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David Passey
(davidpassey) - F - M

Locale: New York City
Knapsack Col on 06/14/2011 08:37:43 MDT Print View

This is a trip planning post, not a trip report (not sure which forum to place it). I'm headed to the Wind Rivers the second week of August, planning to cross Knapsack Col as part of the trip.

I recently acquired Nancy Pallister's FANTASTIC book re hiking off trail in the Winds. She advises crampons and ice axes for Knapsack Col, but also mentions that many hikers get over with just trekking poles.

Though I am an experienced hiker, I don't have much experience hiking over snow. Based on research online, I have impression from online trip reports that most hikers cross the Col without axes or crampons.

Anyone here have a view? Also, does the heavier snowpack this year change your view?

Ben Wortman
(bwortman)

Locale: Nebraska
The COL on 06/15/2011 07:58:05 MDT Print View

I crossed knapsack from the west side last august. On the way up it was totally free of snow. Once I got to the top, the east side had a huge cornice that we had to downclimb on the north side along a rock wall. It was on the verge of being dangerous. Once on the east side it was a total snow field. We did not have any problems since we just glissaded down to the bottom.

In my opinion, if you are coming from the east side, it would be a tough haul up the snow slope. Doable, but would be alot faster/easier with and ice ace. The snow was soft enough last year that you could just kick steps in the snow without crampons.

The cornice would have been a big hurdle if we were there a week or so earlier. Easpecially from the east side. It might be easier to get over if you tried it on the south side of the cornice.

It might be tough this year with the snowpack.

PM me if you need any more specifics.

Ben