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Steve S
(idahosteve) - F

Locale: Idaho
Wind Rivers status on 09/14/2013 21:20:53 MDT Print View

Hey has anyone just returned from hiking in the Winds? I'm leaving in the middle of next week, and just wanted to get any info on weather, temps, and conditions that might be available. Thanks for the help.

Steve S
(idahosteve) - F

Locale: Idaho
Bump on anyone returning from the Winds? on 09/17/2013 21:29:37 MDT Print View

Ok, any reports from folks just returning? I leave Thus for a week of fishing.

Mary D
(hikinggranny) - MLife

Locale: Gateway to Columbia River Gorge
Wind Rivers status on 09/18/2013 00:57:40 MDT Print View

Have fun! It has already snowed at higher elevations, although it will continue to melt off. Expect snow with any September storm, and nights well below freezing. It would be a good idea to build in a day or two of weather contingency plans into your itinerary, and to have a bail-out alternate.

Have you checked with the USFS rangers in Pinedale? (Or Dubois or Lander, if you're going to the east side). The Great Outdoors Shop in Pinedale also has a good handle on west side conditions, since they run a shuttle service for hikers. You can get the phone no. off their website.

Alan Dixon
(alandixon) - MLife

Locale: Mid-Atlantic
Re: Wind Rivers status on 09/18/2013 07:56:46 MDT Print View

Late this August, I did a mostly off trail high route along the Divide from Green River Lakes to Big Sandy. At that time it was almost snow free. Most of the perennial snowfields on the high alpine passes were greatly melted out and we navigated around them without crampons or axe. We crossed knife point glacier in trail runners and trekking poles.

First part of our trip was fairly dry--only two nights with light and intermittent rain. By the end of the trip Wx had settled into a pattern of violent late afternoon and evening T-storms, with driving winds, hail, sleet etc.

And the worst late summer blizzard I was ever in was in the Wind Rivers in September. We came over TX pass in driving snow and almost no visibility. So be prepared for just about anything in terms of weather.

Advice about checking with the Great Outdoors in Pinedale for local conditions (and a shuttle if needed) is good advice. The owner is a backpacker, has been in the area a long time, and is quite knowledgeable about Wx and backcountry conditions.

Have a good trip, -alan

Edited by alandixon on 09/18/2013 08:03:20 MDT.

Alan Dixon
(alandixon) - MLife

Locale: Mid-Atlantic
Re: Re: Wind Rivers status on 09/18/2013 08:02:18 MDT Print View

Oh, and the fishing was excellent the few chances I got (we pretty much hiked dawn to dusk). I took a 13' tenkara rod. Some lakes were all brookies :( But Lake Lonesome has some really nice Cutts.

Tight Lines, -a

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: Re: Wind Rivers status on 09/18/2013 10:42:00 MDT Print View

"And the worst late summer blizzard I was ever in was in the Wind Rivers in September. We came over TX pass in driving snow and almost no visibility. So be prepared for just about anything in terms of weather."

Same with us a few years ago, in September. We were at Valentine, north of the Cirque. It was real close on getting out safely. Take bread bags for your feet. They weigh nothing and add a lot when you are hiking in 6" of snow.

Steve S
(idahosteve) - F

Locale: Idaho
prepared on 09/19/2013 08:55:19 MDT Print View

Well, it is pretty much what I expected. I knew that there would be some additional items to be aware of this time of year. But there are also some great advantages going late, especially for some prime trophy fishing. I had to shorten and dramatically change my off trail route, as my partner had to cancel, and going solo I didn't want to put myself in any tough spots. I plan on circling counter-clockwise from Big Sandy all the way to Grave Lake, pretty much all on trail, then back out via Hailey Pass. There are plenty of great lakes to fish, with some off trail lakes close at hand and plenty of spots to be a bit more protected in case of storm for my SMD Wild Oasis tarp. I decided to change out to heavier and more weather proof shoes, my warmer polarguard sleeping bag instead of down, and some extra layers. With all my fishing gear (about 2 1/2lbs-two sets of gear, both UL spinning and fly rod with flies), final pack wt at trail head will be 32lbs for 7 days. A far cry from the sub 20's I had on the JMT this year, but pretty happy overall. Looking forward to a great trip. Thanks for the info!