A couple of years in the making, Jared Campbell and I have been talking about doing the JMT together. Making the rookie mistake and not getting our names submitted for the permit lottery we decided to take a stab at the highline trail in the Wind River Range. Not only is it much closer, it is hardly a step down and it would allow us to try out our gear and ability to work together. Unfortunately Jared experienced a mishap with a hammy during the Jupiter Steeplechase, but being the tough-guy bad @$$ Hardrock champion that he is decided to give it a go anyway. We met in Pinedale Friday afternoon, cruised up to the Green River Lakes and packed our bags for an ultralight “sprint” through the Wind Rivers. We decided to deviate a little from our highline trail idea for “more interesting and stellar” terrain. Jared was hoping that a little long, slow trail time would loosen up his hip and we would take in 80 miles of high-altitude magic. We got an early start and after a couple of hours it was evident that despite his pain that we would be able to pull each other along, he pulled me through the scrambling sections and I pulled him through the more runnable spots. It was also evident that we wouldn’t be able to keep time to get through the entire run so we activated the “spot” tracker we were carrying and bailed for the Boulder trailhead. The spot worked to perfection and Mindy was there waiting for us.
We weren’t able to complete the designated route but we had an enjoyable day in the mountains, skied some glaciers, swam in a lake, and enjoyed 65 miles of Wind River Beauty. Lessons also learned, to Jared, “Stellar” means really difficult, and always, always, always, pack extra batteries for your headlamp.