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powdherb

[TR] TR: Wind River Range, WY - The Steeple, III

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Trip: TR: Wind River Range, WY - The Steeple, III 5.8

 

Date: 7/6/2008

 

Trip Report:

After considering the high probability of failure of climbing and skiing the Grand as well as certain death on Pingora, Drew Tabke and I set our sights on the NW Ridge of Steeple mountain. But first, we got lost.

 

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Steeple mountain is part of the Wind River Range located in Western Wyoming. It is precisely in the middle of nowhere. After driving for hours on dirt roads, and disturbing the mellow vibe of the 5000 -person attended hippie fest at Big Sandy, we set off up for Deep Creek Lake, or Deep Lake, or whatever. We had no food, water, nor sufficient climbing gear.

 

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Drew checking the route. Left skyline.

 

 

 

We arrived at camp at about 10,300 feet with an awesome view of the surrounding cirque which included Lost Temple Peak, East Temple, and the mighty Haystack mountain. The granite here is simply phenomenal.

 

The cirque surrounding camp. DSC_1110.jpg

 

Haystack.

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Warbonnet!

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The route again.

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Warnbonnet with Pingora and Wolf's head. Fuck.

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Morning. I'll take some of this for breakfast.

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The climb was a playground of all features. After a longer-than-expected scramble the ridge, we were treated with views east and a impressive N. ridge. The first pitch was an awesome 5.8 140 ft finger and hand crack. Other highlights included a nice 4th class scramble mid-route followed by a retardedly airy step into the massive great chimney. The chimney is huge and is actually a tunnel that spits you out on the S. side of the mountain. It's simply smashing. As you come out the other side, the last lead is either a long 5.8 hand crack or a very complex but very interesting and fun, spiral staircase toppled slab that tops out in an interesting but fun 15 foot 5.8+ finger crack step. The deproach is cool. It can all be done with a 60m rope (we had a single 8.something) and is 3 nice anchors followed by a complex but cairned but grassy ledge system with some scary slopey moves.

 

Approaching the first pitch.

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Yeah. It's rad here.

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The cool mid-climb 4th class section.

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The insane chimney that spits into oblivion.

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1st Rap.

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2nd Rap.

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Zen maze.

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After the climb we walked out and were followed by a massive thunderstorm and a disgusting swarm of 10,000,000 mosquitos. 12 hours from camp back to car. (approx 16 miles?) Killer climb. Highly recommended.

 

 

 

 

DSC_1228.jpg

 

 

 

 

Gear Notes:

Bug spray. Codeine. Small rack.

 

Approach Notes:

Bug spray. Codeine. Coors.

Edited by powdherb

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Wow! Any problems with mosquitoes and the mega-mid? We're headed there in August and can't decide on the tent. Also any special gear other than the usual alpine rock rack?

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Nice one, Davide. Reminds me I need to get back in there. Thanks for the pretty pictures.

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We camped high. I'm assuming a cold spring (we experienced freezing temps at 10,300ft) kept the mosquitos out of the area we camped, which was really nice. We both slept in the open. I would suggest a tent for later in the season. The megamid was a great storm shelter. Much lower than our camp <10,000, the mosquitos would have picked your bones dry by morning. They were So. Damn. Bad. We ran the whole way back.

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Man, I sure miss the Winds. I used to go there every year when I lived in Utah. Thanks for the pics, brings back some great memories. I think I will dig out the slide projector and re-visit there soon.

 

 

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Wow! Any problems with mosquitoes and the mega-mid? We're headed there in August and can't decide on the tent. Also any special gear other than the usual alpine rock rack?

 

Was in the Cirque of the Towers in early August a few years ago. I would have needed a blood transfusion if we hadn't brought a standard tent. Despite the mosquitoes near camp (not on the peaks), this was the best alpine climbing I've ever experienced.

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I always liked going in early September, just before hunting season opened. You may get some winter weather but never any crowds or bugs that time of year.

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yeah, I miss the winds too! Thanks for the memories...still waiting for my copies of pics from the trip almost 10years ago (and I made him my best-man...):rolleyes:

 

anyrate, couple Q's...

 

Didn't gather from scanning photos but did you climb a pitch through a tunnel on the Steeple?

 

if not, is that feature on the Steeple or am I confusing another formation with this one?

Thanks

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Beautiful pic's & great TR! Always wondered about that formation while hiking by on the trail.

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Thank god the tales of the mosquitoes (and the relative remoteness) keep the crowds at bay. Can you imagine what it would be like otherwise?

 

I really need to get back there. Damn.

 

So what kind of camera set-up did you have for those pics? Also, how did you take the panoramas? Cropped pics from afar/really small lens? Are they stitched? If so, what software/camera did you use? I dont see any stitch lines.

 

Thanks!

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AMAZING pics. Brought me back to that amazing place. Too bad about the bugs - I was there in early Sept and there were none.

...why "certain death" on Pingora?

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