Sunday, September 21, 2014

Wind River Mountains 2014 - A llama adventure.

Time for the annual trip to the mighty Wind River Mountains in Wyoming.
Love this place!  It was our 7th trip to the range, and we hit our 20th route, if memory serves me right.
50 miles of dirt to the trailhead!

This trip we returned to Deep Lake with our friend Terry Price, and his llama herd of seven.
Always fun to have the pack animals haul some serious food supplies, along with many luxury items like beers, camp chairs, coolers, dry ice…  You can't beat eating steaks on day 6 in the backcountry!
Liz, Alpamayo, & Terry.
Myself, Rufus, Alpamayo. Turner, Liz.

The weather on this trip wasn't the best, so our aspirations were tamed down a bit.  On the day in it rained, and snowed up high.  This set the stage for things, as the faces were covered.  When the sunny faces did melt down, and dry out, the cracks were still soaking wet!  North Faces still clung tight with snow, and ice hanging like daggers.
Lost Temple Spire & East Temple Peak shrouded in clouds.

Then in a few days the weather repeated itself again.  The North Faces never melted out.  Kind of a let down, as we finally brought aluminum crampons and ice axes with us.  We had hopes to check out the North Face of Temple Peak, which is guarded by steep permanent snow and ice in the middle of the mountain.  With the daggers of ice above, and the marks of impact on the steep snow below, we stayed away from our planned adventure on Temple.
Cirque of the Towers looking the same.

We did enjoy ourselves though.  Sunny days did appear, and while the cracks were still wet we figured we could get some easier routes done that had been on our long "to do list."  Not a bad way to spend my 40th birthday!
Accompanying Terry, Liz, and I is our team: Mitch, Donini, Turner, Engelbach, "Troutman"    (Left to right)   

Here is a line up of photos from some of the climbs, and views we had.  Enjoy!

Setting up camp for the week.

First day of climbing's weather was awesome.  No one wanted to go so I soloed up to the top of Haystack Mountain via the Grassy Goat Descent route.

Sunset from above camp.  Steeple is the prominent triangular spire with Deep Lake below.

Liz starting up the first pitches of Minor Dihedral on Haystack.

Turner & Troutman scoping lines.

At least the faces are dry on here!

Turner cruxing!

Troutman leading.  (We had two teams of two on this route.  Fun for photos!)

Water running, cracks are soaked!

Liz starting up the approach scrambling to the South Ridge of Haystack.

Terry on his way with wind sculpting on Deep Lake below.

Liz leading up some of the awesome terrain.
Steeple and East Temple Peak in the background.

I choose to give this route a onsite solo.

But I still helped Terry re-rack!

Oh no!  The clouds are building!  What you can't see though is that the wind was howling so hard we wore all our layers that day.  Had to hold on extra tight sometimes.

Summit.  With a reward of course.

Steeple. Lost Temple Spire, and East Temple Peak.

Temple Peak in the back left.

Deep Lake and the Cirque of Towers in background.

Warbonnet in the shade, and Wolfshead/Pingora catching some sun.

Donini & Troutman preparing  dinner for the evening.

Looking down on the top of the Lost Temple Spire, and Haystack (You can see the South Ridge we climbed on Haystack) from the top of East Temple Peak.  

Another cold, windy day, with a summit reward!

Liz on the summit with the Cirque in the distant background.

The man, El Llamero Vagabundo!  Thanks Terry for another fun trip together.

Sunset at Deep Lake looking towards the Cirque.

Thanks for looking!  Here is a short 30sec. time lapse I made with a GoPro on a tripod at sunset one evening hanging out at camp.  Colors were not great that night, so I enhanced for viewing pleasure…

After returning home, the annual block party happened, along with some more Birthday celebrations.
What a great way to turn 40!

In front of our house.   Fun times had by many folks!

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