Wind River High Route July 2017

LarryBoy

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Hi everyone.
I'll be planning WRHR hike, about 80 miles, for the summer 2017 and wanted to check if there is someone who would like to hike it as well.

80 miles can be done in 1 week from what I've read, so it looks very promising.

Here's a great guide
http://www.adventurealan.com/wind-river-high-route-guide/

cheers

Peter

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If I can offer some advice, deviate from the stated route at Middle Fork Lake. Go up over Photo Pass, and work your way up to the Divide right by Europe Peak. Cruise the ridgeline from Europe Peak all the way to Hay Pass.
 

muir_mountain

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I'll be doing an even longer traverse (about 130 miles) this summer. Best of luck to you!
 

Blake Merrell

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I have scoured over that route as well. Andrew Skurka has a pretty awesome version of this route I want to try as well. Hopefully one of these years I will be able to do it!
 

Kullaberg63

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We did it last summer. It is now well documented, and I feel, well trodden too. Still a great adventure.

Only the extended talus hopping would keep me from going solo on that route. Remember the guy with the dog who got pinned below Bloody Hell Pass and died?

7 days would be reasonable. We were out for six and felt a bit rushed at the end. The glacier portion is the 'crux', but actually pretty casual.
 

piotrek.szz

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You might have better luck finding folks to join you by starting with some shorter hikes so that all involved can feel confident in each other's suitability as trail companions. That's a big trip to head out on with anything other than a trusted crew.
in fact I was preparing slowly to do JMT, but this one is easier to manage because of the distance and time availability, I'm just looking around for someone who maybe have hiked it or wants to, like me, if I won't find a partner I'll go solo

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LarryBoy

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in fact I was preparing slowly to do JMT, but this one is easier to manage because of the distance and time availability, I'm just looking around for someone who maybe have hiked it or wants to, like me, if I won't find a partner I'll go solo

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The WRHR and the JMT are absolutely nothing alike. If you're at a crossroads between the two, definitely do the JMT. Not quite sure what previous backpacking experience you have, but the WRHR is no joke.
 

Andrew Skurka

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The WRHR and the JMT are absolutely nothing alike. If you're at a crossroads between the two, definitely do the JMT. Not quite sure what previous backpacking experience you have, but the WRHR is no joke.

This is good advice. They are nothing alike, and not substitutes. If you haven't done a long-distance trip before and have not traveled extensively off-trail, it's probably not a good route to do.
 

Andrew Skurka

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BTW, if you are planning a long trip in the Winds in July, be prepared for bugs, with insect-resistant clothing, headnet, bug dope, etc.
 

Blake Merrell

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I am planning on going mid August. so hopfully the bugs won't be so bad. but still, I have been impressed with the 3M ultrathon bug lotion. what is everyones favorite bug dope?
 

Andrew Skurka

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I am planning on going mid August. so hopfully the bugs won't be so bad. but still, I have been impressed with the 3M ultrathon bug lotion. what is everyones favorite bug dope?

Bug dope is a commodity product, IMO. So long as it contains DEET or permethrin you're in good shape. Reapply as needed.

The more exciting stuff is permethrin-treated clothing. I've been super impressed with how well this works. Even knit shirts, which normally bugs would bite through, can repel bugs if it's treated. If I'm expecting some bug pressure regularly, permethrin-treated clothing is a standard part of my kit now. The selection of clothing is still limited, but you can send off your favorite garments to Insect Shield and they will treat them for about $10. Their treatment will last much longer than the spray or wash-in treatments you can do at home.
 

Bob

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Check my 2009 Winds high traverse route of 115 miles out.....its in the resource section here on BCP.... also my trip report posted years ago...
Granted we had to revise the last half on the ground to make our pickup date. We took 13 days and had one day in the tent with heavy rain.

Some observations:
I'd go to Sweetwater...not Big Sandy.
You are pushing it in 7 days.....add a couple and slow down, Don't get into "trail running" just for. Also you can run into weather, bad weather, anytime of the year and a lot is high country.
It is a lot rougher than it appears and it is at altitude...... With 7 days you will be hiking long hours....
At photo pass you could get on the res......need a permit there. Miss some awesome lakes if you stay high...Europe Lks great cut fishing, Long lk has some huge cuts in it, lk by Medina mt has great brookie fishing, Halls has great fishing......as well as scenery.

Seems like everyone has a "high Route" now........Just my two cents .......... :sneaky:
We have plans to be there in late August hitting the NE high section...
 

Bob

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I use US Army bug dope........100% DEET..... if I use any at all.
 
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If I can offer some advice, deviate from the stated route at Middle Fork Lake. Go up over Photo Pass, and work your way up to the Divide right by Europe Peak. Cruise the ridgeline from Europe Peak all the way to Hay Pass.
Are you aware if there are there any water sources this close to the divide in September? Would you mind elaborating a bit on the route from Hay Pass to Photo Pass? How much time to expect it to take and details on the terrain could be very useful in deciding whether this option would be viable.
Thanks in advance.
 

LarryBoy

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Are you aware if there are there any water sources this close to the divide in September? Would you mind elaborating a bit on the route from Hay Pass to Photo Pass? How much time to expect it to take and details on the terrain could be very useful in deciding whether this option would be viable.
Thanks in advance.

With a username like you have, I should be asking you the questions! :geek:

That area is big, high ridgeline and you're probably not gonna find too much water while you're on the ridge. That being said, it'd be pretty foolish to camp up there anyway, so you are kind of committed to doing it in a day anyhow. Otherwise you'd have to drop several thousand feet off the ridge to camp and then climb back up.

I'm not going to provide too many breadcrumbs on an off-trail route (I think it's antithetical to the idea of "off-trail" and half the fun is mapping it yourself) but I will say that a route goes over the north side of Photo Pass and works its way up to the Divide above the Milky Lakes basin. From Europe Peak to Hay Pass a route should be obvious**.

If you're looking for more beta, I'd recommend Skurka's bundle. I planned our route before the Skurka Bundle came out. I basically planned it using Wilson/Dixon beta, Pallister's book, and random googling. A few months before we left I emailed Skurka, and he very graciously sent me a couple materials he was using to put together his Bundle. I was surprised at the similarities between his route and mine - I do think that for the most part, a workable route is self-evident the whole way, if you're focused on staying high, disregarding the trails, and shooting for amazing scenery. Not THE WRHR of course, but YOUR WRHR.

**note we literally got blown off our feet on the Divide in this segment and had to bail into the Milky Lakes Basin, where we took a forested route to Golden Lake. Europe Peak doesn't look harder than Class III (though I'd much prefer to ascend it than descend) and from there northward it looks very straightforward.
 
Last edited:

LarryBoy

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Seems like everyone has a "high Route" now........Just my two cents .......... :sneaky:
I'd echo that. I don't think that "High Route" should be a capitalized term/proper noun. How many Sierra High Routes can there be? How many Wind River High Routes? As far as I'm concerned, the number is limited only by the creativity of our imaginations. Talk of one pure and ultimate "High Route" for my taste, is too achievement-oriented.

I did an amazing route last summer with a friend. We called it the Wind River Fun Route - Fun, not high. Maximum enjoyment, not bragging rights. I got tendonitis and we had to hike the last 20 miles on trail rather than walking the Divide. It was still a Fun Route.
 
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