Peaks Climbed: UN 12,140, "August 16th Peak" & Bair Peak

Peak Heights: 12,140' / 12,220' / 12,335'

Route: SW Slopes / NW Slopes / NE Slopes

Difficulty: Class 3

Location: Wind River Range, Wyoming

Trailhead: Big Sandy Opening

Mileage & Gain: 9 mi & 4,000 ft RT

Date Climbed: August 22, 2018

August 16th Peak piqued my interest the first time I visited the southern Winds. As I perused the topo map of the surrounding area while camping in the Cirque, the peculiarly named triangular form drew my attention. What was this little curiosity nestled behind and hidden by the great Lizard Head? Kelsey reports that when Bonney and friends climbed it back in 1940 they found a note left by a Mr. Hoffman who had reached the summit on August 16th, 1931 while trying to find a way up Lizard Head.

I used the large basin south of Washakie Lake to access this trio of peaks. Excellent game trails make travel up the drainage quite pleasant despite an abundance of willows at times. This area showed the heaviest game activity I have ever encountered in the Winds.

UN 12,140 is a breeze; it posed no trouble despite very low visibility in a thick pea soup. The clouds began to lift once I summitted and the views toward Lizard Head were grand.

August 16th Peak proved to be easy but quite interesting, dramatically overhanging the glaciated basin to the east. The north ridge appears to be no more than a scramble, but the northwest slopes offer an easier, much more efficient path. Even so, I recommend wandering over to the ridge at some point just to peer down the steep and airy east side. I was glad I did.

Bair took some work. I did a descending traverse to gain the saddle between August 16th and Bair (aka Illinois Pass). A long and tedious but very reasonable traverse across steep slopes got me into the small drainage east of Bair. The summit area is a mass of big boulders, and I'm pretty sure I did some low 5th class moves to get to the top of the highest one. Kelsey calls the route second class, but I wonder if he thought the other nearby (and much more mundane) summit was higher. Its close, but I'm pretty sure the jumble of boulders is taller. Its also entirely possible that Kelsey was never actually up here.

Home | Peak List | Canyon List | Trip Reports | Colorado | Utah | Wyoming | Montana | Arizona | New York | South Dakota | International