Climbing and Hiking in the Wind River Mountains

Kelsey, Joe
Year Published: 

"Completely updated and revised, this guide covers backcountry travel in Wyoming's Wind River Mountains

I bought this book to plan a week-long backpacking trip. It is very similar in concept to Secor's ""High Sierra"" guide for CA's Sierra Nevada: Adequate description of the trails and off-trail passes, and comprehensive information for climbers on about everything climbable. I am not a technical climber and cannot judge the book's usefulness as a real ""climbing guide"", but I like to take off-trail excursions, shortcuts, and scrambles. Together with the ""Earthwalk"" topos (which are excellent) this book was just the right thing for planning a backpacking trip with ""side adventures"". If you stay strictly on the trail, you might find a pure trail guide more useful, as trail descriptions only make up 10 or 20% of the text. Off-trail travel turned out to be easy in the Wind Rivers, though. The book has a short and very interesting account of the history of Wind River exploration.

This book outlines hundreds of different routes up all of the Wind's well-known peaks (as well as several not-so-well-know ones). He did a phenomenal job amassing all of this information. There is enough here for a short lifetime of awesome mountain trekking. Kelsey held no punches with this one. The information Kelsey gives is mean, lean, and straight to the point. Novices beware, this book makes no attempts to come down to anyone's level. This is both its virtue and its vice. Be forewarned, this book is written for those grounded in that arts of route-finding, technical climbing, and alpine survival. It is not a hiking book. If you are uncomfortable with this, either buy a more toned-down Wind River guide, or pick up a book to build your skills like ""Mountaineering: The Freedom of the Hills"" and start psyching yourself up for some world class backcountry.

Joe Kelsey has taken the old trail book of Finis Mitchell's and turned it into a Trail and Mountain Guide that leads you to every nook and crany, you would want to go. Many years before Joe's book, I would hike the Winds with Mitchells book in hand as if I was following an old adventurers pencil notebook. Today, Joe Kelsey's ""Wind River Hiking/Climbing Guide"" is as necessary as the matches."

4.5 of 5