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Weminuche Wilderness
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Johnny Gish
(jtgish) - F

Locale: Coppell, Texas
Weminuche Wilderness-pics and trip report on 08/17/2007 19:39:34 MDT Print View

Went to the Weminuche on a backpacking/flyfishing trip. Here are a couple photos from the trip. I will post a full trip report and photos later.
pyramid and window

Edited by jtgish on 09/05/2007 09:05:25 MDT.

Johnny Gish
(jtgish) - F

Locale: Coppell, Texas
Trip Report on 08/21/2007 19:26:53 MDT Print View

My buddy(Travis) and I went to the Weminuche on a flyfishing/backpacking trip. We started at the Ute Creek trailhead at the west end of the Rio Grande reservoir. You literally walk 20 paces before you must ford the Rio Grande river which was pretty gnarly. It was moving very quickly from all the rain and was mid thigh deep (I'm 6'). And also very cold at 6 am so we started moving very quickly to warm up and headed towards Black Lake. We stopped to fish Ute Creek a couple times before Black Lake but we were still cold and wet from the approx. 1 million stream crossings along this trail. We decided to not stop to fish until we reached West Ute Lake. Arrived at West Ute lake in the early afternoon(didnt take a watch) and fished for a few hours. It was like shooting fish in a bucket. The cutthroats couldnt resist the wooley buggers and the parachute adams flies. We went to bed early becuase we had drove straight from Texas to Colorado and jumped on the trail. Lesson learned from the day. Two socks in each shoulder strap of the G6 are much better than one.
The next day we woke early and took off over to Middle Ute lake to fish, it is a nasty alpine lake with way to many bugs, so we bushwacked back over the the CDT and headed towards Twin Lakes where we encountered a moose (cow). She stood and watched us long enough for Travis to take a few pics and then ran off. This was my wildlife highlight from the trip. Twin Lakes was very lackluster though nicer than Middle Ute. We left Twin Lakes and headed over to Ute Lake, We crossed the Continental Divide twice and while on the divide I played a game of chicken with a coyote who did not want to move off the trail. I won. Set up camp at Ute Lake and fished for a little before going to bed.
Woke up the next morning only to be saddened to hear Travis say that he could go no further and he was thinking he had altitude sickness. Camped around 12,500-13,000 feet, I think he was just pooped. I left him for the day to rest while I went hiking along the CDT over to the Window and Pyramid and came back that afternoon. That night Travis woke me up wispering frantically that there was a bear outside the tent. I calmly asked him what he wanted me to do about it. I looking and saw nothing but a shadow (coulda been) He swears he saw the snout right outside the tent and heard grunting. He also used some "herbal" remedies to cure his altitude sickness, so we will never know for sure what it was. I told him to never wake me up again if there is a bear, I would rather be surprised if it attacks.
Next morning we woke and Travis was feeling a little better so we went back over to West Ute Lake to fish some more. Not 10 minutes after we dropped our packs we were already on the trout again. We proceeded to slay them until it got dark. We also found a grill grate next to the lake so dinner would soon be served. Kept our biggest trout, gathered some sticks, threw the grate over the fire and grilled us up some great dinner.
Woke up next morning and headed out in the rain. It rained until we got back to the car. When we got the the Rio Grande river crossing there were a group of backpackers who had driven from Oklahoma who thought we were crazy for crossing and they ended up changing their plans because they didnt want to cross.
All around great trip, no really great stories to share. Only saw other people the first and last day right near the Rio Grande river.
Gear: I absolutely loved the G6 even had extra room to let my quilt loft. Used the BMW Vapr Side Zip bivy at night until it started to rain then jumped in Travis' Hubba Hubba. JrB No Sniv quilt, I love this quilt just wish it were a little lighter. GG Thinlight 1/8" which I also used as my fly rod protector worked great and the GG nightlight torso(cut) as a hip pad(sleeping) and backpack pad(hiking) was great. Montrail Hardrocks were almost perfect just took a little too long to dry out. The old school micropuff vest with a few snaps is my favorite clothing item now. Spyderco Jester gutted the trout with no problem at all while Travis forgot to sharpen his big heavy benchmade.
Gear that was not so great: Light my Fire (Spoon,Fork,knife) made me nervous after seeing the water in my ramen turn green which seemed to be leeching from my spoon which is green. I thought it said it wouldnt melt or anything but the spoon was discolored later and my water turned green. Patagonia GI pant just gets wet way to easy. One brush touches it and then I soaked, does dry out super fast though. Platy bottles are so hard to fill but I have not found anything better yet in terms of weight and packability. Petzl Elite was no better than just taking my photon. I need an ultralight rain jacket. I took a marmot precip which works but is just too heavy.
I think thats about all I can remember at this moment, let me know if you have any questions.