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Topic: Winds-August 2012, Two Flatlanders visit Wyoming< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
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PanatomicX Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 02 2012, 5:22 pm  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Wind River August 2012-Two Flatlanders visit Wyoming

Well first I saw SWT's slideshow. Then my friend Joe told me he had a week off in August, and it didn't take long for me to put two and two together. A little course correction, some helpful advice from the folks in the Forum, a couple of gear upgrades, and we were set.
We flew into SLC, rented a car, and drove up to Pinedale. On the way up, we pulled over at one point, and got out of the car. We just stood on the side of the road for a few minutes, no one else in sight, and looked out over the high plains. A lot different than NYC. Had dinner at the Wind River Brewing Co, and drove up to the Elkhart Park trailhead the next morning. Watched the altimeter spin, and saw the terrain change from scrub to forest on the way. Signed in and we were on our way. We had a pretty easy hike to Mary's Lake, and were already being wowed by the views at Miller Park, and the over-the-top panorama at Photographers Pt. Some weather moved in right after we pitched the tents, and we had about 20 min of sleet. That was to be the only precipitation we'd have for the rest of the trip, though. No luck fishing, a bit of exploring, a tasty FD dinner, and we were happy. Looked out the tent flap in the middle of the night and saw the biggest Big Dipper I have ever seen.
We continued on the Pole Creek heading east to the Highline trail, and ran into a string of llamas. We decided to put that on our gear list for next time. Had an easy ford X2 of the Pole Creek, and took a break by the waterfall with fish jumping. We camped by Tommy Lake, another idyllic spot. Had good luck fishing just before dusk, catch and release, as we had already eaten.
Up over Lester Pass the next morning, past our first little snowfield. Down between two un named lakes, and up again to Fremont Crossing and Lower Jean Lake. Switched maps, I was able to get the whole loop onto two 24K MyTopo waterproof maps which were great.
We arrived at Lower Jean with very little gas left in the tank. Don't know if it was the altitude catching up with me, but I was pretty bonked. Wondering about the next two days, which had a bit of climbing too.
But I woke up the next morning feeling fine. We saw fish jumping at Upper Jean, and right away caught a few. Views now were spectacular. We went up Shannon pass, and down the very rocky trail to Peak Lake. Learned the value of manure in route finding-Hey look, horsesh*t, that must be the way. We both agreed that our Peak Lake campsite that night was the best of the trip. A nice grassy bench with pretty wildflowers and a stream. Beautiful azure Lake, surrounded by dramatic peaks. Only one other party on the opposite side of the Lake. This was the real deal.
The next day was the crux of the trip, Knapsack Col, and we were both pretty excited. On and off the "trail" as it was a couple of times, but we found our way thru the boulders, and the "paved road" as described by Dorf, to the base of the final climb. The trail was a bit more clear at this point, and we reached the Col a little past noon. We scouted the descent, and were able to climb down pretty easily on the rocks to the left of the cornice. Lots of loose scree on the way down, some snow, but it was soft enough to kick steps into for the most part. No trail at all on this side, but you can follow the streams down and around to Titcomb.
As was routine at this point, an amazingly beautiful, isolated campsite.
Got a late start the next morning, as we knew the walk would be a bit easier. We ran into a couple of parties headed up to Knapsack Col, the trail was generally a little busier. At Island Lake we came upon a nice little sandy beach, and stopped for lunch. Our last night's camp was at Seneca Lake. There was no wind, the water was still, and the hills reflected on the lake.
The Winds really lived up to the billing. This was a great hike for us; exciting, incredibly scenic challenging, fun. Neither of us had done a hike of this length, at this elevation before. Successful route finding, never even had to look at the compass or the GPS, just the maps and the terrain. We may be hooked, next August looks good!

Some photos:
https://picasaweb.google.com/1102782....8t3PaQ#
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RebeccaD Search for posts by this member.
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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 02 2012, 6:41 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Nice!  I like your route a lot, and you got some nice photos.  Especially like that last one in the motel room :D

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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 02 2012, 7:21 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

That "Dusk" shot is great!

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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 03 2012, 9:21 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Spoke to Joe, and I have to submit two corrections. That reflection photo was actually taken in the morning, and It's one Flatlander and one Mountain Man. :)
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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 04 2012, 9:34 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

awesome trip Mike and Joe!  Pictures are incredible....great job.
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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 04 2012, 4:57 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

No, judging from the last picture of me in the motel in Pinedale, it's one Mountain Man and one Easy(Chair) Rider.
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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 04 2012, 8:42 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Great TR and gorgeous pics, the little bit of smoky haze really helps the dawn photos !!

I did have to laugh a bit at the photo of the two of you wading in the beach on the N end of Island Lk.

I have a 21 yr old photo of my two kids in the exact same spot.


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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 11 2012, 3:23 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Good pix.

I admit checking a couple of them ("Stroud Glacier" and "On the way up") to see if someone in my group might be somewhere in the distant background, but drat. But I guess my brother or his buddy must have taken your "We made it!" pic for you unless you did a good job of standing your camera on a boulder and setting the timer.

Seeing your "Morning at Titcomb" pic, I realize who was camped in that spot downhill several hundred yards. We were up on the start of the shelf above the lake.
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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 11 2012, 9:13 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

rbs-I REALLY enjoyed your photos-The panoramas were great. One of you guys did take that shot of me and Joe at Knapsack. And I did a couple of "involuntary" mini-glissades too. Apparently we were camped a couple of hundred yards away at Peak and Titcomb.
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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 11 2012, 4:25 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE


(PanatomicX @ Sep. 11 2012, 9:13 am)
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rbs-I REALLY enjoyed your photos-The panoramas were great. One of you guys did take that shot of me and Joe at Knapsack. And I did a couple of "involuntary" mini-glissades too. Apparently we were camped a couple of hundred yards away at Peak and Titcomb.

We were camped more like 3/4 mile from you at Peak Lake, but at Upper Titcomb, yes, it was close. But unlike the folks in the two blue tents upstream from you a ways, I didn't even notice you were down there until the next morning.

Still working my way through photos. Still have a few days worth to process.
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