Route: Wind River Northern Divide 13ers Traverse (WY)

Submitted by Eli Boardman on Wed, 07/01/2020 - 09:27am
Location
Wyoming, US
Distance
50 mi
Vertical Gain
15000 ft
Description

The goal of this route is to climb all 8 of the 13-thousand-foot peaks on or near the Continental Divide north of Gannett in a single push.

This section of the Wind Rivers makes a spectacular high mountain traverse, with a continuous line of snow and rock peaks covering some of the wildest terrain in the lower 48. Any route is permissible as long as you summit the 8 thirteeners listed below; times are car-to-car, though it is most practical to spend a night between the approach and the traverse. The hardest climbing is 5.easy / moderate snow, and the biggest challenge is likely to be the weather, since you'll be way above treeline for a considerably long time.

The best approach is via the Glacier Trail out of Dubois, WY, as this takes you directly to the start of the climbing and makes for a convenient loop. 20 miles from the trailhead, leave the trail and bushwhack up Gannet Creek to its headwaters. This makes a suitable alpine bivy to hit the glacier at sunrise (recommended for safety).

Figure out a suitable way onto the Gannett Glacier, and climb to the base of the east face of Mount Koven, just north of Gannett Peak. Climb a couple hundred feet up a moderate snow couloir and follow the 5.easy south ridge of Koven to its summit. This constitutes the only slightly difficult climbing of the route, and an ice axe, crampons, and helmet are recommended for climbing Koven.

After Koven, link miles of easy snow slopes, boulder fields, and 3rd-class ridges to climb the next 7 thirteeners, which are: Bastion Peak, Unnamed Point 13180, Flagstone Peak, Pedestal Peak, Klondike Peak, Unnamed Point 13062, and Downs Mountain.

Descend Downs Mountain to Goat Flat and return via the comfort of the Glacier Trail.