|Typical scenery in the Winds taken during
our climb of Knapsack Col.
Holy cow! I thought last
years backpacking trip to the Wind River Range was the ultimate. I
was wrong. This 6-nighter was by far the most extreme trip I've done up until this point in almost every way possible: weather,
scenery, exertion level...you name it, this adventure had it---except
snow. We did get hail, however.
Nearly a year in the making, this hike had been
on my mind every day since Yumi and I returned from Wyoming last July.
My great wife had given me her blessings to return (without her) and I
gladly took advantage of her generosity (or moment of weakness?).
Not only did I get to see country that few ever
get the chance to see, but I met two new friends and gave them their first
tour of the Rockies they won't soon forget.
I guess the best description of the trip comes
from an e-mail Reed sent to a co-worker from the van on the ride back
"What an unbelievable trip. Almost impossible
to convey. 400 photos on a CD to come. Totally freaking mind blowing
place. Standing on a 12,200 foot saddle surrounded by 13,000+ foot craggy
peaks with glaciers clinging to their sides, with jade green chain of
glacial lakes like a necklace thousands of feet below the toes of my
boots. Traversing a glacier at a 45 degree angle with a boulder field
straight down. Unbelievable. Hard hard hiking. Near total solitude in
the high country. Beauty totally routine. Nighttime thunderstorms like
the wrath of an angry god. Everything immense and unfathomably out of
scale with my normal frame of reference."
It was as demanding a trip I'd ever been on. So demanding
that even a week after returning home I was still mentally wiped out to
the point of not even wanting to go back out to Glacier National
Park with my wife. One of these years I'll get myself into shape. Or not.
Enjoy the trip report and photos