Trip Pictures

Benjy's pack

Dye

Winds

Bridger Wilderness

Big Sandy Creek

Big Sandy Lake

Big Sandy Lake

Benjy

Benjy

Clear Lake

Clear Lake

Clear Lake

Clear Lake

Clear Lake

Clear Lake

Clear Lake

Winds

Winds

Meadow

Winds

Arrowhead Lake

Arrowhead Lake

Winds

Benjy

Winds

Temple Peak

Cirque of the Towers

Cirque of the Towers

Cirque of the Towers

Cirque of the Towers

Cirque of the Towers

Cirque of the Towers

Boulder field

Climbers

Temple Peak

Big Sandy Lake

Meadow

Cirque of the Towers

        Trip Pictures Pelican Valley-Yellowstone Gunsight Pass Canada 2013 Atlantic Canyon North Winds Yellowstone May 2013 Yellowstone Jan 2013 Brooks Lake Weminuche Beartooths 2012 Cirque of the Towers Union Pass New Zealand Yellowstone Winter 2012 Tennessee Fall 2011 Parents Selway-Bitterroots Grand Canyon Yellowstone 2011 Carlsbad California Tetons Frank Church Absarokas Beartooths Absarokas Montana Glacier Boise Zion - Grand Canyon Yellowstone Tennessee Redwoods Tetons Jebediah Smith Wilderness Winds Shoshone Geyser Basin Beartooths France Yellowstone North Winds Georgia and North Carolina Tennessee Yellowstone Tetons Beartooths Yellowstone Tennessee Colorado Yellowstone Dallas Hawaii Tennessee Yellowstone Tetons North Dakota Wind River Range Beartooth Hwy Tennessee Yellowstone Death Valley Lake Powell Yellowstone Washington Yellowstone Lake Powell Yellowstone Ohio Sonoran Desert Grand Canyon/Zion South-eastern Utah Craters of the Moon/Tetons Bryce/Lake Powell Alaska Iraq Iraq Boundary Waters Middle East Okefenokee Middle East Louisiana Utah Wyoming Arches/Canyonlands Tetons/Yellowstone Maine Glacier NP France Washington D.C. Miscellaneous

On 25 Jul 12, Benjy flew out and we took a trip to the Winds up to Cirque of the Towers

(Google Map).  Of course, for Benjy this was a climbing trip, but I convinced him to spend a

couple of days backpacking with me.  I had never been to the Cirque because I thought it was

too crowded, so this was a good excuse to go see it.  The trail to Big Sandy Lake was mostly

flat, so it was a pleasant hike.  From Big Sandy Lake we hiked up to Clear Lake.  Clear was

pretty, and there was only one other group camped at the lake, so that was really nice.  We

planned to hike on to Temple Lake, but Benjy's pack was crazy heavy with all of his climbing

gear, so we called it a day at Clear Lake.

The next day, Friday, we dropped back down to Big Sandy, and then made the climb up to

Jackass Pass.  I really didn't think the climb up to the Pass was that hard.  It was kind of long,

but it wasn't terribly steep.  A rain storm blew in as we neared the top of the pass, and the wind

was howling pretty good.  We made our way around the back side of Arrowhead Lake, and

then dropped down into the Cirque of the Towers basin.  We looked around for a campsite,

and found a pretty good campsite overlooking the cirque.  We then started worrying about how

we would find Benjy's friend, Ryan, who was hiking in to meet us in the cirque.  The cirque

wasn't as crowded as I was afraid it would be, but it was still pretty crowded, and it was bigger

than I expected.  I hiked around the cirque making sure he wasn't already there, and then

went back to camp.  Our camp was a few yards off the trail, so I tied a shirt to a tree on the

trail to try to signal to Ryan where we were, hoping he would come into the basin the same

way we did.  Just 60 seconds after I tied the shirt up, Ryan came walking into camp carrying

the shirt...that was lucky!  We set up camp, which would be their base camp for the next three

nights, and settled in for the night.

On Saturday I packed up and headed back to the trailhead by myself, and Ryan and Benjy

headed out to climb for the day.  I hiked along the backside of Arrowhead Lake, which involved

a lot of large boulder hopping...not really a good idea when you're by yourself with a full pack.

Oh well, I lived.  Then I just had a nice, pleasant hike down to Big Sandy Lake and then out to

the trailhead.

This was a really nice hike, but I still think Titcomb Basin is nicer.  The Cirque is definitely

better for rock climbers, though.  It wasn't as crowded as I had expected, but like everywhere

I've been in the Winds, it was more crowded than I prefer.  I was also amazed how much gear

Ryan and Benjy had to carry for alpine climbing...their packs weighed about 70 pounds each.

Ouch.  I was impressed.  But I'm also confident I will never be a rock climber!