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Good source for beta on the wind river range?
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munckee


Mar 27, 2004, 9:43 AM
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Good source for beta on the wind river range?  (North_America: United_States: Wyoming: Western_Wy_: Wind_River)
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Can anyone recommend a good source for info on this area? I'm planning to be there this summer and would like to do one or two backcountry climbing trips in the winds. It sounds like there are two areas that everyone says are the best: the cirque of towers and deep lake. Should I hit both?

Is there a certain book that's good for info?


munckee


Mar 29, 2004, 11:55 AM
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:?: Anyone?


alpnclmbr1


Mar 29, 2004, 12:05 PM
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Climbing and Hiking in the Wind River Mountains, 2nd
by Joe Kelsey (Author)


click on maps for list of the hiking guides:
http://www.wildirisclimbing.com/Winds.htm


rockprodigy


Mar 29, 2004, 12:23 PM
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I don't think there is a dedicated website, but you could look at the website for the Todd Skinners climbing shop in Lander, it has some info on the winds. I think it's called the Wild Iris or something like that.

Deep Lake is right next to the Cirque of the Towers, so you could do both on the same trip. You use the same trailhead anyway.

I've been to both areas, and I recommend both. The Cirque will be really crowded.


munckee


Mar 29, 2004, 12:29 PM
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Thanks for the input guys. Can anyone tell me more about climbing in the cirque/deep lake areas? How's the selection of moderate routes? How long are the routes?

I'll have to find that guide book as well. Any others that I should look at?


Partner chugach001


Mar 29, 2004, 12:32 PM
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Yep, Kelsey's book is one of the most informative guide books out there. Beyond that it's hard to find good beta.


redpointron


Mar 29, 2004, 12:34 PM
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In reply to:
Can anyone tell me more about climbing in the cirque/deep lake areas? How's the selection of moderate routes? How long are the routes?

hey munckee...

i've only been to the winds once...in august of 99. went to the cirque and only had 3 days. we had planned to the the east ridge of wolf's head, but the weather was pretty bad and we were concerned about electricity so we went with the south buttress on pingora. lots of class 4 scrambling to three fantastic 5.6 pitches. 3 easy raps. great route. would love to return and hit a couple more.

definitely get the kelsey book.

good luck with the planning

r.r.


rockprodigy


Mar 29, 2004, 7:03 PM
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Most routes are in the 6-8 pitch range, but there are some as long as 20 pitches, and some single pitch routes. There is quite a lot of variety, so it just depends on what you want to do.

There was a ton of really cool bouldering in the Deep Lake area as well, so you can look forward to that.

Most of the routes have walk offs or single rope raps, so you only need one rope, but be prepared to bail at any time (maybe brings some webbing and rap rings) if the thunderstorms roll in. For your rack, I would plan on 1 and a half to 2 sets of cams. The goal is to go light because of the long trek in. Maybe even bring hexes, if you're into that. Helmets are recommended.

You can get pissy weather any time of the year, so plan accordingly. We had a few inches of snow in late August last summer. The hike in is long, but flat, which is nice. I use tennis shoes because the trail is pretty casual. You'll be in bear country so come prepared to hang your food in a tree. If you're in there early (july or earlier), bring lots of skeeter dope.


innominato


Mar 29, 2004, 7:17 PM
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The Cirque of the Towers is a must, for sure. Most routes in the 4-10 pitch range, with walk-offs or fairly short rappels. It's nine miles in, but once you're there it's almost spitting distance to the base of most routes. They range from 5.6 to 5.11. The East Ridge of Wolfs Head is probably the best 5.6 you'll ever do, and any routes on Pingora is awesome--there's the 50 classics one, and a nice 5.7 to the south of it that's just as long.

Also, the Dinwoody Glacier area is killer too--Mt. Helen, Sacajawea, Gannet Peak, Fremont. All longer routes, some ridges, some snow climbs, 5.4-5.10+. The West Face of Helen looks really pretty, but I haven't been in there in half a lifetime.

Enjoy.


munckee


Mar 29, 2004, 8:54 PM
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Thanks guys, awesome info. Sounds like a killer area!!

Innominato - are those other areas covered in the book mentioned above, do you know? If not, what book did you get info on them from?


rockprodigy


Mar 30, 2004, 5:32 AM
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It's all in there.


johnhemlock


Apr 10, 2004, 2:47 PM
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I spent 12 days back there 2 years ago in late July and it wasn't crowded at all. We had Pingora all to ourselves, shared Wolf's Head with one other party, and didn't see a soul on some of the more obscure and loose climbs way up in the Cirque. There are plenty of campsites in the Cirque that afford astounding views but will keep your site less conspicuous and cut down on the eye pollution. The volume of cars in the trailhead will make you feel like you are looking for parking at the Super Bowl but there is so much wilderness that it absorbs the humanity quite well.

Kelsey's book is fairly exhaustive and accurate about routes for the most part. The Lander bookstores will have "Wind River Trails" by Finis Mitchell, an old Winds salty. Not much utility for climbers but it makes interesting camp reading. In the 1930s he used horses and milk pails to stock the alpine lakes in the Winds with 2.5 million trout fry.


munckee


Apr 18, 2004, 2:49 PM
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Can anyone comment further on the approaches to these areas? I've picked up the Kelsey book, but I'd like to hear more first hand. Does the approach require an ice axe/crampons at all (July-August)?


wyo_climber


Apr 18, 2004, 3:15 PM
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I'm planning a trip to the cirque this summer as well and have talked to friends in lander who have been. From the Big Sandy parking lot its approx. 9 miles in over some pretty steep terrain crossing Jackass Pass.
I have more detailed info at home, feel free to PM me.
When are you going?
What are you planning climbing?


wyo_climber


Apr 18, 2004, 3:18 PM
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No one has mentioned this yet, but try NOLS. You can get a phone number or email address from their web site, you are bound to find a friendly local that will be glad to share info. I highly recommend the Wild Iris as well.


alpinerockfiend


Apr 19, 2004, 9:41 AM
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Greg Collins published Lander Rock a year or two ago. In it, he details lots of routes in the Cirque and Deep Lake/Haystack areas. I've climbed a few routes on Haystack, and it's amazing. The topos in Lander Rock are better than those in Kelsey's book, but Kelsey's route descriptions are better. Use them together.


munckee


Jun 2, 2004, 9:26 AM
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Where in the Cirque/Deep Lake areas do people usually camp?

I've gathered that the approach to the Cirque is best from the Big Sandy trailhead, but the Kelsy book mentions that camping near Lonesome Lake isn't allowed. He mentions Arrowhead lake, but its not on his map. I don't have topos of the area yet.

Deep lake area appears that the Big Sandy trailhead is also the best access, turning south at Big Sandy Lake?


munckee


Jun 2, 2004, 12:59 PM
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Another question:

How have people found the snow pack in July? I wasn't planning to carry an ice axe or crampons into the area, but a discussion with the Pinedale ranger station has me questioning that thought. Will I be ok without? Obviously there aren't any glaciers in the area, but...


alpinerockfiend


Jun 4, 2004, 9:07 AM
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In reply to:
Deep lake area appears that the Big Sandy trailhead is also the best access, turning south at Big Sandy Lake?
That's definitely the most reasonable way to access Deep Lake. There are other ways involving sketchy doubletrack driving that cut some miles off, but they require an... intimate understanding of the wind's backcountry road systems.
In reply to:
How have people found the snow pack in July? I wasn't planning to carry an ice axe or crampons into the area, but a discussion with the Pinedale ranger station has me questioning that thought. Will I be ok without?
For 95% of the classics, you'll be fine without them by late July.


munckee


Jun 4, 2004, 11:28 AM
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In reply to:
In reply to:
Deep lake area appears that the Big Sandy trailhead is also the best access, turning south at Big Sandy Lake?
That's definitely the most reasonable way to access Deep Lake. There are other ways involving sketchy doubletrack driving that cut some miles off, but they require an... intimate understanding of the wind's backcountry road systems.
In reply to:
How have people found the snow pack in July? I wasn't planning to carry an ice axe or crampons into the area, but a discussion with the Pinedale ranger station has me questioning that thought. Will I be ok without?
For 95% of the classics, you'll be fine without them by late July.

Thanks! I appreciate the input.


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