The Wind River Range, WY

Next up was the magical place known as the Wind River Range.  A full day of hiking in leads to a playground of long alpine climbs.  We were lucky enough to be joined by two Boston area friends, Marcia and Rich.  During the winter you can find these two at the Harvard Cabin of Mt. Washington (http://www.harvardmountaineering.org/cabin/caretaker/), but in the summer they are travelling across the country in their sprinter van.  Happily our paths crossed, so we headed into the Winds for some alpine climbing.

Gear explosion.

Gear explosion.

Goodbye Boris, we will see you in a week or so...

Goodbye Boris, we will see you in a week or so…

Hiking into the winds to climb involves an approximately 9 mile approach with all of your climbing gear, backpacking gear, and food for the week on your back.  This made the packs quite heavy.  Each one of us was carrying a minimum of 1/3 our body weight on our backs…

Hold me rock, this pack is heavy...

Hold me rock, this pack is heavy…

Marcia and Steve on the approach. Photo credit: Rich Palatino

Marcia and Steve on the approach.
Photo credit: Rich Palatino

Scoping Mt. Haystack on our hike in. Photo credit: Rich Palatino

Scoping Mt. Haystack on our hike in.
Photo credit: Rich Palatino

We decided to check out the deep lake area first, then head to the cirque of the towers.  We were all very impressed with the striking granite cliffs and beautiful alpine lakes.  The climbing was super fun too :).

Deep Lake Area

Deep Lake Area

The cirque of the towers as seen from Clear Lake.

The cirque of the towers as seen from Clear Lake.

Looking into the Cirque of the Towers from Haystack.

Looking into the Cirque of the Towers from Haystack.

Pretty views from the top of Haystack.

Pretty views from the top of Haystack.

Marcia managed to find a fisherman willing to lend a pole for a day, so we also had a delicious fresh fish dinner.

Steve catching us dinner from Clear Lake.

Steve takes his turn to catch our dinner from Clear Lake.

Fishing line shenanigans.

Fishing line shenanigans.

The crew with our fresh fish dinner. Photo credit: Rich Palatino

The crew with our fresh fish dinner.
Photo credit: Rich Palatino

Eating our veggies in the back country.

Eating our veggies in the back country.

Our campsite below Mt. Haystack.

Our campsite below Mt. Haystack.

Steve scoping the approach to Steeple Peak.

Steve scoping the approach to Steeple Peak.

The crew approaching Steeple Peak

The crew approaching Steeple Peak

Deep Lake Area

Deep Lake Area

Checking out the first pitch of The North Ridge of Steeple Peak (5.8).

Checking out the first pitch of The North Ridge of Steeple Peak (5.8).

Leading pitch 2 of the North Ridge of Steeple Peak (5.8). Photo credit: Rich Palatino

Leading pitch 2 of the North Ridge of Steeple Peak (5.8).
Photo credit: Rich Palatino

Wild Things photo shoot on the Steeple Peak mid route diving board. Photo credit: Rich Palatino

Wild Things photo shoot on the Steeple Peak mid route diving board.

“Tunneling” through Steeple.

Rich leading the last pitch of the North Ridge of Steeple Peak.

Rich leading the last pitch of the North Ridge of Steeple Peak.

After Deep Lake we moved camp into the Cirque of the Towers.  The weather decided to stop cooperating at this point, however we still enjoyed the beauty of the cirque, fishing in lonesome lake, and the summit of Pingora Peak.

Joanna and George hike past Arrowhead Lake along Jackass Pass.

Joanna and George hike past Arrowhead Lake along Jackass Pass.

Joanna casts away.

Joanna casts away.

Steve saving his lure and spinner from Lonesome Lake.

Steve saving his lure and spinner from Lonesome Lake.

According to NOAA it was

According to NOAA it was “monsoonal like” conditions.  While it did feel like we were sleeping on a water bed, the wetness did not get in. Hooray for owning a quality tent!

Approaching the South Buttress of Pingora Peak. Will we get the blue skies on the left, or the storms brewing on the right? Photo credit: Rich Palatino

Approaching the South Buttress of Pingora Peak. Will we get the blue skies on the left, or the storms brewing on the right?
Photo credit: Rich Palatino

The K-cracks money pitch of the South Buttress (5.8). Photo credit: Rich Palatino

The K-cracks money pitch of the South Buttress (5.8).
Photo credit: Rich Palatino

Happiness is sneaking in a quick summit of Pingora Peak in an afternoon break from rain. Photo credit: Rich Palatino

Happiness is sneaking in a quick summit of Pingora Peak on an afternoon break from rain.
Photo credit: Rich Palatino

What a beautiful summit! Photo credit: Rich Palatino

What a beautiful summit!
Photo credit: Rich Palatino

Mountain man Rich in his natural environment.

Mountain man Rich in his natural habitat.

Rainy day tent cooking. Photo credit: Rich Palatino

Rainy day tent cooking.
Photo credit: Rich Palatino

Well hello there Mr. Moose.

Well hello there Mr. Moose.

The view from our campsite in the cirque.

The view from our campsite in the cirque.  Pingora is the prominent peak in the center.

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