Thursday, March 7, 2013

Titcomb Basin - Wind River Range 2012

The planning for our Wind River trips always starts in January.  The group email is sent out asking for ideas where everybody would like to go.  Only a handful reply back on where they would like to go.  This year we only had 4 people chime in.  Titcomb Basin was topping the list of places the group would like to see.   Over the past 5 year the group gets smaller and smaller.  As summer was closing in, we only had 4 of us going.  Then work plans and office issues interfered with two more of the group.  It was looking like it would just be Wade and Myself.

Then Wade was informed by his family that there would be a wedding the main weekend we were heading in.  He was still planned on the 11 mile hike in, spending the next day hiking to Titcomb Basin then hiking out the next morning.  I was contacted by Boyd in June that he and Jer were in.  I would drive in with Wade and hike out Sunday with the other two.

Body and Jer would be heading in from Salt Lake and Wade and I from Logan.  We managed to make Photographers Point by noon,  We dropped the packs, ate lunch and snapped a few photos.  After a 35 minute break we were off.  The hike from Eklund to Seneca Lake kicked our BUTTS!  It was hot, the trail was pounded into a fine dust from all the foot traffic.  We made Seneca lake just before dark, I don't even remember how long it took us to get in.  It was by far the most time I have ever spent hiking on a trail.

Photographers Point

One of the guys in our group had blisters so bad he stayed in camp the next day and enjoyed Seneca Lake and his hammock while we headed up the trail to Titcomb Basin.

Little Seneca Lake

Little Seneca Panorama

The hike from Seneca Lake over to Island Lake wasn't all that bad.  With just small day packs and no weight on our backs, we made good time.  The hike from Seneca Lake to Island has a few ups and a few downs.  There just big enough to make the hike with a big pack a bear.  At one of the big trail junctions coming from the Cooks Lakes we ran into people from all over the US.  It was fun chitchatting with all these people.  The sight of Island Lake, standing in the last saddle was amazing.  It's by far one of the most picturesque places in the Winds.

Island Lake

We took our time hiking over to Titcomb Basin.  As we hiked the south end of Island Lake we decided to hike over to Titcomb Creek and follow that up to Titcomb Basin.

Island Lake looking west

By the time we made it to the edge of Titcomb Basin, the storm clouds started piling up against the jagged peaks.  It looked as if we might be in for a storm.  We stopped long enough to eat lunch, snap a few photos and fish for the elusive Golden Trout.   Wade was able to hook into his first ever Golden, but he was unable to land it.  Boyd was able to land his first Golden Trout on this day hike.  Due to the storm clouds we didn't have a chance to fish many of the lakes.  At a later date I will post the fishing photos, I don't have those photos with me right now.  The size of the fish we caught were small, nothing over 12".

As we started the steep climb out of Island Lake the clouds really started to bunch up.  We were lucky enough to only get sprinkled on once.  Back at Seneca lake we had large storm clouds west of us and east of us, they split right over us giving us nice cool temps and no ran.  The worst of the storms were east of camp, the poor people camping at Island Lake, Titcomb and Indian Basin sure got a scare.  The sky lite up for the next hour and a half over that way.

Storm west of camp

Lightning west of camp

Evening glow

Lightning east of camp

While we were enjoying the evening glow and the low rumbles of thunder we discuses hiking out in the morning.  With Wade needed to make it to his Sisters wedding and one of the other guys wanting to get out of there, we decided to all leave in the morning.  Talk about a long hike for such a short trip.  At some point I will be going back.  I want to hike Fremont Peak and fish a few more lakes in the area.  2013 isn't looking to good for a long backpacking trip.  Maybe 2014 will be my year.