Day 6 Wind River High Route – Alpine Tundra & Europe Peak

If today doesn’t prove anything, it proves that it all goes.
~Wired
Oh, it goes.
~Why Not

July 28
Tarn below Europe Peak to Lake Below Douglas Pass – 10.7 miles

Route: Europe Peak * up on the Continental Divide * Golden Lakes *lake below Douglas Pass

 

Photo journal:

Sunset
Sunset
Early morning easy walking
Early morning easy walking
Beginning of the route up Europe Peak
Beginning of the route up Europe Peak
Route we ended up taking to the ridge below Europe Peak. The guidebook had a bit of confusing directions how to access the ridge. We improvised and found this nice class 3 ramp to access the last 200 feet to the top. This is Wired on the ramp.
Route we ended up taking to the ridge below Europe Peak. The guidebook had a bit of confusing directions how to access the ridge. We improvised and found this nice class 3 ramp to access the last 200 feet to the top. This is Wired on the ramp.
Top of Europe Peak ~ This was an amazing view and climb, despite the smokey skies.
Top of Europe Peak ~ This was an amazing view and climb, despite the smokey skies.
Europe Peak ~ Just had to add this one. I think I have ran into over 50 pass and summit photos this summer. The shots that I didn't quite make it are awkward and hilarious. This one was quite a stretch to run into. This is the shot right before the one above. Got to say I am pretty proud I could even make it in time.
Europe Peak ~ Just had to add this one. I think I have ran into over 50 pass and summit photos this summer. The shots that I didn’t quite make it are awkward and hilarious. This one was quite a stretch to run into. This is the shot right before the one above. Got to say I am pretty proud I could even make it in time.
Why Not on top
Why Not on top
Southern view from Europe Peak
Southern view from Europe Peak
Wired and Why Not even had cell service from the top. ~ Wired hunkered down doing Interneting.
Wired and Why Not even had cell service from the top. ~ Wired hunkered down doing Interneting.
This is what I came for... hiking on the Continental Divide alpine tundra
This is what I came for… hiking on the Continental Divide alpine tundra
Wired completely set-up for lunch: shade, food, and a very comfortable kick-back spot.
Wired completely set-up for lunch: shade, food, and a very comfortable kick-back spot.
Up on the divide and alpine tundra
Up on the divide and alpine tundra
Golden Lakes ~ This is noted as one very beautiful spot to camp and enjoy. Unfortunately, there was quite a bit of smoke to fully enjoy the lake basin. We passed through quickly.
Golden Lakes ~ This is noted as one very beautiful spot to camp and enjoy. Unfortunately, there was quite a bit of smoke to fully enjoy the lake basin. We passed through quickly.
View from dinner spot right before camp for the night ~ The smoke makes for very interesting sky.
View from dinner spot right before camp for the night ~ The smoke makes for very interesting sky.

 

Today’s Gear Review:
Zpacks Solplex Cuben Fiber Tent

This quick review is overdue. Many of you know I am a huge fan of the two person Duplex that I use when hiking with a partner, like my daughter or husband. I have received many emails with questions about the Solplex. This summer was the first season with the tent. I have camped in this tent for about 45 nights at different elevations, seasons, and climates.

If you are looking for a detailed review you can search for good ones online.

My Solplex Thoughts and Tips:
-Very lightweight (17 ounces with 6 Titanium V Stakes and 2 hook stakes)
-Buy the V Stakes, at least for the main corners. If your stakes do not stay in the ground, it doesn’t matter how great, how, or where you pitch the tent.
-Packs really small (about the size of a Nalgene). I carry mine in the side outside pocket of my Gossamer Gear Gorilla pack. The tent even comes with a cuben fiber stuff sack.
-Plenty of room on the inside and the vestibule closes completely
-Easy to set-up. Zpacks now includes adjusters on each guy line for easy adjustment!
-Nice high bathtub for rain and wind protection.
-Waterproof and performs well in inclement weather.
-Also, I love the cheery blue color that is easy to locate.
-A bit pricey, but if you look at it as just a few nights in Motel 6, it is very affordable.
-I am a huge fan of Cuben Fiber for tents because the material does not absorb water. If the tent is wet on the outside in the morning, just shake it out and the water rolls right off. No more carrying the extra water weight on your back from a soggy silnylon tent.
-I camp with one door open unless the weather is really bad. I think this is why I rarely get inside condensation. As a bonus, with one door open I can look out at brilliant sunsets and during the night at the starry sky.

Zpacks Solplex Tent at Sunset ~ Douglas Pass our next morning destination on the high right.
Zpacks Solplex Tent at Sunset ~ Douglas Pass our next morning destination on the high right.

12 Comments

  1. Hiking through alpine tundra. Just wow!

  2. “-I am a huge fan of Cuben Fiber for tents because the material does not absorb water. If the tent is wet on the outside in the morning, just shake it out and the water rolls right off. ****No more carrying the extra water weight on your back from a soggy silnylon tent.”****

    That is a very important trait I hadn’t thought of or just plain forgotten. I’m having a hard time making a decision, mostly because of $$. Now it is definitely a little clearer for me.

    If you get a chance to provide a photo of the Solplex in its stuff sack, that’d be great. I was under the impression it was quite a bit larger.

    You must look like a bunny just hopping over all those rough lands as you try to quickly get back in the picture before the shutter goes off! Cool fact you let us in on.

    • Christy "Rockin'" Rosander

      Yep a bunny for sure. I will look for a pic. I do know Wired’s blogs have all sorts of pics of me with the blue bag in the side pocket of my pack.

  3. Those scenes! My god! Such beautiful views from Europe peak! You ladies look like you’re having a blast!

    • Christy "Rockin'" Rosander

      Europe Peak is a winner if you are ever in the area. It is not technical and is pretty amazing when you get to the top.

  4. Great to see you having a blast on the trail.

    • Christy "Rockin'" Rosander

      Hello Stormin’,
      Thanks for commenting. Getting outside with friends is a great privilege and challenge.

  5. Ray in Oregon

    Hi there and thank you for including a brief gear review. Do you have condensation in the Soloplex and if so how to you address it? I’m really considering getting one.

    • Christy "Rockin'" Rosander

      Thank you Ray for your question. I added that information to the above entry. I keep one door open unless the weather is bad or in high winds. I try not to camp near meadows and camp a bit above lakes or wet areas. The Solplex has mesh all the way around the bottom, so there is a lot of venting. I rarely get condensation during the night because of these precautions. On hard cold nights before I got my current sleeping system, I did close both doors and sometimes did get some condensation. For me, the key seems to be leaving one door open. Hey and it is a win because I get a view.

  6. Let me get this straight.. you RAN into that picture?? LOL Wow.. maybe you need to get a remote for your camera! Another great blog.. love the pic from the top of Europe Peak!!

    • Christy "Rockin'" Rosander

      LeAnn,
      I just love your comments! YES!!!! I ran into that picture and all the others you see with all three of us in the photo. ON snow, dirt, rocks, and ice.

      Remote? Do they make those in a very lightweight version?

      I am buying a new camera, perhaps my new one with have that capability. Thanks for my new gear challenge. You rock.

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