Thursday, June 21, 2012

Cirque of the Towers

We just finished a nice little backpacking trip into the Wind River Range, to do some climbing in the spectacular Cirque of the Towers area.  It's the first time we've backpacked in somewhere to do some climbing and, wow, hauling in camping and climbing gear makes for some pretty heavy packs.  The hike in to where we camped was about 14 kilometers and took about 5 1/2 hours.  Here is Kristal coming over Jackass Pass, elevation around 10,500 feet.

And here is the view of the Cirque of the Towers area from the pass, with the prominent Pingora Peak on the right.

We set up camp in the meadows below.  Thankfully the snow pack was incredibly light this year.  Normally there would be no way we'd be climbing here in the middle of June without ice climbing gear.  Here I am eating breakfast one morning in our cooking/eating area.

Here is Kristal on our way to climb the Northeast Face 5.8+ of Pingora Peak.

It's about 1200ish feet high, and even though it doesn't look that far away, it was still over an hour's approach from camp to the base of the climb. The climb itself was pretty awesome, and despite being so remote there were 2 parties ahead of us on route (it is one of the 50 classic climbs of North America).  Here is Kristal coming up the 4th pitch.

It marks the highest we've ever climbed, with the summit being at 11,884 feet.

As usual, the views from the top were pretty stunning.  Photos do not do them justice.  Here's the North Popo Agie River valley.

And Mitchell Peak.

We were also hoping to climb the East Ridge 5.6 of Wolf's Head (on the right below), but the approach and descent had a bit too much steep snow for our liking, and we decided to do some hiking in the area instead.


  1. AWESOME! So glad to see your faces in WY. It makes me miss it....Enjoy the views for me, there the best! But the Sierra's don't suck :) Hope your happy & healthy, and sending everything. xoxo