After discussing some options with some different folks, both Aaron Diamond and myself became psyched on the idea of venturing out into Titcomb Basin in the Wind River Range. My only previous experience with the Winds has been climbing in the Cirque of the Towers. After that trip, I would still say that the Cirque is one of the most impressive and beautiful places that I have ever been. Needless to say, I was very excited to get back inside the Wind River's signature granite walls for some couloir skiing.
Our trip started with a snowy access road, and a few rednecks that abandoned their stuck trucks that blocked our passage to the trailhead. After a wild rodeo in my Honda Element and 1+ hour of digging with avy shovels, we parked three miles from the trailhead and departed for Titcomb basin two hours later than we had hoped.
By now the sun had heated up the snow to create wet corn, which soaked our skins and made the dry snow in the shade stick and refreeze to our skis. We were left with a balled up mess 8 inches deep on each ski, which was horribly frustrating. It did not matter how much glob-stopper we applied, we were slowed to a crawl. I was also pulling a sled, which made my situation even more frustrating.
Our plan was to make it all the way to Titcomb on the first day, but that was soon becoming unrealistic with our rising level of frustrations. we found a camp spot and were relieved to take our skis off and cook some dinner.
I spent the night getting hammered with snow through the open zipper and trying to keep my wet feet warm with a hot water bottle. We got up the next day to on-and-off white out conditions and wet sleeping bags. Both Aaron and I were feeling a bit burnt out on expedition travel and dealing with gear malfunctions. Additionally, the storm conditions were presenting stability concerns. After discussing our options, both or us were unanimously in the "lets get the fuck out of here" mind set.
We made it back to Jackson around 7pm and celebrated our cross-country skinning adventure over beers and burgers!