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Conditions in Wyoming Rockies

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Conditions in Wyoming Rockies

Postby Wandering Daisy » Sun Jun 15, 2014 9:34 am

I have been keeping my eye on snowmelt in the Wind Rivers and thought I would pass on the information. Pinedale area got nearly 200% snowpack. Eastern side got about 150%. All areas above normal. Predicted to snow all this week above 10,000 feet. Mid elevation watersheds have already peaked flows. Because last few years have been dry, there has not been major flooding. The melt so far is a gradual melt. There was one week of high temperatures a few weeks ago. I plan to start my trips July 9, lower elevation trailheads and east side first and am preparing for lots of mosquitoes! I have delayed the higher elevations at the head of the Green River until August. In past years with similar conditions, I have found things quite snowy and high lakes frozen until mid-July. If you want to do July trips, you simply have to be prepared to deal with snow and mosquitoes. Snowpack in Wyoming generally has less moisture than in the Sierra, so tends to be softer -usually major post-hole conditions past noon. I simply do most of my travel in the morning hours. It does not get as icy as Sierra snow so I do not take crampons or microspikes.



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Re: Conditions in Wyoming Rockies

Postby maverick » Sun Jun 15, 2014 8:46 pm

WD,

What areas in the Winds are the highlights when it comes to wild flowers displays?
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Re: Conditions in Wyoming Rockies

Postby Eiprahs » Sun Jun 15, 2014 9:06 pm

WD,

Do you carry bear spray? And if you do, everywhere in the Winds, or just the North?

2012 we were fortunate to do a loop in Southern Winds, and more than half the people we met were carrying bear spray and we ended up feeling naked.

But we saw no bears at all!
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Re: Conditions in Wyoming Rockies

Postby Wandering Daisy » Mon Jun 16, 2014 6:21 pm

I only carry bear spray in the northern part of the range where grizzly bear have been seen- Green River Lakes (west) and Torrey Creek (east) drainages, and on the Reservation. There are bears in the south part but they are black bear and not nearly as pesky as Sierra bears. Bears on the Reservation are a bit more bold because they are not hunted. I do use a bear canister although it is not required. I spend most of my time at pretty high altitude (10,000 feet and above) and bears are more common in the 8000-9500 feet elevation range.

Wildflower season starts mid July, and on into August at the higher elevations. There are massive meadows full of wildflowers, primarily from 9,500 feet upwards. Unlike the Sierra, there are sufficient thunderstorms all summer to keep flowers blooming quite long and grasses green throughout the summer. Lots of miniature alpine flowers on the relatively flat extensive flat high ridges (12000 feet elevation) in August. Lots of different areas. In June the desert flowers near the trailheads bloom. Cirque of the Towers (Lonesome Lake side) has good wildflowers and meadows, as well as spectacular scenery. This summer should be really good for wildflowers (And mosquitoes).
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Re: Conditions in Wyoming Rockies

Postby Eiprahs » Sat Jun 21, 2014 7:22 am

WD!

Thanks for your reply about bear spray.

I would love to return to the Winds, especially in a higher snowpack year than my one visit (2012).

I travel with others, tho, and while we haven't agreed on a destination(s) for 2014, the Winds are not a priority for the group.

Best to you on this Summer's trek--your detailed trip reports on the Winds are the best.
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