Trip Report
A Wind River Range Climbing Story
Sunday June 30, 2013 7:29pm
An old teacher of mine once said that an adventure is only an adventure if there is, along with the chance of success, an equal or greater risk of epic failure.

An old grandmother of mine once told me that laughter is the key to a long life.

This is a story about an adventure with a great friend in the Wind River Range.

Enter Gavi: long-time outdoorswoman, equal opportunity climber of all rock types, will never pass up a good nut placement, loves the feeling of sun shining on rarely exposed skin, ignorer of time, serious foodie, professional toy-designer, now with a flexible lifestyle allowing her to live and work in climbing areas throughout the Western United States. Currently in Boulder.

Gavi
Gavi
Credit: clippinalong

Enter Anne: granite lover, fledgling doctor, buckled in for years of residency ahead, but busting out of the Bay Area in spurts for crack fixes, doesn’t call a climbing day complete if no blood has been shed, finds efficiency to be orgasmic, and loves how being fully immersed in glacially cold water makes it hard to breathe.

Anne
Anne
Credit: clippinalong

Enter Cirque of Towers: sharp granite peaks in semi-circle shape around Lonesome Lake, many spires over 12,000 feet, but defined by the striking Pingora, with climbing routes galore, steep approaches on 3rd and 4th class “ledges,” fragile descents, faces dappled with thousands of slings, some with this season’s color, others merely the faded and fringed remains of bails of years past, swarmed by mosquitos, and guarded by 50 miles of dirt roads in southwest Wyoming and a 9-mile trail approach crossing Jackass Pass.

View of the Cirque from Jackass Pass
View of the Cirque from Jackass Pass
Credit: clippinalong

Enter Gear: 6 days of food, mostly and mistakenly in bar form, a tent, a stove, down coats, a deck of cards, a set of nuts, double set of cams from small to #3, a #4 for good luck, and a 70 m rope, all kinds of other sh#t, but not enough toilet paper, toothpaste, sunscreen, or corn nuts.

Act One: Getting There

Gavi picked me up at the airport in Denver, and we drove straight to downtown Boulder for some gluten-free vegetarian meatloaf and some organic handmade local grass-fed frozen yogurt. We stuck around for the night, but only so we could have the experience of spending 4 bucks on a cup of chemex-brewed coffee (google it) on our way out of town in the morning.

The drive took 8 hours with a few pit-stops along the way. A very informative news article on the bathroom wall at one establishment featured Sandy the horse, who had been hospitalized with a rattlesnake bite to the nose. We also saw a statue of Abe Lincoln, many historically significant trees, and a lot of cows.

It was evening when arrived at the trailhead. Under Boulder’s spell, I had somehow thought that seaweed salad would be great for dinner at the trailhead that night, but we decided to hike in and the seaweed became less optimal. We offered our fresh food to a startlingly large number of people before getting some takers, but in the process, we met some nice folks.

That night, we hiked in a few miles and spent the first night in a lovely meadow along Big Sandy Creek. We got our first taste of the mosquitos, which we battled with 100% DEET and stylish headnets (tip: first lift headnet, THEN eat or drink as desired).

Gavi modeling her bug net
Gavi modeling her bug net
Credit: clippinalong

The next morning, we walked into the Cirque of Towers. We took the standard trail over Jackass Pass (here forth known as Jack Pain-in-Ass Pass, or JPIAP), because the climber’s trail looked like the climber’s swim, with section of trail either flowing with snowpack runoff or still consumed by Arrowhead Lake.

Up and down and up and down, and finally over JPIAP, we descended the trail into the Cirque about halfway to Lonesome Lake and then sighted a waterfall off to the west. We walked towards the waterfall and then continued upstream to some meadows lined with clumps of pine trees. We set up camp in a well-protected area, racked up for a climb in the morning, and hung our food up in a tree with what appeared to be reinforced dental floss that Gavi had found at the hardware store.

Our waterfall we came to know and love
Our waterfall we came to know and love
Credit: clippinalong

our campsite
our campsite
Credit: clippinalong

Act Two: Climbing

Just kidding. No climbing yet. First, weather moved in. The two trees above our campsite made a lot of noise in the wind, and it rained off and on all night. At 5 am, we peaked out of our tent, and most of Pingora was in a cloud of fog. Having been fairly sleep deprived for the past year, I gladly pulled my sleeping bag back up over my head and closed my eyes again.

We woke up later, had some coffee, and then took a meandering tour of the Cirque by foot. We scoped out the approach and descent to the Northeast Face of Pingora, one of Roper and Steck’s 50 Crowded Classics. Funny, I wish there had been some people around to show us the way, but we were all alone!

We figured out (and later read in the guide…duh) that the easiest way to approach was to walk down to Lonesome Lake, walk along the northern side of the Lake, and then walk uphill on the left (west) side of the inflow stream until sighting a headwall. The approach ledges were above the headwall, which was passable on the right. From there, the dihedral of the first 300 feet of the climb was visible off to the left.

After the scoping the approach and descent, I was consumed by emotion and nearly in tears. Was it the altitude? Was I hormonal (that’s what my mom always told me when I cried)? Or more likely, was I hungry? “I don’t want to climb! It would be too scary and stressful! What if we got struck by lightening or hit by rockfall? We wouldn’t even be able to see the weather coming from the Northeast Face! I am scared! I don’t want to die! I don’t like alpine climbing!” Like some crazy reverse psychology, as soon as I dumped all that onto a very sympathetic Gavi, I saw the truth: “Hell yes, we are going to climb! Climbing is awesome! I can’t wait to climb! Let’s go get ready! Should we just start now? I love you, Gavi!”

Yeah, it probably was hormones.

It might have been nice to first do a shorter route on Pingora’s south face, like the classic 5.6 South Buttress, but our plans changed with the weather. Now we would just do the Northeast Face as soon as we got a weather opening. Again, that night, we racked up. This time we set the alarm for 4 am. When we woke up, the wind was (still) audible, and there were some sporadic clouds. But we thought the weather to be breaking rather than building, and we decided to the do the approach and make the final call at the bottom of the climb.

At go-time, at the start of the traversing ledges, the sky was mostly clear. We roped up, and Gavi led us bravely leftward and upward across a seeping slab towards the prominent dihedral. Gavi ended up a little above and over from the start of it, so when I got to her belay stance, Gavi lowered me down into the corner. Then, I started leading the first pitch, straight up a right-facing dihedral. I went for about 170 feet of fairly physical lie-backing, jamming, and stemming, and then found a nice belay ledge (p1).

Gavi leading across the (wet) approach slabs
Gavi leading across the (wet) approach slabs
Credit: clippinalong

Second pitch; note roof high and off to right to be bypassed
Second pitch; note roof high and off to right to be bypassed
Credit: clippinalong

While I was climbing, my mind had been clear, and the long pitch allowed for great flow. The rock was solid. Once I stopped, my stomach tightened, and all I could think about was the weather. I looked up. It was 7 am. Clouds blew over the summit, and each time, they broke, but it was nerve-wracking not being able to see what was coming our way. But every once in a while, I was able to actually enjoy the ridiculously awesome views of the Cirque!

View from belay ledge of Pingora's Northeast Face
View from belay ledge of Pingora's Northeast Face
Credit: clippinalong

Gavi led the next pitch (p2), finishing out the corner system and then climbing over a bulge, bypassing a prominent roof on her right-hand side. This put us in a right facing corner system, which leaned slightly left, and we stayed in that for a few pitches (p3 and p4) until we found ourselves at the base of three cracks: from left to right, a flare, a lieback, and something else that I didn’t get a great look at.

Looking up at the fourth pitch
Looking up at the fourth pitch
Credit: clippinalong

I went for the flare (p5), which left me winded in the altitude but enthusiastic. It was clean and, dare I say, fun! The rest of the pitch was also a blast. The 40 feet below the flare was stemming in double cracks, and then after exiting the flare, there was some exciting and exposed face moves before reaching another ledge. Gavi picked up with some thin cracks and ledges (p6), still trending slightly left, and I finished up with some more thin cracks and then around a roof to the right and into a chimney (p7). The entire way, the climbing was sustained, the rock was excellent, and the pro was all there. After exiting the chimney, I scrambled up another 50 feet to the East Ledges, with the Northeast summit right above me.

Gavi emerging from the final chimney
Gavi emerging from the final chimney
Credit: clippinalong

Yay, we did it! And the weather held! We had some snacks and took some glamour shots.

Credit: clippinalong

Credit: clippinalong

And then, oops, we lowered our proverbial guards, and I must have hit the off button on my internal GPS. We proceeded to destroy (in the true sense, not the hip, agro “crush” sense) the Descent: Take One. For some reason (read: persistent intense fear of weather), we thought we should get off the peak as soon as possible, even if it meant not going to the Northeast Summit. Thus, we set out for the rap route down the South Buttress route, following the East Ledges past the Northeast Summit on the south side (got those cardinals straight?). This path led down a loose and exposed 4th class section, which terrified me. Gavi, already down it, kindly put out her arms in a psychological maneuver, pretending she would actually catch me if I pitched forward into space. I bought into it and scrambled down to a large ledge. There, we found discolored slings threaded underneath the pinch of a large boulder.

With thinking-Anne apparently still on snack break, it made sense to head down. The rap station was less than fresh, but (as we all will probably say until we are not around to say it) I’ve seen and rappelled from worse. Gavi reluctantly descended to a large ledge about 100 feet below us. She looked around and did not see any more slings. Over to climber’s right, she spotted a mass of white, and she carefully traversed over to check it out—old slings, all discolored and no rap rings.

At this point, my brain started taking up glucose again, and it dawned on me that we were NOT on a frequently used rappel route. We were NOT on the South Buttress or its rappel route. I gave Gavi the bad news that she should come up, and we should go a different way. Gavi used every ounce of spinach she had ever eaten and simultaneously conjured images of ex-boyfriends to ascend the rope over steep terrain with two Prusik hitches. I sat above and watched, rattling off every motivational phrase I could think of. There were a lot of “Good jobs,” which just didn’t seem to cut it.

We needed to get up on the Northeast summit and navigate from that vantage point. We backtracked to our sunny snack spot from earlier, so recently such a happy and blissful place, but now the sight of our route-finding indiscretion. We roped up, and I led up the easiest terrain I could find, with some interesting traverses and cracks along the way (p9).

Gavi followed me up, and we found a rap station off the southeast side of the Northeast summit slab. We rapped to the higher of two ledges, which led to the true summit. From here, we continued west on easy terrain until we found a south-facing 3rd class gully, which we knew from the route description we had to be the top of South Buttress. We descended the gully and were thrilled to find a rap station, fashionably outfitted in this season’s latest sling and cord colors.

Sample rappel station, solid.
Sample rappel station, solid.
Credit: clippinalong

Three easy and one ridiculously traversing (to the point we called it a “lead rappel”) raps and we were down on the ground, sort of. We then scrambled down the approach to South Buttress. It was exposed, but by this time, you could have hung me out the side of an airplane, and I probably wouldn’t have flinched. We scampered down, and sadly had to turn on our headlamps for the last 15 minutes of our walk back to our campsite. I peed for the first time in 12 hours (shout out to my kidneys!), and we ate some turkey jerky and cheese, and Gavi even wrote in her journal.

At least we got this awesome sunset view.
At least we got this awesome sunset view.
Credit: clippinalong

Act Three: Rest Day

The next morning, not surprisingly, we woke up with major climbing hangovers. My lips cracked and bled as soon as I tried to speak. I struggled up a gentle incline from the creek after fetching water. We ate and drank and ate and drank, and after all of our camp chores were done, around 10 am, we had nothing to do but re-apply lip balm. It was amazing!

Not a bad view from the tent
Not a bad view from the tent
Credit: clippinalong

The weather was sunny and warming, with a light breeze. We experimented with various rock shapes for sunning upon, played Gin and Rummy 500 (I got whooped), swam by our favorite waterfall, slept, meditated until we slept, napped, dozed, toodled around, and wrote in our journals. As I jotted down notes, I felt so proud of us for going through with the trip and with the climb. We could have flaked out at so many points over the last few months to the few minutes before getting on the rock. But we didn’t, and it had been awesome. We had also made a route-finding blunder but were able to safely maneuver back on track.

So many good spots to rest!
So many good spots to rest!
Credit: clippinalong

On my other list of things to think about in the wilderness was my current medical specialty. Because I hate making money, love working my ass off, and want to work at the bottom of the totem pole for the foreseeable future, I am thinking of switching residencies and starting over again in different specialty. After describing our ascent of Pingora in full detail, I made a nice “pro”-“con” list of my current field versus the one I might switch to. Go figure, neither list was crazily appealing at the moment. I chalked it up to “perspective” and quickly returned to napping, followed by a short toodle.

Around 6 pm, it seemed reasonable to start getting ready for bed again. Thoughts that had been kept at bay all day crept in: was it already almost time to leave the Cirque? My flight out of Denver was in 48 short hours.

Act Four: Homeward Bound

We wanted to get on rock once more, and since we knew the South Buttress of Pingora so well now, and it actually looked really fun, we decided to climb it in the morning. The route provided more fun movement on solid rock, with a 4th class approach pitch, a long varied corner pitch, and the final K-crack pitch leading to a nice ledge with rappel anchors (the same ones we had used to get off Pingora a few nights ago).

Approaching the South Buttress on Pingora's western ledges
Approaching the South Buttress on Pingora's western ledges
Credit: clippinalong

Giddy fun corner on p2 of South Buttress
Giddy fun corner on p2 of South Buttress
Credit: clippinalong

Anne on the left side of the k-crack on p3 of South Buttress
Anne on the left side of the k-crack on p3 of South Buttress
Credit: clippinalong

What an amazing setting for climbing! East Ridge of Wolf's Head (f...
What an amazing setting for climbing! East Ridge of Wolf's Head (for next trip...) is in the backround.
Credit: clippinalong

Then it was time to hike out. Boo! But the mosquitos were getting bad, some organized trips had descend upon the Cirque, crowding our little meadow, and my flight was now a mere 24 hours away. We packed up our stuff after climbing and then went to our favorite waterfall for one last swim. We put on a bit of a scandalous show for an audience of boy scouts who happened to be lunching nearby (sorry, troop leader, but we found that swimming hole first).

Final swim
Final swim
Credit: clippinalong

Just another day in paradise
Just another day in paradise
Credit: clippinalong

Cooled and fed, we started back over JPIAP and took some parting pics. The mosquitos seemed to gain strength as we descended from the pass. At this rate, I was going to need a blood transfusion by the time we got back. We deeted up and hiked with headnets. When the Cirque was no longer visible, the hike out turned into a death march. To pass the miles, we started singing and blew through several musicals, Johnny Cash, John Denver, Miley Cyrus, and Pink, a thought-provoking compilation. Perhaps even more perplexing was that the only song we knew all the lyrics to was “Part of Your World” from Disney’s The Little Mermaid.

group shot with all the major players
group shot with all the major players
Credit: clippinalong

The hills are alive with the sound of music (though some might say...
The hills are alive with the sound of music (though some might say dying animals...)
Credit: clippinalong

Down by Big Sandy Lake, with 6 miles to go, I had a mini-meltdown when we had to “bushwhack” through 50 feet of open grass to get to the trail. I hadn’t been eating much the past day, for lack of ability to stomach any more bars. Luckily for us both, a man and his girlfriend appeared, angels in the evening. They needed DEET. We needed the amazing-looking homemade trailmix in their hands. We made the trade. The trailmix was gone before they were fully DEETed, and I was soon feeling more able to tolerate the challenges of the trail.

We continued to sing, and another pair of hikers came around the corner just as we were free-styling our own trip anthem. “We came to the Cirque/with more than turkey jerk/we climbed up granite/but going down, we didn’t plan it/the sun kept shining/kept the clouds at bay/there was water all around us/cuz the snow melted away.” Then it devolved into a lyrical, “Eggs, eggs, eggs, eggs, we want eggs, eggs, eggs, eggs, eggs, eggs. Eggs. Eggs. Eggs.” (Still singing) By the time we wrapped up that tune, we only had time for one more song before we got back to the car. Yes, we blew into Big Sandy campground singing Hound Dog.

We planned to camp at the trailhead, but Gavi’s green Subaru just looked so freakin’ mobile, we couldn’t help ourselves and jumped in the car and started driving. We managed our way out the dirt road system (“Look, I see lights! Go that way!), and a few hours later, we were showered, laying our heads on fluffy Best Western pillows, and dreaming of eggs.

This time, we woke up with generalized outdoor hangover, and stumbled out our room for our free hot breakfast. Eggs! And bacon, and sausage, and toast, and butter, and coffee, oh my!

Credit: clippinalong

Then, it was time to go catch my flight. We passed Abe Lincoln again, stopped amply for food and drink, and listened to songs that we had tried to sing on the hike out. Before long, we were passing the bright blue demonic horse statue that guards the Denver airport. And with that, great friends parted. Adventure was had, relaxation earned, life decisions pondered, friends grown closer, and rock faces climbed.

Longing for nothing, I checked my larger bag, watched the security guard carefully examine my cam-filled carry-on, impulsively bought the first book of Game of Thrones at a newsstand, and boarded the plane home.

Credit: clippinalong

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clippinalong
About the Author
clippinalong is a trad climber from San Francisco.

Comments
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Comment on this Trip Report
PAUL SOUZA

Trad climber
Central Valley, CA
  Jun 30, 2013 - 07:47pm PT
Awesome!!

And I'm jealous!! :)
rgold

Trad climber
Poughkeepsie, NY
  Jun 30, 2013 - 09:54pm PT
Cool report! I've made a bunch of trips to the Winds over the years, many of them for several weeks at a time. In all that time, I don't think I've ever had a single day when you could do this...



...and not be mosquito-bitten to within an inch of your life.

Here's a reasonably good photo of the NE face route:

BMcC

Trad climber
Livermore
  Jun 30, 2013 - 08:25pm PT
Fun stuff! TFPU
ec

climber
ca
  Jun 30, 2013 - 08:28pm PT
I love that place...
 ec
John Butler

Social climber
SLC, Utah
  Jun 30, 2013 - 08:32pm PT
Yippie! What a great adventure. We're off to the Winds in two weeks.

:-)
gonzo chemist

climber
the east coast, for now.
  Jun 30, 2013 - 08:37pm PT
freakin' rad trip report!

johntp

Trad climber
socal
  Jun 30, 2013 - 09:14pm PT
There is climbing in Wyoming?

TFPU
eKat

Trad climber
  Jun 30, 2013 - 09:50pm PT
TFPU!
rgold

Trad climber
Poughkeepsie, NY
  Jun 30, 2013 - 10:54pm PT
Your little waterfall has attracted quite a bit of photographic attention (all shots from "the web"). Almost all are variations on these three:










clippinalong

Trad climber
San Francisco
Author's Reply  Jun 30, 2013 - 11:41pm PT
Thanks for posting up all the pictures! I forgot to get a good one of the whole route, and as for the waterfall, those are beautiful! I'm so curious as to what it looks like at other times of the year. It's such a striking feature in the basin! I think we got lucky with the mosquitos because of the recent cold front that had come through and the persistent wind. The mosquitos took a day or two to rev their engines back up. For those heading out soon, have fun!
johntp

Trad climber
socal
  Jun 30, 2013 - 11:45pm PT
^^^^^
nice pics!
Dirka

Trad climber
Hustle City
  Jun 30, 2013 - 11:46pm PT
Amazing!
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
Relic MilkEye and grandpoobah of HBRKRNH
  Jun 30, 2013 - 11:56pm PT
Stellar job Gals!!!
Darwin

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
  Jul 1, 2013 - 12:00am PT
This time I'm serious: this really is the best trip report ever.

The waterfall photo, the clean granite and y'all on the climbing pictures from the last day climbing! As far as I can tell the only critical mistake you made was buying "Game of Thrones".
rgold

Trad climber
Poughkeepsie, NY
  Jul 1, 2013 - 12:38am PT
Here are some more shots of the Cirque (old ones of mine, not pilfered from the web).









This one's from the other side---Shadow Lake.

Gavriel Weiner

Trad climber
Boulder, CO
  Jul 1, 2013 - 01:25am PT
Wow Anne, what an awesome and true story of a gorgeous, scary and amazing place. Thanks for not including the part where I cried. Making it through the rope ascension without knocking off any flakes... that got the emotions whirling. If anyone is looking for a "great-to-still-be-alive" feeling, rap on a crappy anchor, swing around lots, then climb back up the rope.

Cheers to best partner ever.

:0
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
  Jul 1, 2013 - 02:38am PT
great TR,
I also love that place...
mcreel

climber
Barcelona
  Jul 1, 2013 - 02:45am PT
Thanks for the TR and the photos!
steveA

Trad climber
Wolfeboro, NH
  Jul 1, 2013 - 09:12am PT
Nice!

Love the Winds
donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
  Jul 1, 2013 - 09:18am PT
Great tr! "Climbing hangover"....I'll have to use that one....thanks!
T Hocking

Trad climber
Redding, Ca
  Jul 1, 2013 - 09:26am PT
Way to get after it ladies!
neebee

Social climber
calif/texas
  Jul 1, 2013 - 09:51am PT
hey there, say, clippinalong...

AFTER ABOUT FIVE time outs, getting kicked off the post here, from
dial up i HOPE you get this NOTE, :)

thanks for the wonderful trip report...
very very nice...


can't comment on any neat pics, though, (dial up)...
but i can tell they are great, by comments!
thanks again, for all the time, in this, :)
mooser

Trad climber
seattle
  Jul 1, 2013 - 10:13am PT
What a fantastic TR! Thanks so much!
WyoRockMan

climber
Flank of the Big Horns
  Jul 1, 2013 - 11:44am PT
Them's the goods!!!
Macronut

Trad climber
Fresno, Ca
  Jul 1, 2013 - 03:52pm PT
I love it! Great adventure and TR thanks for making me jealous. Been dying to get there from here(Fresno). Way to get it done and enjoying the adventure it definitely seemed to fit your definition.
pneame

Trad climber
Tampa, FL
  Jul 1, 2013 - 06:49pm PT
Brilliant - captures the feeling of the winds perfectly. It's definitely not all about the climbing.
Kenygl

Trad climber
Salt Lake City
  Jul 1, 2013 - 06:49pm PT
Climber chics are awesome. Good on ya.
hobo_dan

Social climber
Minnesota
  Jul 1, 2013 - 07:01pm PT
Score one for the good Gals!
Thanks for sharing--I felt your pain with the water wade over JPIAP
StahlBro

Trad climber
San Diego, CA
  Jul 1, 2013 - 07:47pm PT
Really great stuff! TFPU!
Fritz

Trad climber
Choss Creek, ID
  Jul 1, 2013 - 08:22pm PT
Interesting.

Not just the usual post-climb male thoughts: "I was real tired & wanted food & alcohol.

Thank you for taking the time to write this up and post the great photos!
Rockin' Gal

Trad climber
Boulder
  Jul 1, 2013 - 09:41pm PT
Love this trip report! I've been to the Winds twice and this captures it. Also, the female climbing partner aspect is refreshing. You gotta get out of what you got into. Been there and met the challenge. WTG, gals!
lightninglycett

climber
  Jul 1, 2013 - 10:08pm PT
fun times, girl climbing trips rock!!!!!
sullly

Gym climber
  Jul 1, 2013 - 11:11pm PT
Wow. I really enjoyed this TR. The singing, glamour shots and lure of Best Western pillows are especially funny.
Charlie D.

Trad climber
Western Slope, Tahoe Sierra
  Jul 2, 2013 - 08:48am PT
Col. Albert Brackett wrote in 1879, "The Wind River Mountains are supposed by the indians to be the home of the spirits and they believe a person can see the spirit land, or the land they will occupy after death, from the top of them."

He goes on to write, " They believe that when a good indian dies, he falls into a beautiful stream of bright, fresh water, and is carried to the pleasant grounds I have described. When an old man is dying he finds himself near the top of a high hill on the Wind River Mountains, and, as the breath leaves his body, he reaches the top of it, and there, in front of him, the whole magnificent landscape of eternity is spread out, and the Sun-Father is there to receive him and to do everything in his power to make him happy"

That would work for me, thanks for taking the time for this TR.......what's there not to love about being in the Winds with your friends?
tahoe523

Trad climber
Station Wagon, USA
  Jul 2, 2013 - 01:13pm PT
So envious! Loved the write up. Way to go, ladies!
Ezra Ellis

Trad climber
North wet, and Da souf
  Jul 2, 2013 - 01:22pm PT
STELLAR TR!

I hope you find the right specialty, chose carefully and best of luck!!!!
Alpinista55

Mountain climber
Portland, OR
  Jul 2, 2013 - 01:25pm PT
Thanks for the memories! We camped by the same waterfall and climbed Pingora 10 years ago now. Sublime experience, and for us... NO BUGS!
sandstone conglomerate

climber
sharon conglomerate central
  Jul 2, 2013 - 01:54pm PT
great TR. Damn, I miss that place, except for the mosquitoes. Fresh caught trout made up for that, though.
sullly

Gym climber
  Jul 3, 2013 - 03:16pm PT
bump
micronut

Trad climber
Fresno/Clovis, ca
  Jul 3, 2013 - 03:40pm PT
Wonderful. Just splendid. It was on an Alpine trip back in 2000 that I was at a fork in the road and chose my current profession. I was thinking of working for the Indian Health Service up in Barrow, AK, or doing three more years of surgical residency. I chose the narrow gate and now have a thriving solo practice that lets me climb as much or little as I want.

I'm so glad I took the "harder" and longer route....but I would have also loved working up in no man's land for pennies. It's funny how the alpine crucible is often a lens we look through at life's big decisions.

Thanks again for sharing. What a fun and nostalgic read. May your adventures continue to be many and safe and memorable.

Scott
Timid TopRope

Social climber
the land of Pale Ale
  Jul 3, 2013 - 04:10pm PT
Great write up and excellent photos, both your's and rgold's. Looks like you got a lot of bang for your buck. Best regards on your career change of direction.
Wormly81

Trad climber
  Jul 9, 2013 - 02:42pm PT
:)!
Nohea

Trad climber
Living Outside the Statist Quo
  Jul 9, 2013 - 03:00pm PT
What a beautiful place and thanks for sharing your adventure.

Aloha,
Will
funintheslots

Sport climber
  Jul 9, 2013 - 06:12pm PT
Nice TR. We're dreaming of a trip to the Winds real soon!

Climb ON, Rick
Russ Aulds

Trad climber
Delano, TN
  Jul 10, 2013 - 12:39pm PT
Climbing chicks rule and those pics made me realize I gotta get back there one more time before I die!!
Carabiner

climber
  Oct 21, 2013 - 12:38am PT
Great story and photos
NutAgain!

Trad climber
South Pasadena, CA
  Oct 21, 2013 - 12:56am PT
Glorious trip! Beautiful pictures, nice commitment to get out there and make it happen. I have never seen pictures of this place, and now it's firmly lodged in my mental to-do list. Thank you for sharing it.

Edit: How far of a drive would it be from Boise, ID? I have a brother there, would make a good hopping off point.
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