How to spend a week in the Winds

Nick

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Aug 9, 2007
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This August, I intend to take a full week and go to the Winds. I'm not necessarily trying to smash out miles, that's not my thing. But I do want to maximize my time spent. It's not often I take a WHOLE week off and go do something. So I'm trying to think of the optimal way to spend my week. Technically we'll have 9 days away from work. I'd like to get home on day 8 so that gives 6-7 nights actually on the trail. I imagine the first day will be spent shuttling vehicles so not a lot of hiking but at least a bit of the way in. And the last consideration is my P.O.S. knee. I'm feeling pretty confident on a big hike like that but probably not so confident in venturing off into the trail-less areas in the Fitzgerald Wilderness. Or maybe I am, I don't know.

So with all that said, this is kind of my initial thought.


View larger map.
Any thoughts on that? I know by real thru-hiker standards that probably is moving slow, but by the standard of enjoying the trip and soaking in the scenery (with a crappy knee), am I pushing it? Should I cut out the Cirque or Knapsack Col and make it more direct? Or should I look somewhere else entirely. A big loop perhaps?
 

Dan

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Feb 24, 2012
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there is a few big days in there... my guess is you won't love them. green river to peak lake in one day is very long. wall lake to north fork lake in one day is fairly big, but not terribly tough. the stretch from north fork to shadow is pretty easy though, and it looks like you have short days there.

i'd probably consider changing it up a bit to maximize time in the alpine cirques, and make the long days when you are west of the crest, and can make miles much quicker. your shortest days appear to be in the areas i consider the most boring. unless, you are going to bounce up into bonneville basin from raid. out on the highline in that stretch, it just feels like you aren't in the big mountains anymore.
 

Nick

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Think I should do Green River Lakes to Elkhart or Boulder TH and just wind my way through the goods rather than trying to get through the less scenic stuff?
 

slc_dan

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Jun 7, 2012
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oooooooh. Keep me updated on this!

I have summers off entirely, and haven't been into the winds yet.

I also need to learn to fish.
 

Dan

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Feb 24, 2012
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Think I should do Green River Lakes to Elkhart or Boulder TH and just wind my way through the goods rather than trying to get through the less scenic stuff?
Tough to say, depends on if you value the through hike concept, or if you want to maximize fishing/photography time. You could do the route as planned with 7 nights, if you added one in between GR TH and Peak Lake. Or you could not camp in Titcomb and go straight to either Bald Mountain Basin or Wall Lake. Knapsack can vary a lot in difficulty. In July, it's snow covered and a bit easier, in August it will likely be solid ice, and be a little more tricky. So that day from Peak to Titcomb can be shorter or longer, based on that.

I highly recommend having an outfitter shuttle your car, it makes the whole thing seamless and more fun, and if you split it a couple ways it's cheaper than taking up two cars.
 

Bob

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Mar 3, 2013
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I don't think you have enough time.....unless you just want to keep truckin a lot.... I'd plan map miles of 7 per day, your actual will be closer to 9 per day. The scenery from the main trail is nice, more people, but its better if you hang close to the actual divide. Fishing is better too. We went from Sweetwater TH to Green River Lakes TH (115 miles), took us 13 days. Pretty much paralleled your route but we stayed close to the actual divide and off trail a lot. Personally the Cirque is overrated unless you are climbing, I'd skip that. I'd say I'd go but we are hitting the Bighorn Crags this year. Planning a trip next year for the Winds going South from Green River lks TH hitting crossing over to the East side at Grasshopper Glacier down to Dinwoody Creek over Blaurock Pass around to Alpine Pass over Indian Pass and out Elkhart. Reminds me .... put together the Winds slide show that I haven't done......:frantic:
 

HomerJ

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Jan 19, 2012
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I'm with Bob on the Cirque being over rated... And I'd definitely do the car shuttle like Dan suggested. I know there's an outfitter in Pinedale that will shuttle your car, my buddy had them shuttle his car when he did Elkhart to Green River Lakes.

Are you going North to South or South to North?

If it was me, I'd camp at Island Lake (views are spectacular). There's some nice places on the southwest side. Also some great places just about it on Titcomb Creek! Then day hike into Titcomb Basin. You can cut off the highline trail below the Jean Lakes and pass along the southwest side of Island Lake. This would cut out Knapsack Col and save you dropping clear down to Seneca and back up. My buddy has took this shortcut on his trip.

I've always wanted to go to Timico Lake. You could always go that way and drop down to Victor Lake.
 
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