Is there an established standard for the full Wind River Range traverse? I would guess one would start at Green River Lakes in the North and finish at either Little Sandy or in Sinks Canyon (better) on the Southeast side. A combination of the Highline and Fremont Trails seems like the most aesthetic and reasonable line. Has it been done for time?
Post by jeremyhumphrey on Sept 29, 2010 14:33:02 GMT -5
Thanks Jim for the nice read.
The Climbing/Hiking Guidebook for the Winds by Joe Kelsey (second ed. 1994, page 16) says that if you use the Highline and Fremont, then it is 64 miles from Green River Lakes to Big Sandy Opening (72 miles if you use the Highline exclusively). I had always heard it was over 100 miles to cross the Winds. That is why I assumed the route had to keep going to Little Sandy or Sinks Canyon.
My new Beartooth Publishing map of the range shows distances at all trail junctions from Green River Lakes to Big Sandy adding to 65.2 miles. A possible route crosses Washakie Pass and onto the Lizark head Trail, past the Cirque of the Towers, onto the Middle Fork Trail ending at Sinks Canyon. That totals 94.4 miles. How are people doing over 100 miles?
Good sleuthing. I too had always assumed the Winds were about 100 miles across. Stubborn legend now gives way to GPS fact! At the time, no one was linking stuff in a day or two, plus mileages and signs were vague. I remember getting lost and we had one crummy map. The mileage you suggest makes sense, given our time and the overnight gear. Doing it in a single push without bivy stuff would be a scream, given the new nav gear, clothing & nutrition. I'd certainly be up for doing it again. I haven't forgotten the mosquitoes, however. Ending in Sinks would be awesome if you wanted to do it in 2 very long days. I would think that 3 days would be splendid and allow for more sleep & rest in camp with less overall suffering. Thoughts?
Post by jeremyhumphrey on Oct 8, 2010 10:33:57 GMT -5
Some more sleuthing in the Kelsey climbing guide reveals a shorter but obscure route over Texas Pass straight into the Cirque of the Towers. I would guess 90 miles total. 3 days sounds like a big load to carry and some bad bivies. From my nice warm house in Idaho, on my couch with a blanket, I think it will go in a single push, maybe a short nap with a foil space bag, carry a single 20oz bottle to dip, and bring some turkey sandwhiches. 30 hours max. Sounds easy, right?
I just noticed this thread. Ty Draney did a route from Green Lakes to Big Sandy in 2011. See report here : It isn't the fastest route possible, but that was never our intent. The best route is certainly NOT the fastest route in the Wind Rivers.
Although not the fastest, here's a slide/video show of the 10 day, 180 mile loop of the Wind River (Big Sandy to Green River and back)we did in Sept 2015:http://prezi.com/wzfut1t78e58/?utm_campaign=share&utm_medium=copy&rc=ex0share
Hope you enjoy it as much as we had making it! Write me for details (ecojoy at gmail dot com)
My friend Ryan Burke and I did the Wind River High Route in 63 hours with two 6-7hr bivy naps, running a good portion of it. We went from Big Sandy to Green River TH. Might try to add on an extra twenty miles next year and go solo.