inject this kind of petty confrontation into a discussion about hiking routes. It's puzzling.

+1


This is twice in a month that you've come across as a total "douche",  the term you called  Reminiscence in this thread, and you have nothing positive to contribute.

Go back to your 'hood !


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craigwill Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 16 2013, 12:15 am Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE

cweston,

I'm also kicking around the idea of the winds, probably first week of September. Thanks for starting the thread. Great info above.

I found a good source for maps: http://www.beartoothpublishing.com/windrivernorth.php   They have the trails marked with mileage.

Also, if you're flying into Jackson, the Great Outdoor Shop in Pinedale has a shuttle service that will get you from the airport to a motel to the trailhead and then back for a reasonable price.
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