Hikerbox Special and I attempted the Wind River High Route over 8 days in late July. The snow levels in the Winds had been much higher than usual this year, so even at the end of this trip we were walking across huge snow fields, fording roaring creeks, and generally being slowed down. So we didn't do the entire High Route, but we had a hell of a good time for 8 days.
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Here's my gear list from the Wind River Range trip, in case anyone is curious. I don't usually weigh my gear anymore, but I did for this one, since I was carrying 18 pounds of food/consumables from the start of the trip (for 8 days in the backcountry).
Wind River Gear List — 12.9 lbs base weight
Packing — 46.3 oz
Kitchen — 18.7 oz
Sleep & Shelter — 51.5 oz
Clothing carried— 34.9 oz
Electronics — 21.3 oz
Other — 33.1 oz
We still had a 20-mile day to get out at the end of the trip, although it was all on trail so that sped things up nicely. We got to see plenty of lower-elevation lakes and forests, as well as this big, open alpine meadow (Burro Flat). We also saw more of the route that we would have taken if we had stayed on the High Route-- totally snow covered. So this was a good decision.
In the end, we made it to the car at Trail Lakes by about 5:30 PM, and to Lander by dinner time. And oh, what a dinner it was!
Finishing up Blaurock Pass. It's pretty humbling to be burning the last of your fuel reserves after only ten miles or less in one day, but we were totally burned out at the top of this pass. Still, it was a good time. We got our first real views of Gannet Peak (not in this photo) and got to see just how much snow would await us. Hikerbox and I had already decided that we wouldn't be making it over any more mountains or passes on this trip, and that we'd head out to the car once we got down from this pass. I feel no shame in saying we didn't achieve our original plan. This was some hard work!
Tons of snow in the Alpine Lakes area, and a long, grueling climb up over the snow. I think I've been getting weaker every day, even as my body acclimates to the elevation. I'm just as tired after each climb as I was in the early parts of the trip. Maybe it's mostly because the climbs are harder, but my body is definitely ready to finish this trip.
Just before camp, we met Quick Ham and Recon, who were also working on the High Route. Now we were a group of 4 for the day, since Mike and I would head out early at the end of the day. Anyway, we camped overlooking an icy lake, and the pass that all four of us had decided was way too crazy to try. In the morning, a lovely sunrise before hitting the road.
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