Saturday, August 2, 2014

Wyoming's Wind River Range Golden Trout Epic Adventure Part 2.

Sunday July, 27th, 2014.


   I awoke early to shoot the waterfall that was near to our camp, we had seen it last year but never were able to visit. So, since I was the first one up and have been really enjoying shooting the other waterfalls I run across I decided to take some pictures. As I climbed out of my tent I noticed some frost on the rain fly.

    It must have dropped below freezing to frost everything like that, even the flowers around camp were frosted. I grabbed my camera bag and headed up the stream towards the waterfall and the closer I came the more beautiful it grew.

    A little closer.

   Top Falls.

    The sun was just barely beginning to rise when I made it back to camp and my trail mates were still asleep in the tents.

    So I shot some of the flowers around camp.

    Just a thin layer of frost!

    After making my rounds shooting flowers my son awoke and we started breakfast, we found some ice in our stove! It didn't feel that cold last night.

    After breakfast, we broke camp and carefully repacked our backpacks! We did use a couple meals last night but it didn't seem to change the weight. With a groan we shouldered our packs once again and began the arduous task of climbing the additional thousand foot to reach the top of the pass. We were camped at 10600 according to the map and the top of the pass is listed as 11600. We had to turn back last year due to a possible altitude sickness scare and at that time we were dreading the idea of the climb. This year however we were committed to tackle this monster. We just took it one step at a time!

    Along the way I found a couple other flowers.

    We reach the pass and we ran into some N.O.L.S. which stands for Nation Outdoor Leadership School. They had already been out there for twenty five days and were on their last leg of their course. Most of them were from California, however there was one from Connecticut and one from Wisconsin. My buddy shared some of his chocolate and one of them looked like she was going to cry she was so happy. I love to backpack but I am not sure I could spend twenty five days out in the wilderness. We had lunch and took some pictures on top and then looked hard at the map to plot our next move.

    Our group under Angel peak.   

    Us again with the Western side of the Continental divide behind us.

    The Eastern side of the Continental divide.

    Still some glaciers.

    Looks like there is still a little ice on some of the water too!

    It took quite a while to cross these boulders! We had to take a break!

    One of the many unnamed lakes on this side of the Winds.

    In order to make our way around the above pictured lake we had to negotiate some glaciers.

    A look back.

    Crossing the Tundra!

    Had to throw a few casts!

    I'll apologies in advance because I will be vague as to the lakes we will be visiting simply because the fish we are chasing are hard to find and very rare. I spent three years researching and obsessing over this fish and where to find them. Unfortunately the online fishing community can be vicious when they believe you are "hotspotting" and I would rather not deal with the drama. 

     The trip down to the next lake was quite the adventure in itself because there is no trail on the map or one that we could find. It was very difficult trek over huge boulders, thick willow and dense scree fields; well over five grueling miles. Normally I don't mind going down hill but in this case it was one of the least fun aspects of the trip. We made it to this lake just below an unnamed pass that we intended to tackle the next day and set camp. I was feeling a little nauseous and ended up napping for an hour hiding inside of my tent due to the never ending onslaught of relentless blood sucking mosquitos!

    What a beautiful lake! We fished damn near every square inch of this lake and as far as we can tell it's dead. This bothered us greatly because the fish we were chasing are supposed to be in this lake and made me a little nervous due to how much time we had spent getting here. We made our dinner and began the process of planning our trip the next day and feeling optimistic we will find Golden trout in the next lake.

     Inlet next to our camp.

    Stay tuned!

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