A new, challenging route in the Wind River Range was what we desired. Chris and I met in Lander 3 weeks ago, slowly got ourselves organized and hiked into the East Fork Valley on July 17th, for one of the snowiest, buggiest damn good times I’ve experienced in that range. We hired a wrangler and horse for a 150 lb gear drop, making it possible for us to walk the 14 miles with roughly 60 lbs each and then only back track 3 miles for the rest of our kit-kaboodle.
While thigh deep in places, the snow was melting quickly when we arrived so we chose flattish, dry rocks near Midsummer’s Donme to set up our tents. Upon arrival I had a clairvoyant moment, dubbing our base camp ‘Storm Point.’ An hour later, we were in lighting position, attempting to keep our tents from blowing away and getting scared in the eye of a storm. The weather remained unstable for a few days with severe afternoon t-storms. I spent most of this time reading a new book and fantasizing about being a cowgirl.
As the skies cleared we were able to set our sights on Ambush Peak. Roughly a 1600 ft wall, the central part of the east face begins as a slab that gradually steepens until an arching roof system, at approx. 800 ft, marks the change to steep to vertical climbing. Chris and I used a spotting scope from the base as best we could, trying to link up the discontinuous flakes and cracks. We’d brought no pins with our gear and, while thankful to have bolts and a handrill, we were trying to find a line that wouldn’t require us to bolt too much.
Prior to our trip, we gathered what climbing info we could on the valley. Previous climbers in the area helped make first ascent desires a successful reality. There is already an excellent moderate route going nearly halfway up the wall. Ambush Plaisir Aside from the last pitch, we climbed this route and then began poking around for possibilities from there. I’d also spoken with Chip Chace for ideas and info. He soloed a beautiful aid line up the center of the east face, through the large roof, and we wondered if it’d be possible to freeclimb the route with a significant deviation around the roof. While we did see an option left of his line, that may connect back right, we ended up getting pulled into a line just to the right of the big roof and continuing straight up from there.
Here’s a link to the route ‘I Think Therefore I Ambush’ and I’ll post more later! MountainProjectPost