OK, I think I have it. I’ll drive more or less straight through (stopping a few times to sleep in the Campry (photos forthcoming eventually) to either Boulder or Fort Collins and meet Jeff. Hopefully there’ll be a fest of some kind, so maybe spend a day or so there. Photo: Early morning at camp 2, along Seneca Lakes Trail
Then on to Wyoming, probably spending the night at Elkhart Park Trailhead near Pinedale. In the morning take the Pole Creek Trail, then bear off to the north on Seneca Lakes Trail and camp around Barbara Lake (about where we camped the first night last year). The next day hike past Seneca Lakes and bear off NNW on the Highline Trail, possibly camping before or maybe at the Big Water Slide. It looks like the next campsite maybe near Lake 10935 (the number signifies that many feet above sea level), although I’d like to get to Elbow Lake. I think this is about where I’ll celebrate my 65th birthday.
The next day is short distance-wise, but takes us over Shannon and Cube Rock Passes, so it looks like a lot of steep hiking. We go north of Peak Lake and past long, narrow Lake 10740 to some waterfalls where there are some recommended places to camp (recommended by my internet buddies, offtrail and swimswithtrout). The next day, rest in the valley between Split Mountain and G-4 on the one side and Mount Arrowhead, Bow Mountain, Stroud Peak and Stroud Glacier on the other. Maybe hike up between Split Mountain and G-4 to Mammoth Glacier. I figure if I put one foot on that Glacier I can say (casually), “Yeah, I’ve been on Mammoth Glacier.” Offtrail says I can make it out on and probably across the glacier, but I don’t know. I need to limit my risk-taking. Photo: Island Lake
The next day we walk up the valley (off-trail) to Knapsack Col (the saddle between Twin Peaks and Winifrid Peak) and then down past or across a narrow part of Twins Glacier and down alongside the glacier to the stream that drains into the Titcomb Lakes and there we’ll be, in the Titcomb Basin, “a place that will haunt you forevermore” (from The World’s Great Adventure Treks). Last year we were in the Titcomb, but there was a lot of snow and wind coming down well before the col, so we broke it off there. From Titcomb, hike to our first camping spot near Barbara Lake, have a campfire (can’t have them above timberline where we’ll spend almost all our time), spend the night and head on into Pineland or somewhere where we can feast, take a shower, wash our stuff, and sleep in a bed. Photo: Titcomb Basin
In a day or so I’ll pick up Mike H in Jackson and we’ll head for the Cirque of the Towers. Spend the night at Big Sandy trailhead, or maybe hike up the Big Sandy trail a few miles and camp part way to Big Sandy Lake. In either case, end up at Big Sandy Lake. Next day up and over Jackass Pass (and the Continental Divide) and into the Cirque of the Towers. I’m thinking head west off-trail to Hidden Lake, though surely there is a trail, just not on the map. Spend another day in the Cirque. The next day go over Texas Pass (back across the Continental Divide) to Texas, Barren, Billys, and Shadow Lakes. I think there’s some campsites along there. Next day pick up the Shadow Lake Trail to the Fremont Trail headed south and on to Dad’s or Mirror Lake. Hike on out the next day.
Here are some good pieces on the Winds. The first, by swimswithtrout, is a compilation of many years in the Winds. It is transcendental. As Kesey said, he “is in deep relation to” these high and wild mountains. The second, by the inimitable “dorf” is a trip report on almost exactly the same route we’ll be taking. A very good report (be sure to click on past the map).