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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Moose, Iowa
    Posts
    4,932

    TR: Wind River/Titcomb/Fremont Family Backpack

    We did a 6 day, five night trip to Titcomb Basin out of the Elkhart Lake trailhead the second week of August. It was fun and the first full on backpacking trip we have done in years. Wife and myself, my stepson who was almost 15, and my 7 year old daughter. We planned for months and endlessly chose and sorted gear, weighed everything, sprayed our clothes with permethrin.

    I used my 6D with an old Canon 24 mm prime that I picked up used on Ebay for $160. Old version...no IS or USM...but it worked fine and it is really light. I took 300+ pictures and I put most of them up on my FB but I'll just give a few of the highlights here.

    We were THAT family with a bunch of shiny new gear. REI 4 man backpacking tent. Western Mountaineering summer bags. New Osprey packs. Ursack bear bags. Brooks Mountaineering 10x10 Tarp. All of it worked and we were light enough to enjoy the trip but had enough stuff to keep everyone warm, dry, and happy.

    Coffee. We debated endlessly about the coffee and even bought an aeropress a few months ago (as discussed here), but in the end the choice was clear. Starbucks Via's. They worked fine. We brought 8 oz GSI thermomugs and had hot coffee all day, every day. I don't regret bringing the extra weight of the mugs. To be clear, we would have brought the aeropress but packing out the wet used coffee grounds was not going to happen on a 6 day trip.

    We did all of our own food. This took some time but it was fun and the whole family helped out. We used the books that came with our 5 tray Excalibur Dehydrator and the old school bible: Backpackers Gourmet in addition to the more complicated but also more modern Recipes for Adventure. All the meals were terrific.

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    Night one was car camping. We lucked out and scored the last campsight at the Trails End campground right at the Elkhart Park Trailhead.

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    Natures balance beam for our little gymnast.

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    Day 1 We were off!

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    Photographers Point was the point at which we lost all but the hardiest day hikers. Great view but so much smoke.

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    Hobbs Lake

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    We camped near but not on Hobbs Lake night one. I think it was 7.9 miles from the car. Sage did some crying on the uphills but overall it was a good day of hiking.

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    Day 2 Hike from near Hobbs Lake to Indian Basin

    Stepson looking up at the mountains that were our destination.

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    Seneca Lake!

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    Snow on the trail and first view of Island Lake

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    Leaving Island Lake and heading off trail to Indian Basin

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    We found Lake 10,794 using Nancy Pallister's Beyond Trails In The Wind River Mountains of Wyoming. A rough guide to getting around. She omits plenty of details on purpose to keep it fun.

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    We found and set up camp in the shores of Lake 10,813 under Elephant Head mountain in the background.

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    Shrimp dinner which was a modification of the Seafood Raminara recipe in Recipes for Adventure. We used whole wheat noodles. Damned good. The shrimp was a little chewy. Next time I think we package the shrimp separately and soak it for a little longer than the rest of the meal.

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    Strawberry desert also from the same book.

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    Day 3

    It rained that night but cleared in the morning and my stepson and I rolled our of bed so early it hurt and decided to make an attempt on 13, 745 Fremont Peak, the third highest mountain in Wyoming.

    Our cold walk through a snowy, wet Indian Basin.

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    Good view of the approach from closer. You can see the large snowfield that we would use to the ridge.

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    Stepson with Titcomb Basin below him.

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    The point. Everyone is doing it.

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    We started to get worried about the weather.

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    We made it about 10 minutes above this point on Fremont and because of the building clouds we made the decision together that we were moving to slowly to summit needed to turn around. I think it was about 10 am. Unfortunately when I went to take a picture of our high water mark I realilzed that I had left my camera at a resting point! The mountain is huge and it seemed like I might have lost my camera for good but Addison stayed calm and found it during our search as we descended! I was so happy I had Addison (the finder) take my picture...so much relief. Sadly the sky started hailing and booming shortly after this picture was taken and the time we lost looking for the camera from my mistake meant we were pinned above the open and exposed snowfield until the lightning passed. Luckily we just made it off the face before the hail, snow and lightning made it a dangerous place to be. Another group of 3 wasn't as worried about the rapidly deteriorating weather, kept ascending, and we heard that a bolt split them as they were spread out on face and they could feel the electricity. Scary shit.

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    Off the exposed face and above the exposed snowfield we decided to make ourselves small and hang out and wait for the storm to pass. I cursed myself for having wasted the time we needed to get down the snowfield looking for my camera but in the end the lightning was pretty sporadic and the storm was beautiful. I pulled some warm clothes out of my daypack and bundled up. My stepson sheltered a ways down from me in case we had issues with the lightning. Meanwhile Sage and Melissa were doing the same thing down in the relative safety of Indian Basin, having set out on an adventure of their own.

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    Somewhere along the line the 3 people who were above us came off the face and went down. 2.5 hours later ourselves and another solo climber finally decided it was safe to go down. It was a super fun wintery descent! I was able to glissade for some of it both on my ass on and my feet. Ski poles helped. I needed powder boards. Heaven in the midst of hell. That is what mountains are good for. 6 inches deep in some places.

    My stepson wasn't as into the glissading as I was.

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    We followed the trail as best we could back to Indian Basin. A lot of it was covered up by tracks. We were tired and I was a bit worried my wife was worried about us. Fortunately we found them with the group of three who descended before us. They were a bit wet and cold but equally happy to see us. We made our way back to camp together.

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    Wildflowers popping through the snow.

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    Back at camp the sun came out and we had a spectacular evening. I brought a water bottle with some Cedar Ridge Whiskey. That helped keep things mellow.

    Our Brooks Mountaineering Tarp kept everything super dry all week. Tough ass bomber tarp.

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    Our million dollar view of Fremont Peak from inside the warmish shelter. We will return and hopefully find the summit on a day that is a little more forgiving!

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    3,378
    Cool TR and excellent photos!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    pdx
    Posts
    7,698
    what a great family adventure!
    thx for sharing!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Western MT
    Posts
    224
    One of my favorite places. It's been years since I've been there and your post reminded me why I need to get back. Inspirational photos!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    gnArvada
    Posts
    2,638
    Rad dad!
    Beautiful country up there.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Gaperville, CO
    Posts
    1,611
    F'rad.

    Went up the same basin to Hobbs at the end of June. We were shocked to find 90% snow-covered trails. This looks much more pleasant.

    You a good parent.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    north aspect
    Posts
    32,663
    So Great!!! your daughters thumbs up is priceless
    bF
    Alpental Indigenous

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Paper St. Soap Co.
    Posts
    1,806
    Cool looking mountain range and nice work getting the family out.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    tetons
    Posts
    5,235
    that looked awesome
    skid luxury

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Posts
    139
    Great TR. Spent over a month in the Winds in 89. Did Fremont, those photos bring back memories. Also went over Jackass Pass to Cirque of the Towers. Special place.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    It's Full of Stars....
    Posts
    1,568
    Really cool, great job and great pics....
    What we have here is an intelligence failure. You may be familiar with staring directly at that when shaving. .
    -Ottime

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    PNW
    Posts
    2,668
    Quote Originally Posted by flowing alpy View Post
    So Great!!! your daughters thumbs up is priceless
    x2

    Nice work, that range is great. Beartooths plus a thousand feet of alpine, sorta. Need to get back!
    Last edited by Norseman; 08-31-2017 at 11:54 PM.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Moose, Iowa
    Posts
    4,932
    Quote Originally Posted by doebedoe View Post
    F'rad.

    Went up the same basin to Hobbs at the end of June. We were shocked to find 90% snow-covered trails. This looks much more pleasant.

    You a good parent.
    Yeah I imagine. Even walking down the hill to Island Lake it was a snowfield on the way in on Monday but with all the rain it was melted out on the way out. Indian Basin and Titcomb Basin were both really saturated. You could tell they had just melted out. It was a miracle finding somewhere to put up the tent that was dry and stayed dry in Titcomb. The next morning I walked all over on squishy ground but not under the tent!

    I have more text to go with the last photos and I wish all the photos showed up but I'm kind of over the TR thingy at the moment...the photos that are here tell the story for the most part anyway and there is no room to go back and edit that post....it stormed like hell the night we got to Titcomb Basin...like all evening and all night. It made Thursday morning that much more special.

    If anyone wants to see all of the pics (268) I made the album public on my FB.

    https://www.facebook.com/nateclow/po...14799841173251

    And thanks for the props everyone!
    Last edited by uglymoney; 09-01-2017 at 12:37 PM.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Ventura Highway in the Sunshine
    Posts
    19,730
    Sweet TR and family trip. I've never been to the Wind's, and really need to get there.

    I agree it is a constitutional right for Americans to be assholes...its just too bad that so many take the opportunity...
    iscariot

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Moose, Iowa
    Posts
    4,932
    Pulled a couple off the point and shoot. Can I go back?!

    Cooking in some weather. Nice to have a waterproof camera along.

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    My stepson playing around with the settings. Kinda cool. We rode out a hellish night of weather in that spot. The pad around the tent was the only dry spot anywhere the next day. Everything was soaked except our stuff. We were amazed.

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    Last edited by uglymoney; 09-19-2017 at 11:59 PM.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    9 miles from the Bird/Idaho
    Posts
    454
    Sweet TR!

    Sounds like you just missed the eclipse shitshow up there. I was up there for it. Imagine that place with hundreds and hundreds of people there. It was like backcountry Burningman except without dumbfucks running into fires. Still fun tho.
    Hunting kicks ass.
    Chicks dig Labs.
    I'll keep my job, my money and my guns and you can keep the change.
    From my cold dead hands.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Moose, Iowa
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    4,932
    Quote Originally Posted by thebirdhunter View Post
    Sweet TR!

    Sounds like you just missed the eclipse shitshow up there. I was up there for it. Imagine that place with hundreds and hundreds of people there. It was like backcountry Burningman except without dumbfucks running into fires. Still fun tho.
    Thanks and yep. As cool as the eclipse thing would have been on a different trip at a different time with different objectives I was thrilled that we missed it. I think with the late melt out it was crowded enough on the main trail to Island Lake. Above Island or anywhere off the main trail people were pretty scarce. I heard they had to close the parking lot at Elkhart a couple days before the eclipse.

    Sent from my SM-G900R4 using Tapatalk

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