Wind River Range, Wyoming

During the late summer of 2013 I went on my second solo backpacking trip into the Wind River Range.
I love the high craggy polished granite, lakes without end,
and miles and miles of remote mountain wilderness.
It takes a day or two from most trailheads to even get near the high country.

This nine day backpacking trip was designed to see some of the iconic locations
in the northern part of the range, including Island Lake, Titcomb Basin, and Bald Mountain Basin.
My aim was a relatively leisurely time in the mountains.

I wanted time to photograph, time to sit in high places
and try to absorb or be absorbed by the intricacies of the vast scenes before me.
And as usual I wanted to walk. I love to walk in the mountains, occasionally to work with Dogen's saying,
"If you doubt mountains walking, you do not know your own walking."

I started at Elkhart Park trailhead and a day and a half later camped for three nights near lower Titcomb Lake.
My first day hike up to the end of Titcomb Basin was a great treasure.
The next day's walk brought me past an intricacy of lakes to Indian Pass.
On the fifth day, after a short backpack, I found a nice secluded place to camp overlooking upper Cook Lake.
During the next two days, amid passing storms and dramatic weather, I walked past Wall Lake
to the Continental Divide and then on the second day did a fine crosscountry ramble
in a loop through Bald Mountain Basin. And finally a day and a half backpack to the car.

The drive through the Green River Valley south of Pinedale brings passing waves of heartache
over the oil and gas boom happening there. In addition to the air pollution, ecological disturbance
and highways full of trucks, the thought rings in my mind
that we need to leave over 1/2 of our proven fossil fuel reserves in the ground.
Otherwise our chances of avoiding a global catastrophe caused by climate change are dim.
And of course I am complicit in dumping carbon dioxide into the atmosphere
by the very act of driving from Colorado up to the Winds.
But the large changes that need to happen in the global economy and in global energy use
are mired in corporate greed, public indifference and misinformation, and partisan political self-interest and stupidity.

Yet the wonderous views of the Wind River Range help make the Green River Valley quite beautiful.
The goal is to be fully alive and aware to both the joy and the frightening peril of the moment.

There is great joy to be found in the wilderness, which I try to reflect in my photography;
and one of the groundings of a trip like this is often being able to keep my mind in the mountains
and not out in the dusty world of everyday life and the distress of the news cycle.

I hope you enjoy this gallery of images from my backpacking trip.
They are not in chronological order, but arranged with the idea of viewing them on the page and in sequence.
As usual, there are many photographs of lakes. I can't resist.

Click on any of the thumbnails below to view a larger image

   Click on any of the thumbnails above to view a larger image

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All photographic images - Copyright 2013, Tom Andrews, Wildland Art. All rights reserved