- Jul 18, 2019 at 7:54 pm #3602501Matt SmithBPL Member
So I’m very excited to be heading to the Winds! Gonna do Alan Dixons Route and think I got the gear dialed in. Planned on going solo, but may have a buddy join(in which case I’ll probably ditch the inreach and maybe the battery pack). Aiming for 5 days, which will be close to 12 pounds of food for me. Probably carry very little water the entire trip.
Things I’ve considered ditching:
Bivy and bring polycro…saves 3.5oz. Anyone know about bugs this time of year?
Things I have, but don’t really think I’ll “need”:
montbell exlite. I think ill be warm enough in the light fleece with my rain jacket on. Maybe, ill add a buff though. wont be spending tons of time in camp.
Vargo pocket cleets. I really don’t want to bring microspikes just for Knifepoint glacier, but this may be a reasonable compromise.
EE rain skirt. Ive gotten away with only wind pants in the past in august. Maybe look at a last minute weather forecast?Jul 18, 2019 at 8:25 pm #3602506Brad RogersBPL Member
@mocs123Locale: Southeast Tennessee
I did the Dixon-Wilson WRHR last year in early September.
Knapsack Col held a lot of snow (compared to when I had been there before in 2012) but could be done without spikes. I wouldn’t have wanted to do Knifepoint Glacier without them though. It had several sections of blue ice with no runout that would have been outside the bounds of my comfort zone without them. The south side of Alpine Pass held a lot of snow, and probably could have been glissaded with an ice axe to control your decent, but it was steep enough where I took the talus on the east side instead (I couldn’t see the runout). There was also a sketchy area of snow/ice near the end of Alpine Lakes Basin that I put on spikes for as it was ice with no snowcover. Runout would have been the lake. Snow conditions could be different this year.
Last year we didn’t see the first mosquito, nor have I any of my four trips to WRR. All of my trips have been in late August or early September though, I hear they can be terrible early in the year. I normally just sleep under my Duomid with no bug protection, but if you are going early August, I’d probably take the bivy.
I think the rest of your gear looks good. It’s an awesome trip – I know you will enjoy it.Jul 18, 2019 at 9:24 pm #3602514Matt SmithBPL Member
Hey Brad, Yeah I think I’m gonna bring the spikes. The Vargos are less than 5oz for the pair, but give a piece of mind. I’m probably gonna start around August 7th, and will maybe just stick with the bivy regardless of bug pressure.Jul 19, 2019 at 3:06 pm #3602576Ben CBPL Member
I have also done it in early September. We had no bugs but did have a young moose sniff the tent at night. We had much less snow that year at Knapsack than Brad describes, but there was some. I walked Knifepoint without any traction, but it felt sketchy, and I wish I had traction for about 45 minutes of the trip. We also did not have as much snow in Alpine Basin, but we did get high winds and a blinding snow storm the night we camped there. Have fun.Jul 19, 2019 at 3:30 pm #3602579Brad RogersBPL Member
@mocs123Locale: Southeast Tennessee
This was the view from Knapsack Col in 2018 (looking toward Titcomb Basin)
This is Knapsack Col in 2012 looking up toward the Col from Titcomb Basin.Jul 19, 2019 at 6:20 pm #3602595Ben CBPL Member
Brad, you all had a LOT more snow than we had. We got a snowstorm as we crossed knifepoint and while in the Alpine Basin but not the large fields of it like you’re showing.Jul 20, 2019 at 12:24 am #3602635ArthurBPL Member
@art-rJul 21, 2019 at 8:23 pm #3602853trafikhamBPL Member
anyone got a feel for snow conditions/levels in the winds this year? Was it a high snow year up there like it was in the Sierra’s and Colorado?
Good resources for gauging this?Jul 22, 2019 at 1:59 am #3602903Nathan RBPL Member
I’ve done the Winds high route twice. First year I had vargos and my partners both had microspikes. The second year I took microspikes. The vargos are pretty bad especially on really steep sections. They get the job done, but they’re fidgety and slow and slip a lot more than microspikes.
I also used the cricket tarp but with an inner nest. Bugs have been pretty bad both years i’ve been there in July. I’d take the bivy. It’s just a couple ounces more than polycro but way more useful.
Also, consider Skurka’s route, for the section between Middle Fork Lake and Golden Lake.
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