Spiderwoman’s WRHR Tips


Spiderwoman thru-hiked the Wind River High Route in late-August 2016, joined by her companion The Brawn. Recently she sent me detailed notes about her experience and about the Wind River High Route Guide.

With her permission I have published all of the information that she shared. I think she offers a valuable perspective about the route, especially for those less acquainted with the physical, emotional, and logistical demands of high routes and remote wilderness areas. For those who have managed other high routes with relative ease, her comments may seem overdone.

Her feedback about the Guide has been incorporated into a Third Edition that will be released this spring. Where she pointed out errors and recommendations for improvement, they were fixed or added; and where felt that I mis-characterized the route, the text and maps have been updated. Because of these edits, some of her tips will no longer be current, although I will delete or edit specific remarks to avoid confusion.

Spiderwoman’s Tips for the Wind River High Route: Introduction

By Spiderwoman / January 28, 2017 /

To get a sense of how you do or don’t compare to my skills, style, and experience, please look at bios from my HDT Tips. I’m a very average backpacker. Not ultralight. Not ultra-fit. And definitely not ultra-relaxed about stressors and dangers. Put another way: if you’re in Skurka’s league, these Tips aren’t for you.…

Spiderwoman’s Tips || Section 1: Plains to Alpine

By Spiderwoman / January 28, 2017 /

Skurka writes that the first 14 miles are, in part, an opportunity to “find your hiking legs”. My pre-trip prep was two weeks of day hiking on trails with pack weight in the Sierra. That in no way prepared my body for what comes quickly: the West Gully descent. I may as well have started…

Spiderwoman’s Tips || Section 2: Cirques, Basins, and Valleys

By Spiderwoman / January 28, 2017 /

“Climb to a high alpine pass, descend to a low point, and repeat.” That’s it. That is Skurka’s WRHR. This is what your body and mind will be doing nearly all day, every day. So want to do this. And consider that you’ll maybe take a little life off your knees. I certainly did because…

Spiderwoman’s Tips || Section 3: High Above the Res

By Spiderwoman / January 28, 2017 /

Permits To show my respect to this land’s native inhabitants whose way of life my ancestors annihilated, I OF COURSE carried a permit. This is the very least I can do as a visitor. For every soul, culture, and lands lost, for all that “The Res” means, I moved through their ancient home with humility…

Spiderwoman’s Tips || Section 4: Continental Crux

By Spiderwoman / January 28, 2017 /

“The finest backcountry experience” – The scenery and raw mountain feel were absolutely amazing, but that was somewhat offset by the toll the terrain took on our joints (unstable talus, loose moraines, steep up, steep down, steep up, steep down). With my admittedly modest experience to draw from, I think a route in the High…

Spiderwoman’s Tips || Reflections, camps, conditions & other small details

By Spiderwoman / January 28, 2017 /

Where We Camped, Approximate Daily Mileage Just past “Campsite tr rejoins”. 2m “Protected camps in krumholtz”. Fished. 12m Lake 11,185 below West Gully. 4m Down in the trees just past “Legal camps on trailside benches”. 8m Just past “PR-20” & “Grassy lateral moraines, krumholtz + rockfield clusters”. 9m Outlet of Bewmark Lake. Fished. 7m Just…