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mike1

Wind River ideas

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I'd like to put together a week-long trip through the Winds that would include some easy solo climbs with some epic fly fishing. I've been reading Joe Kelsey's guide and have a few ideas. Maybe something in the range of 40 - 50 mile bc traveling... Suggestions?

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Round trip or point-to-point?

 

I think a North-South traverse of the range would be pretty sweet. The north side of the winds is pretty empty, especially compared to around the Cirque, so you could have the lakes to yourself. The traverse I've been dreaming about (minus the fishing) is to start on the Glacier trail, near Dubois, hike down to Gannet Peak, tag it, go over Dinwoody Pass, cross again at Washakie pass, then tag the Cirque of the Towers and exit at Big Sandy.

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Round trip or point-to-point?

I'm thinking point to point with a couple bikes chained to some trees somewhere. Maybe trying to hitch a ride, etc. But if there's a good round trip option that would be cool.

 

Though we'll both be looking for the trout, my partner will be more focused on the fly fishing, so I'm planning on soloing any climbs that were beyond grade II and/or 5th class while he chills in the back-eddies or lakes.

 

I think the fishing aspect improves on the West side near the Green Lakes area so that looks like a good route. Have you broken down the mileage?

 

Mike

 

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A few years ago, I did a trip from Lander to Green River Lakes. We started at Worthen Meadows on the East side. It was a great way to approach the Cirque. Our trip was right at 100 miles and we did it in 5.5 days. We were pretty light and were hauling ass. It was the best backpacking trip I've ever been on. Trying to carry any climbing gear on that trip would have made it too much though.

 

If you want to include some climbing, I think you could do a really cool trip from Worthen and ending at Scab Creek. This trip would let you climb in the Cirque and then fish all the great water on the west side north of Big Sandy (I left Wyoming so I can divulge some of the secrets now without fear of losing my driver's license.)

 

If you only have one car, things could get hairy on trying to get back to your car.

 

You could also do the trip as a loop from Big Sandy trailhead. I always thought that going up and over into the cirque at Jackass pass - climb some - and then continue West til you can go North up and over to Valentine Lake and down to Skull lake. Then you can fish Marm's lake, Dad's lake, mirror lake and all the water in between. Straight shot back to your car at Big Sandy then.

 

I haven't really thought about mileage, but that loop would certainly feel like 40-50 miles.

 

I've spent more time in the Winds than any other range in my life. If you want to bounce some ideas or pick my brain, hit me up.

 

Matt

 

 

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I agree with Matt here. A traverse of the range will be sweet but you would spend most of your time walking. Going in on the glacier trail would be fun but no real climbing or good fishing until you hit Gannett. Though I have never fished the Downs Fork drainage, Dinwoody lakes are average fishing. You could get to Gannett cross country by way of Ross Lakes which I have pulled some big rainbows but I will warn you that it is slow going on the North end of that valley.

 

A southern trek is probably better. Not sure what you are comfortable soloing but the N ridge of Haystack is a nice 5.6 but I only remember a couple moves at that grade and the Overhanging tower in the cirque has a fun 5.4ish route. You could go in Big Sandy to hit those and fish Black Joe on the way and I've heard people hit Deep lake for Goldens but I haven't fished it personally. You could drop into Shadow Lake after Overhang tower and head north. East fork Valley looks amazing but I've never walked through it- plenty of lakes and moderate climbs on the dome though. If you head out Scab Creek, Rainbow lake has some good sized brook trout. Most of the lower lakes around Scab will give up a few big brookies on wooly buggers. I have also heard there is good fishing on the other side of photo pass but it is on the rez and you need to get a special permit ahead of time (not too much hassle actually). I don't know that there is much climbing up that way but the hike is beautiful.

 

Keep in mind it is a long ass drive to big Sandy trailhead if you do point to point. I've seen people riding it on bikes, but they are usually covered in dust and don't look super happy. plenty popular though so you might be able to hitch a ride.

 

Also feel free to ask me more as I am the side-kick of the dynamic...delinquent? duo with Matt.

 

Erik

(I can feel the Wyomingites rattling the pitchforks after all that fishing beta so good thing I'm heading out of here soon)

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