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North America, Contiguous United States, Wyoming, Wind River Mountains, Point 12,612', East Face, The Illness

Point 12,612', East Face, The Illness. In August, 1988, Franziska Garrett, James Garrett and Fred Beckey traveled to the seldom-visited St. Lawrence Basin of the Wind River Range to attempt the east face of Point 12,612' on the Wolverine. James and Franziska spent the night at the top of pitch 5. They climbed two pitches in the morning and then descended. The three of them then climbed the beautiful ridge (complete with a gendarme rappel) on Saddleback’s north face (5.8, 1,800') the next day.

Then, in the summer of 1997, Franzisca Garrett, James Garrett and Kris Pietryga returned to Wolverine. This time, equipped with ample aid gear and portlaledges, James and Kris made it to pitch 8, whereupon the weather turned bad just as Kris pulled off a huge block, nearly hitting James. They descended.

Finally, in August, 1999, James Garrett, Fred Beckey, Ryan Hokanson, John Chilton and Kris Pietryga traveled to the St. Lawrence Basin once again. Kris and his friend, Fisherman Sam, fixed the first two pitches and carried huge loads for us. In the next two days, Ryan, James and Johnny made the first complete ascent of The Illness (IV 5.10 A3, nine pitches) on the east face, with Fred providing spiritual advisement at camp. The route consists of nine full 200-meter pitches, and requires some thin nailing and a few heads. We used a horse packer to get our stuff to within three miles of the wall, well worth the exorbitant prices charged; contact the Ft. Washakie Chamber of Commerce. This climb exists on the Wind River Indian Reservation so restrictions may apply.

Ryan Hokanson