Indian Pass Question (Wind Rivers)

Mike K

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Planning a last second trip to the Winds. Leaving Tuesday after work, back Sunday or Monday. If you're interested in coming, let me know. :)

Part of our route includes going over Indian Pass. Anyone have info on the conditions (general or current) going down the east side of the pass (Knife Point Glacier)? Wondering if we'll need axe/crampons or if it's straightforward. Our other option would be the "Wall Lake Pass". Anyone done that one? Thanks.
 

Nick

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We ran into people who said Knapsack Col was doable without spikes and axes but I don't know about the others. I know @Dan has done Wall/Island Pass and I don't recall hearing about it being bad but he just might not have mentioned it.
 

Dan

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Knifepoint is a significant glacier crossing. It's not like knapsack where you are on ice for a short stretch. But, it's all about your skillset, and nobody can answer that except you. I personally wouldn't do it without something to self arrest with, maybe a whippet or possibly microspikes.

Wall-Island this late in the year is a cake walk. Early July it can sometimes have a cornice, but it will be a grassy walk right now. There's a social trail the entire way.
 

Mike K

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Thanks so much for the information guys!! Looks like Wall is the way to go for us...which isn't ideal...but very good to know.
 

Mike K

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We ended up going over Alpine Lakes Pass and then Indian Pass (east to west). We used crampons and axes for Knife Point Glacier and it was straightforward. We went up right where DJ is point his trekking pole.
KnifePointGlacier.jpg
 

Bob

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How was Alpine Lk Pass ? Pics would be great.
 

Mike K

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How was Alpine Lk Pass ? Pics would be great.

The pass itself wasn't too bad. A grind for sure, but nothing too crazy. The south side had a little snow (100 ft section maybe) which my buddy walked right up in his hiking boots. I went around it too the east. Picture taken from the south side of the pass was on 8/13/2013.

alpine lakes pass.jpg

GETTING to the pass was another story. Rugged and tiring for sure.
 

Bob

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Yes... its a good rough, interesting clip over there from the falls before the lake. Lot more snow lower down when we went over. Looks like you went around the west side of the lake? Along there was a ugly snowdrift from cliffs to water we hit.....was it there?
 

Mike K

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Yes... its a good rough, interesting clip over there from the falls before the lake. Lot more snow lower down when we went over. Looks like you went around the west side of the lake? Along there was a ugly snowdrift from cliffs to water we hit.....was it there?


Ha...interesting indeed. One of the (if not the) toughest days of backpacking I've experienced. We went from Snowbridge Lake to Indian Basin with fairly heavy packs in one day. Yes, we went left (west) of the upper lake. No snow along there. That would have sucked! I imagine a lot more snow earlier in the year or in heavier snow years. When did you go?
 

Bob

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DSC03153.JPG
DSC03146.JPG
From Snowbridge Lk......that is tough, haven't been though there, but looked at it from up by the Fortress. The bad drift is on the upper west of the lower Alpine lake. You came via Valley of Death then.
I shoulda tagged along in Aug.....had to cancel my Idaho trip at last minute. Trying to work another one up later in Sept if weather holds.

First pic is the Ugly snowdrift, second pic is Alpine Pass, way more snow:
 

Bob

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Ya, was the last week in August 2009.
 
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