FKT: Eli Boardman - Wind River Northern Divide 13ers Traverse (WY) - 2020-06-28

Gender category
Route variation
Standard route
Start date
Finish date
Total time
1d 18h 33m

On Friday, I backpacked in 22.5 miles (solo) on the Glacier Trail to upper Gannett Creek. This put me in great position to climb the notorious Mount Koven, a serrated fin of granite on the Divide at the head of the enormous Gannett Glacier. I climbed a non-crevassed arm of the glacier in the twilight, then climbed a short couloir to the summit ridge, which went at 5.easy. This was one of the most rewarding summits ever!

After downclimbing, I used another arm of the glacier to access Bastion before returning to camp. I packed up and hiked north with my full backpack towards the Divide, climbing up and over U.N. Point 13180, sidehilling moderate snow to gain Flagstone and Pedestal, and side-tripping to the beautifully snowy Klondike Peak. The next section was one of my least favorites last year too--a bunch of talus, endless little ridges, and enough snow postholing to keep my feet soaked. Eventually I made it to U.N. Point 13062 and followed some (thankfully dry) talus to Downs Mountain, reaching the summit of my 8th thirteener of the day around 6 p.m.

I had planned such a long day because the weather forecasts unanimously agreed it would be cloudless sunrise to sunset, and they were right so far. Only a few non-menacing clouds hung to the west. I descended to the east to Goat Flat, when suddenly not even a half hour later, a massive ominous storm appeared out of nowhere over the Divide. I raced it as best as I could, but I ended up still jumping through talus above 12k on a desolate plateau when it hit with lightning all around, driving sleet, and a ripping gust-front. Eventually I reached the safety of treeline around dark, and the trailhead just after midnight, making for a 20+ hour, roughly 27.5-mile second day.

Overall it was a great success to get 7 easy peaks plus the rather fearsome Koven, and the views weren't too shabby. See verification link for pictures.

A few splits:

Trailhead 5:51 a.m. 6/26

<camped above Gannett Creek>

Koven summit 5:54 a.m. 6/27

Downs summit 6:20 p.m. 6/27 (12 hr 26 min first summit to last summit)

Trailhead 12:23 a.m. 6/28 (42 hr 32 min total)

Trip report with photos: