Caches in the Winds?


Original Post
Petsfed · · Laramie, WY · Joined Mar 2002 · Points: 875

I'm trying to plan an 9-10 day trip to the winds, both climbing and backpacking. One way I've considered to lengyehn the trip is to cache the climbing gear in the cirque (or wherever we climb) and pick it up on the way out.

Is this done? If so, any advice on how to make it work? If noy, are there ways to cut my load down that don't involve $500 for a horsepacker, or schlepping 20 extra pounds for 7 days of *not* climbing?

Norm Larson · · Wilson, Wy. · Joined Jan 2008 · Points: 5

hang it in a tree with a note somewhere off the main route.

mark felber · · Wheat Ridge, CO · Joined Jul 2005 · Points: 28

This is done, but it's illegal in wilderness areas. You might want to check your maps carefully and figure out exactly where you can legally cache anything. I'm pretty sure the Cirque is a wilderness area for regulatory purposes, and it's so heavily travelled that it might be difficult to hide anything for long.

If I had 9-10 days to spend in the Winds, I would try to plan an itinerary that moved from one climbing objective to another, so that the trip consisted of a mix of climbing days, hiking days and a rest day or two.

There is a company in Lander that will rent you a pair of llamas for your trip, but that will cost a lot more than $500.

rgold · · Poughkeepsie, NY · Joined Feb 2008 · Points: 40

I did this many many years ago, leaving a semi-permanent piton cache in the Deep Lake area, in a nondescript place away from any of the ordinary camping spots. (I had no idea that it might be illegal to do that). The pitons were multiple-bagged to keep moisture out and buried under some rocks. It usually took me an hour or two to find them each year, but nowadays with accurate GPS devices I suspect that time would be cut to minutes.

Petsfed · · Laramie, WY · Joined Mar 2002 · Points: 875

We're also considering splitting the trip into two pieces: backpack earlier in the season, then take a second 3-5 day trip later just for climbing.

The main issue is that a mixed trip limits where you can go. I can go a lot farther in a day with a 30-40 lb load than a 60-70lb load, so trying to climb and backpack for 8 days means just not going very far.

mark felber · · Wheat Ridge, CO · Joined Jul 2005 · Points: 28
rgold wrote:I did this many many years ago, leaving a semi-permanent piton cache in the Deep Lake area, in a nondescript place away from any of the ordinary camping spots. (I had no idea that it might be illegal to do that). The pitons were multiple-bagged to keep moisture out and buried under some rocks. It usually took me an hour or two to find them each year, but nowadays with accurate GPS devices I suspect that time would be cut to minutes.
I'm told that people still do this in parts of the Winds, rules and regulations notwithstanding. I don't know when the rule was made. The Winds have become much more crowded over the years, and the USFS has been trying to manage the human impact as much as they can.

OP: Considering the time and effort it would take to cache gear for a one shot trip, your idea of splitting the trip into two pieces makes a fair bit of sense.
Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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