On August 9th, Heather and I, along with 6 friends flew into Riverton, Wyoming to start an eight-day back-country climbing trip in the Wind River Range. After a last meal in Lander, we drove out to the Big Sandy Trailhead where we were supposed to be meeting up with Ember and Chad, who had driven in from Boulder for the weekend. We ended up getting out to the trailhead pretty late, due to some unfortunate navigational issues, for which I won't assign blame.

Ember and Chad found us on Saturday morning, while we were having a leisurely breakfast. Finally we could postpone it no longer, and it was time to start hiking. The hike in was beautiful, although a lot of us had a pretty hard time. Most of us have not been hiking a lot lately, due to living in the flatlands of Chicago, and all of our packs were far too heavy, but we eventually made it out to a good campsite.

We had been planning on camping halfway between Clear Lake and Deep Lake, but we made it to the close end of Clear Lake, and we found a spot we just couldn't pass up, so we decided to call it a day.

The Riverton Airport
The Group: (From left) Ember, Alan, Chad, Heather, Jim, Molly, Shaina, Christine and Dave.
Our Campsite by Clear Lake
Some pictures from the hike in:

On Sunday, Alan, Dave, Jeremy and I decided to climb the North Face of Haystack, which is a five pitch 5.6.

The route ascends the left ridge of the peak in the picture to the left. The bottom picture is from the approach, walking up the lower part of the ridge.

Jeremy and I started up as a party of two, with Alan and Dave right behind us. We ended up a bit off-route, but nothing too bad, and ended up getting to the top in four pitches, with most of the last one being 4th class, with the only real problem being trying to not get blown off by the 50 mph winds blowing over the ridge.

The views from the top.

On Tuesday, Heather and I decided to have a relaxing day, so we slept in, had a leisurely breakfast and hung aroud camp for a bit. In the afternoon we decided to try our luck at fishing. Since nothing was biting in Clear Lake, we headed up to deep lake hoping that would be better.

No luck, at least no fish. Deep Lake was beautiful and it was a good walk. We also got to see a storm blow in through the Cirque of the Towers, which was very cool. Then, since the storm was heading our way, we hurried back to camp. It ended up snowing for about 2 minutes, and then it cleared up. This turned out to be the only bad weather of the trip.

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