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oldmantravels’s Flicker picture, All I want for a fantastic day hike

All I need for a great day hike
Marmot 18 liter Kompressor Plus tremendous mild stowable day pack. REI:

www.rei.com/product/811606/marmot-kompressor-plus-pack

My spouse and I each have and use REI variations of the 18 liter tremendous mild day pack, however the REI mannequin would not have the lid and the texture of this Marmot day pack. The REI Flash 18 pack will work although and prevent $20.

The Cirque of the Towers and the waterfalls on Hidden Lake Creek are extra spectacular BUT, right here at Deep Lake I discovered the place

I need to return and backpack with my spouse. I need to spend the night time right here and watch the solar set and the solar rise over this excellent excessive panorama with its razor sharp granite spires and a chilly clear alpine lake (Deep Lake) to replicate the sweetness.

The part of granite slab rock that I hiked between Clear Lake and Deep Lake was probably the most pleasing mountain climbing of this journey. Once more, I need to return.

The peaks that embrace Deep Lake are from north to south (or left to proper): Haystack Mountain [11,978′]; Steeple Peak [12,040′]; Misplaced Temple Spire and East Temple Peak [12,590′]. Trying south and a bit of bit west over the tip of Deep Lake you’ll be able to see Temple Peak [12,972′].
A hyperlink to my map displaying the place we hiked on this journey:

www.flickr.com/images/12150532@N04/7986908652/in/photostream

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Fred left our Sandy Lake base camp at a bit of earlier than 4 within the morning, mountain climbing into the Cirque of the Towers by headlamp (along with his high quality digicam gear). Fred went up over Jackass Cross into the Cirque of the Towers and remained within the space all day, following picture op after picture op.

I left our Sandy Lake base camp at about 6:30 am without having to make use of my headlamp. I noticed Fred's boot prints on the path and admired his dedication to getting up and mountain climbing by headlamp and his potential to observe the route, which with carins, you had to concentrate to, even within the daylight.

After I reached a path junction north of Arrowhead Lake I made a decision to take the climbers' cutoff over to a notch on the base of Warbonnet Peak.

From the notch I noticed the solar filling the Cirque of the Towers and warming the peaks. I might simply see Hidden Lake and the stream working down by the center of the cirque to the waterfalls I wished to go to and . The whole lot labored out properly.

I dropped right down to the waterfalls mountain climbing cross nation and conserving a heading to intercept the creek above the waterfalls. After visiting the falls (stunning and the spotlight of my mountain climbing on this journey), I contoured over to intercept the path main from the highest of Jackass Cross right down to Lonesome Lake.

I hiked south up over Jackass Cross to the 4 manner path junction I had left earlier north of Arrowhead Lake, then began down the path towards base camp at Sandy Lake.

Alongside the path I met SQ mountain climbing at a pleasant brisk straightforward tempo, coming the opposite manner. We sat beside the path and had a fantastic dialog. Climbers and different hikers got here by and joined in our discussions and the spotlight was the looks of our "canine buddy" Walter the Nice (the beagle/Aussie shepherd combine) and his three German shepherd buddies.

SQ feeling sorry for me for being unable to open the bear cannister earlier that morning, gave me one among her peanut butter and jelly "mini bagels" then headed on up the path for Jackass Cross to hitch her brother for the day and discover her personal routes.

I used to be again at base camp earlier than 1 pm, consuming lunch and preparing for a hike south to Clear and Deep Lakes.
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THE CIRQUE OF THE TOWERS Backpacking Journey: September seventh by ninth 2012
Wind River Mountain Vary – Wyoming

PREFACE:

I usually write a "story" to go together with the pictures I publish on my OLDMANTRAVELS flickr website. I can get fairly wordy and lengthy winded with these tales however the great thing about the scenario is you do not have to learn one phrase of it in case you do not need to. Simply take a look at the pictures (if you wish to).

Occasionally I’ve obtained some flip Flickr flak for my lengthy picture "tales" however, belief me, I’m adept at ignoring criticism. Ask any of my photographer mates who attempt to discuss me into utilizing a tripod and even attempt to develop into a "actual" photographer (as an alternative of a hiker who likes to snap footage).

So, it’s possible you’ll be sitting in a piece cubicle in a excessive rise workplace in L.A., wishing you have been any the place else on the earth however ideally up within the mountains with a pack in your again. Chances are you’ll sitting in a simple chair in your ranch home in Midway, Wyoming (I need to go there some day, simply to say I’ve been there) or taking a look at flickr images in your PC or browsing flickr images in your iPad in a restaurant in Midway, Oregon (I’ve been there. Cool little city).

However wherever you might be, be it Midway,Wherever or Alltheway, Someplace – I hope you get pleasure from a few of the pictures and maybe, a few of the story that goes with them. Have enjoyable.

INTRODUCTION:

Fred and I put collectively a backpacking journey into Titcomb Basin, within the Northern portion of Wyoming’s Wind River Vary for September of 2011. With Fred’s consent, my brother and a good friend of mine, accompanied us on that backpacking journey. We backpacked 27 miles over 4 days and had spectacular climate. No bugs and only a few individuals. Actually, we just about had Higher and Decrease Titcomb Lakes to ourselves.

The September 2011 Titcomb Basin backpack, was the primary time Fred and I had hiked collectively. We bought alongside nice so it was solely pure to plan a "observe up hike". In the course of the at all times lengthy, with brief days, winter or 2011-12, we exchanged emails and it turned evident that each of us longed for a return journey to the Wind River Vary. So early within the yr of 2012, we set our sights on the Cirque of the Towers, positioned within the Southern portion of the Wind River Vary. The planning started in earnest.

For our 2012 backpacking journey, we invited Fred’s sister, whom I shall name "SQ". Fred had advised me about her earlier than. He claimed that she was a superb hiker, backpacker and outdoor particular person and could be enjoyable to have on our backpacking journey. He was 100% proper.

Each Fred and SQ each work (they don’t seem to be previous residing on authorities dole like me) so we set the Cirque of the Towers backpacking journey dates for Friday 9.6.12; Saturday 9.7.12; and Sunday 9.eight.12. Weekends would possibly imply extra individuals on the paths however for good firm on a backpacking journey, that did not trouble me…so topic to a "cheap" climate forecast, these are the times we picked.

After we bought we bought inside a ten day climate forecast window of our backpacking journey and the forecast appeared good, the three of us agreed to "go for it". All of us reserved cabins on the Log Cabin Motel in Pinedale, Wyoming for Thursday night time September sixth. Our plan could be to move for the Huge Sandy path head on Friday morning – – backpacks loaded and prepared.

As a shiftless (you could possibly add lazy, cussed, and unconventional to that) retiree, who not works (my spouse nonetheless works half time), I used to be free to drive right down to the path head and return again residence, at my very own whims and predilections. Early on, my spouse and I agreed to not embrace her on this specific backpacking journey as we did not know the way "powerful or straightforward" the route up Jackass Cross (10,800′) is likely to be and it will be tough to get the best days off in September.

"THE STORY" DAY ONE: I left our residence in Japanese Washington at 4 within the morning. I had our small, previous, excessive mileage SUV full of each my backpacking gear and "street journey" gear. It had been packed and double checked, the night time earlier than.

As with every street journey or hike, the sooner I get going the higher I prefer it. I am like a child in that respect. Cannot wait.

I drove the interstate (I-90) east and at a gradual tempo. My objective was to achieve a tenting spot anyplace between Crimson Lodge, Montana and the Beartooth Cross, main into the Northeast entrance of Yellowstone Nationwide Park.

I stayed on I-90 during Spokane, Missoula, Three Forks, Bozeman, and the small city of Columbus, Montana. Right here I left the interstate and purposefully drove a freeway I had by no means traveled earlier than. I took Montana freeway 78 by Abarokee and "downtown" Roscoe to Crimson Lodge, Montana.

My plan was to camp between Crimson Lodge and Northeast entrance to Yellowstone NP, so I might journey the spectacular Beartooth Cross freeway, proper at daybreak. My spouse and I had tried to journey the move a couple of years in the past (from south to north) however it was closed so we improvised an took the scenic freeway 296 freeway to Cody, Wyoming on that journey. But it surely had been a few years since final crossing the Beartooth Cross (10,947′) and I used to be anxious to take action once more.

There was an issue and that was forest fires. Whether or not began by lightening, careless individuals, or on objective as "managed" fires as they name them, the smoke can diminish the scenic fantastic thing about an space shortly and I had pushed by a number of such wildfire smoke on this journey already.

I discovered a superb place to camp simply as darkish began to reach. I backed my previous RAV4 as much as inside a stone’s toss of the rumbling creek (Rock Creek) and slept within the mattress I had ready at the back of the previous Toyota RAV4 with 150,00zero miles on it. Breaking camp the subsequent morning would encompass crawling from the mattress within the again to the motive force’s seat and beginning the engine (adopted intently by turning the warmth to excessive and the fan to full).

"THE STORY" DAY TWO: I arrived on the summit of Beartooth Cross at daybreak. As I suspected and feared, the forest hearth smoke filtered the panorama views and at occasions irritated my eyes. Nonetheless, I loved each minute of the drive. It’s massive, spectacular nation and I saved reminding myself that forest fires have been as a lot part of the grand scheme of Mom Nature, as have been winds, rain, 4 seasons, and flowing rivers and streams.

I finished to take a couple of images at "Little Bear Lake" after which continued on by Cooke Metropolis and Silver Gate into Yellowstone. I drove slowly by Yellowstone, admiring the wildlife (bison, pronghorn, elk, deer, and sandhill cranes) and the surroundings. Dunraven Cross had a number of wildfire smoke so I did not linger there. On by Canyon Village then Lake Village exiting the park on freeway 191.

Getting into Grand Teton Nationwide Park on the venerable freeway 191 route, I made a decision to stray from conference and loop over to Jenny Lake, a spot I had not visited for a few years. So on the south finish of Jackson Lake, I took the Teton Park Street to the Jenny Lake customer middle. Plenty of individuals. The tent camp was already full so I spent some high quality time speaking to a younger woman park ranger, with a map unfold out in entrance of us, speaking about any locations I would camp that night time, that would not be full. She really useful Gros Ventre camp, so off I went.

At Moose Junction I turned again north on hwy 191 to Antelope Flats Street and headed east. I went previous the north finish of "Mormon Row" however did not take time to cease as I wished most of all to safe a campsite for the night time. I then took the paved slim two lane street south to Kelly (a small "pocket city" on the Gros Ventre River), and turned again west to the Gros Ventre campground. On the way in which I handed the south finish of the gravel street that travels the Mormon Row barns and homesteads, so I now had the lay of the land in my thoughts.

Two ladies on the campground workplace labored at discovering me a campsite for the night time that will lend itself to my objective of a quiet night time’s sleep with an early morning departure. They put me up at website #199 in Loop "D" for a modest "senior’s fee" camp payment. It turned out excellent. My solely tenting neighbor was a pleasant couple from Emmett, Idaho, who have been in a truck camper and as they stated "ready to camp till the leaves modified coloration". I appreciated that.

Having secured (posted my receipt on the campsite publish) my tenting spot for the night time, I drove the gravel street north to benefit from the a lot photographed previous buildings of Mormon Row
The locations alongside this row of farms have been constructed within the 1910s up into the early 1930s. The individuals, who lived right here have been principally the Moultons, some Chambers, Thomas Murphy and Thomas Perry. Most of the buildings are gone and all that stay at the moment are a part of the nationwide park system. The views of the Grand Teton Mountains from these previous buildings are spectacular.

After taking some smoke filtered panorama images at Mormon Row, I used to be hungry. I carried and ice chest stuffed with chilly soda pop and a well provisioned plastic tote of sandwich making materials, so I drove north as much as the Snake River Overlook (a spot my spouse and I’ve usually stopped at when driving freeway 191 by Grand Teton NP).

Right here I mounted and ate dinner, walked the rim of the Snake River and waited with others for the solar to set behind the Grand Teton vary. Now I started to understand the forest hearth smoke within the space because the sky turned vivid orange and pink behind the mountains because the solar disappeared behind them. Nicely definitely worth the wait. After the sundown scene, I drove again to my campsite, learn John Muir’s "Travels in Alaska" by LED headlamp, and fell blissfully asleep.

"THE STORY" DAY THREE: This was an uneventful, gradual paced, relaxation up, set up, and prepare for the backpacking journey day. Pleasant.

I drove the Moose Entrance to Wilson "scenic street" for the primary time. The north finish had some good "moose nation" habitat and it was an pleasing drive, however even early within the morning do not count on solitude. It’s a in style route. Postscript: I did not see a single moose alongside the MOOSE to Wilson street (which jogs my memory of a joke):

Mentioned a properly traveled younger man: "I spent a whole week on the Canary Islands and through my complete keep, I did not see one canary. I then traveled to the Virgin Islands for per week lengthy go to there as properly. And you already know what? ………………… I did not see a single canary there both.".

I stocked up on "mountain climbing meals" (scones) on the Albertson retailer in Jackson Gap, Wyoming then drove on to Hoback Junction and on to Pinedale, Wyoming. I checked into my cabin there and began organizing my backpacking gear, making sandwiches for the backpacking journey, studying, stress-free and hoping that Fred and SQ would arrive with out issues from there houses within the Boise, Idaho space.

Fred known as me by cellphone at 1:30 pm on Thursday and stated that they have been "on their manner" with an ETA of round 9:30 pm (which is about once they arrived). Fred got here to my cabin once they bought to Pinedale (SQ went on to her cabin) and the 2 of us talked in regards to the upcoming hike plans and agreed upon after we would depart Pinedale within the morning.

"THE STORY" DAY FOUR: We drove to the Subway for our final "civilization" meal for a couple of days, then headed off to the Huge Sandy trailhead. In some mountain climbing information books, they make discovering the proper turns to make as difficult and tough. We discovered fairly the opposite. There are simply two main turns to make after leaving the pavement on Wyoming freeway 353. They don’t seem to be arduous to search out. The dust roads are in nice form besides the final ten miles (whenever you make the final flip north). There it’s fairly tough in locations however the surroundings and anticipation of the prime quality mountain climbing to come back, makes it a cinch as properly.

We signed in on the path head, shouldered our backpacks and headed up the 5.5 mile path (with solely 600 ft. of elevation achieve) to Huge Sandy Lake. Fred is a powerful hiker and an expert photographer (along with his skilled "day job"). So it’s tough for him to depart a tripod, digicam physique, or lens … behind. SQ whispered to me that he was capable of go away his picket pin gap digicam behind on this hike however he took it with him on our September 2011 Titcomb Basin hike.

Fred at all times carries the most important and heaviest pack however he is aware of what he’s able to and takes the cameras, lenses, and photographic tools it takes to get the skilled outcomes he does along with his images.

SQ had the subsequent largest and heaviest pack. She too is a powerful competent hiker and backpacker and as Fred as soon as warned me "She’s going to out hike us each"…she did. So we put SQ within the lead and requested her to decelerate if she noticed us "fading" on the path.

I am the wimp. I carried the lightest load of the three of us. And right here comes the primary of a few backpacking vignettes: Main as much as our backpacking journey, Fred and I exchanged emails dithering and deliberating over tips on how to save weight to hold on our backpacking journey.
This meant all was topic to being left behind , besides digicam gear for Fred (after all).

We each determined that with the favorable climate forecast, for instance, we might go away rain pants behind. Nylon mountain climbing pant and lengthy poly prop underwear would deal with that concern for me. Then the subject got here up of "bear vaults". Each Fred and I’ve every owned one for years however NEVER has both of us used ours. Hell they weigh TWO kilos every and they’re cumbersome. Apart from, we’re actual males. We will hold our meals correctly in a bear bag over a cliff or on an sturdy tree limb. So went the pondering.

After I confirmed by telephone that bear vaults weren’t necessary within the Wind River Vary, Fred and I gleefully agreed that we would depart ours at residence. Nicely you’ve in all probability already discovered the punch line. given our scenario of "the sweetness" (SQ) mountain climbing with "the 2 beasts" (Fred and me). SQ introduced her bear vault and Fred and I shamelessly made use of the bear vault SQ packed all the way in which to Huge Sandy Lake in her giant heavy backpack.

We leap frogged a couple of backpackers on our manner as much as Huge Sandy Lake. Two ladies and their 4 pack carrying canines turned our instantaneous path favorites. We might run into one another on the backpack into Huge Sandy Lake; on the path popping out of the Cirque of the Towers on Saturday and at the least twice on our backpack out to the path head on Sunday.

The 4 blissful mountain climbing path canines have been an actual research in numerous canine personalities. Walter, was the smallest, slightest constructed canine of the 4 and clearly appreciated to steer. He was additionally probably the most affectionate to path strangers (like us) and gave the impression to be having probably the most enjoyable. He was a mutt, as many good endearing canines are and a mixture between a beagle and Australian shepherd. The opposite three have been magnificent purebred German Shepherds.

Walter was at all times "first up the path". He made mates shortly along with his lovely expression and straight ahead method. As quickly because the three German Shepherds noticed how properly Walter was being petted and scratched behind his ears…they lined up and competed for consideration.

Nearly 75% of the individuals we noticed mountain climbing out and in of Huge Sandy Lake had canines with them and I can inform you that each canine we handed was properly mannered and pleasant. They have been welcome path companions in my e book.

The three of us arrived at Huge Sandy Lake and have been impressed by each the attraction of the lake and the dramatic mountains that encompass it. It’s a really beautiful lake. I feel if any of us had hiked the Cirque of the Towers path up over Jackass Cross earlier than, and seen the obtainable "finest tent websites" within the space, we’d have continued to hike there on Friday. We had sufficient daylight. However with a wind and clouds rolling in in the mean time, we determined it will be finest to safe a superb tenting spot on the far finish of Huge Sandy Lake after which do our exploring with day hikes to the Cirque of the Towers and later to the Clear Lake & Deep Lake – East Temple Peak space – – if we had time.

That determined, we arrange our three small light-weight backpacking tents in a properly spaced row up the left financial institution of the virtually dry creek mattress of Misplaced Creek. The spacing would guarantee that SQ wouldn’t need to lose an evening’s sleep listening to 2 world class snorers (Fred and I’ve our reputations to uphold in that classification). SQ took the highest website up near the marmot’s boulder area; then Fred’s tent; then mine. All of us had high quality views of Sandy Mountain; Huge Sandy Lake; Haystack and East Temple peaks.

Our intent was to spend each Friday and Saturday nights at our Huge Sandy Lake/Misplaced Creek "base camp". Then we might spend all of our time mountain climbing our favourite trails with mild day packs (although with Fred’s digicam gear, I am fairly sure his day pack load could be near my complete backpack load in weight). That is what we did and it labored out nice.

We ate camp dinner and talked for awhile and took a few brief "reconnaissance" hikes shut by camp. We now had a really feel for the "Miller Lake/Little Sandy Lake" path; the Clear Lake/Deep Lake path; the Black Joe Lake path in addition to the path junction for the hike up previous North Lake and Arrowhead Lake, over Jackass Cross and into the spectacular Cirque of the Towers space.

All of us retired to our tents for the night time. I had introduced alongside a duplicate of the Sep+Oct 2012 Washington Trails journal for camp studying. The journal got here with membership within the Washington Trails Affiliation that was "gifted" to me by a superb mountain climbing good friend of mine, HC.

I turned on my LED headlamp and opened up the journal. There on web page three was a well-recognized identify: Andy Porter. He was listed as a "visitor contributor". He’s a flickr contact of mine and he does certainly take glorious pictures. It appeared ironic, that I had written one particular person a few waterfall location, within the Cirque space between Hidden and Lonesome Lake, and that was Andy. He was fast to ship me a Flickr electronic mail again with info that I requested. His Flickr website is: I8Seattle.

A fast aspect observe: Flickr has been a beautiful useful resource for me when researching upcoming hikes and street journeys. I actually admire individuals like Andy, who willingly share info. I at all times write to thank individuals for his or her assist. Some individuals despatched me a flickr electronic mail a few months in the past asking for tenting info for the Titcomb Basin hike and a few particular camp location questions. I wrote them offering what they requested, and by no means heard one other phrase. There are individuals which can be "takers" on the market, who assume nothing of requesting info then are too lazy (or impolite) to ship a two phrase reply again. Thanks.

Thanks Andy for the "waterfalls" data. Thanks too "HC" for the WTA membership present and the Trails journal that comes with it.

"THE STORY" DAY FIVE: Fred, the skilled photographer, wished to move up the two+ mile path over Jackass Cross earlier than daybreak, mountain climbing with a headlamp. I advised him I’d be blissful to hitch him and requested that he name for me outdoors my tent if he bought up earlier than I did.

SQ, who would not carry a digicam however as an alternative hikes to see and benefit from the surroundings, stated she would sleep in Saturday morning and begin up the path when she had one thing to eat and was good and prepared. I hope you might be beginning to get the image right here. A reliable good girl hiker and her brother and her brother’s mountain climbing good friend (me) that can not seem to wait to get going .. it doesn’t matter what.

What occurred Saturday morning? I bought up at six. I went over to Fred’s tent and stated in a pleasant robust voice "Fred, Fred…Fred". No response. I headed down the place we had positioned SQ’s Bear Vault (crammed equally along with her meals, our meals, and our camp meals rubbish). My intent was to open the bear vault and get some mountain climbing meals for my day hike up into the Cirque of the Towers.

The lid of the bear vault was iced up and take a look at as I would I could not get it open. I squeezed the lid in; wrestled with it; cursed it; however couldn’t open it. I admit to being shamed in figuring out black bear within the Adirondack Mountains has discovered to open the blasted issues..but I couldn’t.

I made a decision with my ample "fats reserve" that I might make it with out meals for my day hike over and again to the Cirque of the Towers. I threw a pair bottles of weight loss program Mt. Dew (my caffeine repair) in my pack; two small cameras (Canon G9 & G10) a couple of necessities and a coat, into my mild Marmot "day pack" and bought prepared to move out.

Then I seen that Fred’s pack wasn’t in sight. So I returned to his tent and known as his identify a couple of extra occasions then opened the rain fly of his tent to search out him gone.

I now concluded appropriately that: #1 he had left earlier than daybreak and had been unable to stir me from my sleep. AND #2 incorrectly that Fred too had been unable to open the bear vault so he too could be mountain climbing with out path meals. I believed the ice and frost on the bear vault lid proved that however I used to be fallacious. Fred (just like the black bear within the Adirondacks) did get the vault open however had left so early new coating of ice and frost had fashioned on the lid by the point I attempted it. Off I went.

It was mild sufficient for me to hike simply and not using a headlamp up the Cirque of the Towers path. It did get powerful to search out the route in a few locations although and the path was way more work that I believed it will be so it took a bit of longer than I may need guessed. I used to be simply amazed that Fred had been capable of efficiently negotiate the route at midnight, even with a superb map and headlamp, provided that not one of the three of us had ever hiked within the space.

I noticed Fred’s boot prints on the occasional dust or sand portion of the path. I simply did not know the way early he had left camp, nor how briskly or gradual he is likely to be mountain climbing, given his load of digicam gear.

I will not attempt to describe how magnificent the surroundings was on this hike and I hope a photograph or two of mine does some justice to it, however my head was continuously on swivel having fun with the ever unfolding fantastic thing about this world class mountaineering space.

After a couple of steep ups and downs within the cairn marked path, I got here to a 4 manner path intersection above Arrowhead Lake. To my left a faint path lead right down to the north finish of Arrowhead Lake. to my proper was a straight up the hill extensive, closely eroded, rock strewn path that was clearly the path to Jackass move (10,800 ft.).

Straight forward was a faint however inviting "climbers’ path" that led as much as a notched saddle, that I simply knew would have an incredible view of the Cirque, the rock faces, and the panorama because the morning solar was beginning to transfer down the rock faces. I selected to take the trail straight forward.

Coming over the crest of the saddle and looking out down beneath on the Cirque and throughout in any respect the large spires, faces, and peaks of the Cirque of the Towers was probably the most dramatic second of this journey. Fantastic. Past phrases.

Proper in the midst of the Cirque was "the waterfalls" I wished to go to and . It was proper the place Andy Porter stated it will be. I might observe the creek down from Hidden Lake (not labeled on all maps you will note of the world) after which see it because it flowed down over the falls and on into the Lonesome Lake basin.

I studied the topography of the cirque basin for awhile and picked a line of journey that will keep away from tight patches of alpine conifers and the boulder fields that may gradual my progress. I had a number of selections and I sat off on what appeared just like the "finest route" right down to the waterfalls.

The waterfalls are small however their setting makes them dramatic. Whereas on the falls I noticed a couple of rock climbers making their approach to Pingora or Wolf Head or another peak of the Cirque of the Towers, with their mountaineering gear slung throughout their shoulders.

I met a retired backpacker from Kellogg, Idaho, who was camped a methods down stream from the waterfalls. He had his binoculars out and was on the brink of watch the rock climber ply their avocation and abilities.

I contoured from the waterfalls over to intercept the path between Lonesome Lake and Jackass Cross. No signal of Fred anyplace however I simply knew wherever he was he had an enormous grin on his face and was fortunately following picture op after picture op. I knew he was in his component.

After I bought to the principle path, with out shedding any altitude, it was a brief hike up over Jackass Cross, heading south. Quietly I hoped I might hike quick sufficient to get again to camp at Huge Sandy Lake, eat one thing (I used to be decided to get into the Yogi Bear proof bear vault) then head out for a hike to a number of of the lakes down by Temple Mountain.

Between Arrowhead Lake and North Lake, on the path on my manner again to Huge Sandy Lake camp, I noticed SQ arising the path at a pleasant even brisk tempo. We hadn’t talked a lot up thus far however there’s something a few "aspect of the path" discuss, that brings out matter after matter.

When she discovered I hadn’t been capable of get into the "anyone can do it" (besides me), bear vault she began throwing meals out of her day pack, insisting that I eat one thing of hers. I did not have the guts to eat any of her treasured path chocolate however willingly ate one among her mini-bagel peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.

We talked on and on and each jiffy, hikers or climber entering into or out of the Cirque of the Towers would cease by and the dialog would broaden in matter and in variety of contributors. What enjoyable.

Then we appeared down the path and noticed a well-recognized face arising the path. It was "Walter the marvel canine" the path beagle/Australian shepherd combine, sweetheart of a canine. He appeared to acknowledge us and made a bee line over for some ear scratching and inspiring "canine discuss". He might have additionally noticed SQ’s path snacks.

A a lot repeated path ritual ensued with Walter’s massive German Shepherd companions showing on the path The second they noticed Walter getting consideration they as soon as once more lined up for his or her share. The 2 ladies, who owned the canines (by now common "path mates") got here up too and one other animated path info classes started once more. They advised me of how a lot that they had loved the granite slab rock hike between Deep and Clear Lakes, in order that nugget of knowledge lodged in my thoughts.

Lastly SQ and I headed our other ways. She headed up towards Jackass Cross (armed with my suggestion for at the least sampling the "climbers’ path" to the notch). She would discover Fred and possibly the 2 of them would spend the remainder of the day within the Cirque of the Towers space. I expressed my want to eat at camp; safe meals; after which head south from Huge Sandy Lake to hike the Clear Lake/Deep Lake slab stone route OR the whole loop if I discovered I had time (returning down the Miller Lake route).

By 1:30 pm I had efficiently opened the bear vault again at "base camp" and had an enormous lunch. I packed my day pack with extra water and my water filter and readied for a day hike towards Temple Mountain. I left an irreverent observe for Fred and SQ within the bear vault, so they’d know what time I headed out and what my meant vacation spot could be.

Extra hikers and backpackers have been now arriving at Huge Sandy Lake. That got here as no shock to me given the nice climate and it being a Saturday. What did shock me is that after I took off on the path as much as Clear Lake, I did not see one other particular person or backpacking tent, till I had hiked as much as Deep Lake and returned to Clear Lake. Then, and solely then did I run into a couple of hikers.

The hike up the granite slab rock between Clear Lake and Deep Lake was probably the most pleasing part of "path" that I’ve hiked within the Wind River Vary. I simply cherished it. The steep white granite partitions of Haystack and East Temple Mountain have been large sights.

After I checked out my mountain climbing maps the route from Clear to Deep Lake was apparent so I ignored the cairns and any trails wandering out and in of the woods and simply hiked the slab rock to my coronary heart’s content material. It was actually nice mountain climbing.

I lingered at Deep Lake to filter some water (tasted nice), and simply benefit from the excellent views. I used to be tempted to hold round or maybe hike on over to Temple Lake so I could possibly be at Deep Lake when the pink early night mild began to hit East Temple Peak. However I believed it finest to return the way in which I got here and get again to Huge Sandy Lake "base camp" in time to have a early night meal with Fred & SQ, who would seemingly be coming back from the Cirque of the Towers at across the similar time.

The climate forecast for Sunday was a 20% probability of rain, which in keeping with hikers coming in, had jumped as much as 30%. Fred and SQ had the 2 plus hour backpack out from Huge Sandy Lake to the path head to do Sunday morning; then a two plus hour drive to Pinedale; then an eight hour journey again residence to Boise – – to be prepared for work Monday morning.

When the three of us ended up collectively at our tents at our Huge Sandy Lake "base camp" all of us agreed to "sleep in" then head out collectively very first thing Sunday morning. Saturday night time was a nonetheless star crammed night time. It was a good way to complete out this backpacking journey. All of us went to sleep with our personal ideas.

"THE STORY" DAY SIX: All of us bought up the subsequent morning about the identical time. With out phrases we instantly ate one thing and began putting our tents and packing our packs. Ice had fashioned on the within of my rain fly as I had slept with the rain fly door extensive open. Nonetheless I would not have missed the night time view of the celebrities.

At eight am Sunday morning we shouldered our backpacks and headed down the mild straightforward path from Huge Sandy Lake again to our automobiles on the path head.

We talked to a number of hikers and backpackers as they have been heading in and we have been heading out. We met two older, however match trying, ladies with high quality backpacking gear, arising the path. Their accents shortly gave them away. They have been from Adelaide, Australia.

I shortly teased them in regards to the half hour time zones I had run into when working the world within the 1980s. SQ and the 2 Aussie ladies discovered some frequent matter threads and a full scale path assembly started in earnest. Fred and I slowly backed away into the shade of a small pine and watched with pleasure and amusement as the ladies adroitly shifted subjects and punctuated their dialogue with hand waving.

Then a well-recognized hiker got here working down the path towards us. Walter the marvel beagle. How humorous. Similar routine, completely different location. Now the 2 canine proudly owning ladies hikers; joined the 2 Aussie ladies; and SQ (surrounded by consideration looking for canines) and the path assembly took on a lifetime of its personal.

I circled the path assembly with my digicam attempting to catch a snapshot that will seize the essence and the spirit of the "assembly". The assembly lastly ended and off all of us went. it was a superb ending to our path encounters with different hikers and Walter will at all times have a particular place in my coronary heart and a deserved title as "Path Ambassador" and a really cute and intelligent canine.

We have been at our automobiles by 11 am and digging into our ice chests for chilly rewards for our three day backpacking and day mountain climbing efforts. We chatted and talked journey highlights on the path head then convoyed our automobiles again to the paved street. I finished to a cow and calf moose alongside the street on the way in which again to Pinedale however bumped into Fred & SQ on the Subway, the place we parted methods for the final time on this journey.

It had been a beautiful backpacking journey for me. For those who made a brief record of the qualities you’ll need in backpacking and mountain climbing companions it will in all probability embrace adjectives equivalent to: reliable, honest, courteous, thoughtful, versatile tolerant, competent, assured, sincere, blissful, versatile, match, and a few phrases like "nice angle" "self reliant" and so forth. Fred and his sister have been all of these and extra.

I’ve a sense we are going to hike collectively once more, except I get too previous too quickly to maintain up with the 2 of them. In the event that they ever swap to lighter packs, then I am already out matched. However by some means, I feel the 2 of them could be superb with mountain climbing slower as a result of that’s the form of good those that they’re. Thanks Fred. Thanks SQ.

By the way in which if in case you have not but hiked this space and are fascinated by doing so, I extremely advocate the map "Cirque of the Towers Wind River Vary" by Backpacker Journal (mytopo – a Trimble firm). Fred discovered it and being the thoughtful particular person that he’s, purchased and despatched a duplicate of the map to each me and to his sister, earlier than our backpacking journey.

Additionally: I’ve learn many backpacking "guides" and the one which hits the best steadiness for me and appears to be crammed with good and "cheap" recommendation is: Backpacker: "The Mountain climbing Gentle Handbook" (carry much less and revel in extra) by Karen Berger. I extremely advocate it.

After leaving Pinedale within the early afternoon I had a deliberate cease at Trappers Level, simply north of Pinedale off freeway 191. You may’t miss the place now as they’re placing in 1,000,000 greenback "antelope, deer, elk, and cattle" overpass proper close to the positioning.. You are taking a brief tough dust street to the highest of a hill and you’re looking down upon the place Horse Creek enters the Snake River. Right here six of the sixteen fur buying and selling "rendezvous" happened.

Trying down upon the scene it would not take a lot creativeness to time transport your ideas to the 1830s and 1840s and picture the colourful occasions that happened the place you’re looking. You may be standing the place many Native Individuals have stood, when looking at this pure massive sport hall. You may perceive why this location was chosen for the rendezvous with – – the mix of wooden, water, grazing, and bountiful sport that will have made this the "place to be" for these a few years.

You’ll share views and boot prints with mountain males like Jim Bridger (my hero); the Sublette brothers; Thomas Fitzpatrick; and Jedediah Smith (his story is a good learn).

After spending a lot time at Trappers Level, I drove the acquainted route by Bondurant, to the Hoback Junction; then down the Snake River to Alpine. From right here I purposefully took yet one more again street I had by no means earlier than pushed. I took freeway 34 by small cities like Freedom, Henry and Soda Springs. I noticed moose and pronghorn alongside the way in which and many early fall coloration.

After I arrived at Interstate 15 the "get residence" bug hit me in full and I saved with the interstates from then on, driving as much as Pocatello; then over to Burley, Twin Falls, Boise, La Grande, Pendleton and residential. I pulled into relaxation stops, picnic areas, forest camps and so forth. to catch three of 4 hours of sleep in my RAV automotive tenting mattress, then drove on sipping chilly weight loss program Pepsi and consuming peanut butter and jelly sandwiches I made alongside the way in which utilizing contemporary coarse nice tasting wheat bread I bought close to Daniel, Wyoming.

I bought again residence Monday morning. You would possibly assume I shocked my spouse by getting residence so early after leaving the path head at near midday on Sunday, however not so. She is aware of me properly and greeted me with an enormous hug and a figuring out smile. An excellent journey. I hope you get pleasure from a few of the pictures and maybe a little bit of the "story" as properly. OMT September 2012

For those who appreciated the images and the story that go together with this backpacking journey into the Cirque of the Towers in Wyoming’s Wind River Vary, it’s possible you’ll get pleasure from sampling a few of my images from a September 2011 backpacking journey into Titcomb Basin within the Northern a part of the Wind River Vary. Fred was a co-conspirator and participant on that backpacking journey in addition to this one:
www.flickr.com/images/12150532@N04/units/72157627678112546/

Credit by 12150532@N04 on 2012-09-22 19:00:42

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