May 26, 2020 at 2:41 pm #3649344
I am wondering if mid July is too early? Only time available this year. I have done most all of the route in other hikes in the Winds, I just want to put it all together. Except the Alpine Lakes section, maybe the most scenic and difficult. We usually hike there in Aug-Sept and snow is typically not an issue except on glaciers or years of big snow. This year is average. I do not do ropes or ice axes, just not experienced enough to be safe. Thanks for any thoughts.May 27, 2020 at 4:54 pm #3649600Seth RBPL Member
I did a big chunk of it in mid-July 2018 and the main snow was going over Indian pass and Alpine pass then down to Alpine lakes. I only used spikes but would have been a lot happier in crampons and having an axe. So if you are skipping that section it shouldn’t be an issue. How do you plan to go if you are skipping Alpine lakes? I’ve often thought that the pass on the east side of Wall lake that drops to Golden lakes would be a cool alternative.May 28, 2020 at 12:17 pm #3649740
Thanks for the info Seth. This year has more snow than 2018, which was one of the driest in the decade. So, if you say ice ax, not going there. I have looked up the Wall Pass from the W, it looks like a walk up, but Nancy’s book says the E side is tough. I love the Golden Lakes, so we might just jump over the pass at Timco lake and back out Hay. How is Knapsack Col in mid July, any idea?May 28, 2020 at 4:18 pm #3649795Seth RBPL Member
Have not done Knapsack. I would check with Great Outdoor Shop in Pinedale for the latest beta.
Now ice axe is a subjective call. Again, I did it in microspikes kick stepping in the very soft snow. However, it would have given me much more confidence to have an axe and crampons but the weight penalty wasn’t worth the amount I would have used them. YMMV.
Another alt would be go to over Wall/Island pass from Island lake and then down past Cook lakes and get to Angel pass. Wall/Island pass is easy. Enjoy your trip, I’m jealous.May 29, 2020 at 8:38 am #3649890
Been over Wall/Island pass, not much of a pass. Angel pass was some pretty big boulders 10 years ago that I would not like to do with snow. May try the Cook Pass. I just hate going up one side of a pass only to look down the other side and say “not safe”. Going N to S, that happens because most of the snow is on the N or E side.May 29, 2020 at 9:56 am #3649900John VanceBPL Member
@servingkoLocale: Intermountain West
The pass east of Wall Lake that heads into the Golden Lakes area isn’t too bad. While Nancy lists the east side as “tough”, it is certainly doable if you have decent route finding abilities and common sense. If, on the other hand, you need step by step directions with GPS coordinates and 7.5 min maps, you may want to take a different path south.
At the top of the pass the route will become fairly apparent, but basically you stay high and head south and then swing around the high knob on the south side of it and then swing north dropping down a steep chute towards the lake west of the pass that heads north out of the Golden Lakes area. Perfectly clear right? Do not try and descend along the creek but rather intersect the trail that drops down to Golden Lakes just below the pass up high.
It’s supposed to be an adventure and if you turn around for what ever reason, stop at the pass for a second time and enjoy the spectacular view before heading back down to Wall Lake.May 30, 2020 at 6:50 am #3650052
John. please send me your GPS tracks. Just kidding! Actually, looking at the topo, I think I get your route. “don’t go down the creek” suggestion is more valuable to me than a real route. Going over a pass then not descending to the beauty of a valley is just hard to take. Thanks.May 30, 2020 at 10:40 am #3650091John VanceBPL Member
@servingkoLocale: Intermountain West
The route is easier to see on a topo map than it is on Google Earth, which feels a bit like cheating somehow but I do it all the time. You can make your way to the Golden Lakes Valley but don’t follow the creek as it gets really ugly down low and run off could be very high in July. If you swing north and east going between the two lakes and intersecting the trail coming over from Camp Lake you will be fine. Then you can take the trail down past the Golden Lakes.
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