Monday, May 26, 2008

Gearing Up for the Top of Wyoming

Many backcountry skiers and snowboarders are stashing their gear away for the season and moving on to "filler" sports or heading south for the summer in search of powder, but for three skiers and one splitboarder/photographer the adventure is just about to begin.

The setting for this journey is deep in the heart of Wyoming's Wind River Mountains, Gannett Peak, with an elevation 13,804 feet and Wyoming's highest summit. The goal is to climb and ski Gannett Peak and as many aesthetic lines possible in this area from June 1-7, 2008.

(Gannett Peak on the horizon left of TetonAt.com)

The spark for this trip was developed over a few cold suds on a dark February night at the Lander Bar. Talk is grand in those situations and partners were many, but as summer and climbing season approached all but myself had jumped ship. With the regular partners out, it was time to recruit a few skiers who I knew would make it happen.

First thing in mind was to keep it in the family. My cousins, Chris and Tim Weydeveld, who are tele-skiing brothers, immediately were interested being natives to Wyoming. Not wanting to be crammed into a Black Diamond Mega Light for an entire week, one more partner was needed, so I emailed Steve Romeo. Steve has wanted to tick this peak off his list for a while (see other trips to this area at www.tetonat.com) and treat himself to a sweet birthday present in the Winds, so he was in.

(photo courtesy of TetonAt.com, Romeo skiing in the Wind River Mountain Range)

With strong able-bodied partners rounded up, the logistics needed to be figured out. There are three approaches to Gannett Peak and none of them are short. With skiing as many lines and summiting Gannett being the main objective, we decided to take the "shortest" route via Cold Springs, which crosses through the Wind River Indian Reservation and is 14 miles one way to the base of the mountain.

For this route, we have had to hire a Native American Outfitter to drive us to the trailhead for drop off and pick up, and pay for trespassing permits for tribal access. All of this takes place before setting foot on trail, crossing crevasses and bergshrunds on glaciers, and attempting the worthy summit that is seldom skied.



Since logistics are taken care of, we begin shuffling through topo maps, sorting out gear and food with the help of backcountry.com, watching the weather and SNOTEL reports, waxing boards, and just waiting with hopes of summer not coming too soon.
I would like to thank backcountry.com for the opportunity to document and share this trip, and for the sweet gear and dedication they provide to the outdoor enthusiast. Their quality and customer service are the best. Stay tuned for a "Top 10 Gear List for Gannett Peak" in the next day or two and a formal trip report when we return from our journey.

~Jeramie Prine (aka wysplit_ride)

1 comments

1 Comments:

Anonymous Brad said...

Good luck Jermie and crew. Sounds like a blast. I look forward to seeing your awesome photos and reading your blog. I'll make sure to check out tetonat.com as well.

I always recommend backcountry.com to folks because of their customer service and pricing but now I have another reason....they really do support outdoor adventure!

5/27/2008 9:04 AM

 

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