American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing
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North America, United States, Wyoming—Wind River Range, Ross Lake Cirques Area

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1961

Ross Lake Cirques Area. Brian Underhill and I spent two weeks in early August in this area, which offers the northernmost climbing in the Wind River Range, being several miles north of even Downs Peak. As inaccessible as any part of the range, the backpack took us four days to get past Lower and Upper Ross Lake and included among other things the construction of a raft. A barren, decaying tableland, about 12,200 feet high, surmounts this network of cirques. A relatively easy route was found to the tableland, leading directly up the wall above our camp at Mile Long Lake (grade 3). Once on this shelf, one is prevented only by a mushy horizontal glacier from roaming all over the Downs Peak massif and the two flats, Ram Flat and Goat Flat. Downs Peak (13,344 feet) was climbed by way of Bonney’s Peaks 31 and 12. (See O. H. and L. Bonney, Guide to the Wyoming Mountains and Wilderness Areas, Denver, 1960.) We climbed many lesser unclimbed peaks in this vicinity including an easy scramble up Bonney’s Peak 26, a traverse along the ridge to Peak 30 and thence to Ram Flat and back to camp via Peak 24. Perhaps the most interesting peak is a flat-topped, steep-walled remnant of the tableland between East and West Torrey Creeks (Peak 29) ; this had apparently only one weakness, the north ridge, a grade 3 climb. We also climbed the southwest ridge of “Torrey Peak” (no Bonney number), which lies east of the southern end of Upper Ross Lake. Almost every notable protrusion was climbed except for a selection of fine needles around the foot of Jeralee Lake. New snow at the end of the second week kept us from trying their ascent.

Christopher Goetze, Harvard Mountaineering Club

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