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Wind River Range Trip Timing?
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By Optimistic
From New Paltz
Apr 26, 2012
Starting to think about a (first) trip to the Winds sometime this summer. Anyone have any thoughts on whether early August or late August/early September would be the better time to go? Has it been as minimal a snow year out there as it has been back East?

Also, recommended routes from 3rd class to easy 5.10 outside of the Cirque of the Towers would be most welcome. The Cirque looks totally great, obviously, but it sounds like there are a lot of really good objectives which see a lot less traffic, which is a good way to be in the mountains.

Cheers,
David

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By Tzilla Rapdrilla
Apr 26, 2012
August = good, July = mosquitos. Earlier in August is probably better, I've been snowed out of Titcomb twice in late August & went up to the Ambush/Midsummer Dome area in September and it was maybe 40 degrees during the day and 20 at night = had to climb in direct sun. Have a great time!!

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By jon jugenheimer
From Madison
Apr 26, 2012
hi
Deep Lake is SUPER AWESOME! Grab the guidebook that was printed a few years back. I have been in there in Aug and didn't have any bug/weather/snow issues, and I have been there same time-different year and it rained/snowed on us every day for a week straight, but I think it can be a crap shoot every year with exactly the timing that you choose. I would plan go in Aug or the first 1/2 of Sept though.

routes; SW ridge of Lost Temple spire-super fun!
lots on Haystack, RR tracks, 3rd class N. Face and others I can't remember.

It is also quick to get to from the TH, so if the weather/bugs suck you can walk out and go to the Tetons, Northern Winds, or Lander..

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By dan zika
From jax wy
Apr 26, 2012
tower fever <br />
almost every peak in the has a scramble up the backside, The place is huge peak bagging endless Joes guide to the winds is awesome. Also read up on Finniss Mitchell He stocked all the lakes back in the day & scrambled up many peaks. Sorry, Any way try to hike in one entrance
& out another leave a car the place is so big back tracking sucks. Oh check out gannet it is mighty

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By Doug Hemken
Administrator
Apr 26, 2012
On Everleigh Club Crack.  Photo by Burt Lindquist.
In the early season the key is to get above snow line (aka mosquito line) as quickly as possible.

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By Charles Vernon
From Tucson, AZ
Apr 26, 2012
For awesome, obscure routes go do Symbiosis (10-) and Golden Dihedral (9) in the South Pass area. Symbiosis is the best route I've done in the Winds and we never saw anyone else out there. Approach is not bad, about the same as to the Cirque. I think there are a fair number of new routes out there now as well.

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By Dave Schultz
From Saratoga Springs, New York
Apr 26, 2012
Trap Dike
I am planning more of a backpacking trip in the form of a WRR Traverse, not sure if N to S or S to N. I will be with my wife and dog and we will going at a super leisurely pace. We will be starting on the 12th and finishing on the 21st. I was going to try and get some climbs in at Titcomb Basin along the way, but we might just be passing through instead. I would recommend looking in that area for some incredible, long, moderate routes.

Dave

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By Optimistic
From New Paltz
Apr 29, 2012
Thanks to everyone for the info and recommendations. Very psyched to get out there and check out some of these awesome routes!

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By lucander
From Stone Ridge, NY
Apr 29, 2012
Lucander off the GT Ledge on p. 2 of Keep on Struttin.
Don't miss the cragging on Haystack, including Central Corner, a 6-ish pitch 5.9 put up by Gunks climber Elaine Matthews. Also of interest are the Major and Minor Dihedrals, never got around to them because a 2 day snow & sleet storm (mid-August) chased us out.

D. Lucander

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By willeslinger
From Golden, Colorado
May 15, 2012
I was pretty bummed when they didn't greenlight my "Bourne Identity" style reboot of The Eiger Sanction. This was from the rough draft's first act.
I agree, July = mosquitoes like an old testament plague

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By Optimistic
From New Paltz
May 15, 2012
Does anyone know how the amount of snow in a given year affects the mosquito amount and timing, and what kind of a snow year this year has been?

I.e. (a guess) a light snow year=early snowmelt=not much water=fewer, earlier mosquitos?

Info on how the snow has been this year would be handy in any case, if anyone has it...

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By Tzilla Rapdrilla
May 15, 2012
The skeeter season probably be earlier this year since there's a lot less snow.

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By Arlo F Niederer
From Fort Collins, CO
May 15, 2012
Hi everyone.

Snowpack in the Winds is only 45% of normal, headed for a record.

Here's a link.

county10.com/2012/04/30/wind-r...

I grew up in SW Wyoming and I've been climbing in the Winds since 1973 so I have lots of experience with the conditions in the Winds.

On normal snow years, there is so much snow it is difficult to get into places like Cirque of the Towers until the middle of July. This year reminds me of a few years back when the snowpack was really low, and it was possible to easily get into the Cirque BEFORE the fourth of July.

Obviously, the worst years for mosquitoes are high snowfall years, and especially if there is snowfall in May and June (last year (2010-2011) a prime example of this). So far it's been relatively dry. But even in dry years, I've had a snowfall that led to quite a crop of mosquitoes a few days later.

This year, the number of mosquitoes should be minimal in late August/early September. But the probability of a good snowstorm which ices the peaks up for 4-6 days goes up significantly. On September 8, 2010, we were iced out of Deep lake by such a storm. Also, nights get chilly after the middle of August...down in the 40's or lower.

A few years back they had some serious fires by New Fork Lake and closed some entrances down. If it stays dry this could be a problem...the fires always seem to get going in mid-July, this year could be bad for fires if the current weather pattern doesn't change.

This year, I'd recommend the first two weeks of August.

Also, the mosquito situation depends on what entrance you go in. The Scab creek entrance can have horrendous mosquitoes. Big Sandy and Elkheart park not as bad.

I agree with the recommendation for Deep Lake if you don't want to do the Cirque. Closer, no killer pass, less people (although getting more crowded). Routes...on Haystack: Minor Dihedral (5.9), Twin Cracks (5.8), Central Corner (5.9), South Ridge (5.6),Steeple: N. Ridge (5.8), East Temple: several good routes in the 5.10 range.

If you go in late August, Cirque will not be that crowded...definately see a tick-down in climbers once everyone heads back to college. Needless to say, lots of classic stuff in the Cirque. If you do the Cirque, don't camp at Lonesome Lake, camp up higher in the cirque by Pingora...

Good luck planning your trip!

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By Optimistic
From New Paltz
May 15, 2012
Great beta Arlo! Thanks for such a detailed reply!

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By Bryan Feinstein
From Jackson, WY
May 15, 2012
Black Ice Couloir
I've flown over the Winds a few times in the past couple of weeks, and the snow levels are indeed much lower than normal and receding very quickly.

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By Optimistic
From New Paltz
May 17, 2012
Getting a little OT on my own T, but wondering about what rope(s) to bring for the Winds. My most likely approach based on what I've read would be to bring my 60m doubles and leave the single 70 at home. Seems like there are a whole lotta descents that want 2 ropes.

But another system has crossed my mind recently. A big part of me thinks this system is gearhead overthink nonsense, but it would be: bring a single 70 to link easy pitches. Carry a 7.7mm x 70 tag line for raps. Combine the simplicity of climbing with a single with the rap capacity of doubles?

Thoughts?

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By Cor
May 17, 2012
black nasty
two ropes, how ever you pick them.

i do like the "doubles" setup.(8.5mils)
during one trip (1st route of the trip)
we damaged a rope from rock fall during a rappel.
it was ok though, b/c we had two lead lines.

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By Charles Vernon
From Tucson, AZ
May 17, 2012
I think doubles are great especially when you get to the more obscure routes. The Winds are subject to frequent bad weather and lack fixed anchors, so it's good to take the possibility of having to bail into account. And doubles save weight over the standard lead line/tag line set-up.

Doubles saved our asses on an obscure route there some years ago.

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By Arlo F Niederer
From Fort Collins, CO
May 20, 2012
Most of my climbs in the Winds have been done with a lead line (10.3 or 11mm), with an 8 mm tag line for rappelling.

However, when I lived in Australia I learned how to lead with a double rope. Now, it's my preferred rope setup in the Tetons and Wind Rivers.

Both work well. Weight wise, my 2 60m x 8.5mm doubles only weigh one pound more than a 10.5. So, since you have to pack stuff in, weight is an important consideration, but being able to rappel a full rope length is essential in the Winds.

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By stephen arsenault
Jul 29, 2012
I just stumbled onto this thread surfing the web. You may already be off on your trip. I'm heading out to the Winds next week from Boston.

I would recommend the East Fork Valley as a destination. I've been in there at least 10 times in over a 40 year period, and have also visited the Cirque of the Towers and other places. The Ambush Peak area is still my favorite spot.

The Golden Dihedral seems to be popular; however, many climbers seem
to go too far right near the top, which gets you into loose rock.
There is a 5.10 route "Bouchard/Arsenault, just left of the Golden Dihedral, which is harder, but less traveled. I did it last summer with Jim Donini, and he felt it was 5.10D.
There is a 16 pitch 5.10, on the main face of Ambush, ( see topo on Mountain Project).

I tend to promote this area as I did the 1st ascent of these routes with various partners. Hope you get a chance to visit this place.

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