Some Baptiste Lake/Mount Hooker Photos

Just thought I’d share some pictures from the trip to Baptiste Lake and Mount Hooker in the Wind River Range last weekend. For those that don’t know, Baptiste Lake (10,828′) sits on the boarder of the Wind River Indian Reservation and the Popo Agie Wilderness, and is most easily accessed by the white man with a 16-18 mile hike over Hailey Pass heading north from the Big Sandy Trailhead. It is an amazing zone that few people visit and the trek in is full of steep granite, idyllic alpine meadows, wildflowers, big sweeping views and crystal clear water. We managed to go swimming in Baptiste Lake (well…if you call a millisecond dunk under water before racing to get out of the frigid waters…”swimming”) and at cose to 11K’, it’s probably the highest lake I will ever swim in. Brrrrrr.

Click all photos for larger images.sunset-on-baptiste
Sunset on Baptiste Lake.

kitty-and-east-fork-peaks
Randokitty hikes towards the East Fork Peaks.
From left to right, Mount Bonneville, Tower Peak, Mount Hooker and Pyramid Peak.

approaching-haily-pass
Nearing the top of Hailey Pass with the southeast side of Mount Hooker behind.
The top of the easiest route (3rd class) to the top of Hooker is on the right.

musembeah-and-pilot-knob
Looking at Musembeah (12,693′) on the left (closed to climbing w/o a permit)
and the Baptiste/Grave Lake valley from Haily Pass.

kitty-and-mount-hooker
Randokitty arrives at Baptiste Lake with the North Face of Mount Hooker catching the sun.
This face is 1,800′ tall and is known as one of the four baddest big walls in North America.

morning-on-mount-lander
After a good rain event overnight, there was some cool fog lingering
in front of Mount Lander and our campsite the following morning.

mount-hooker-and-baptiste-lake-zone
Mount Hooker, Tower Peak, Glissade Peak and the
southwestern part of Baptiste Lake viewed from the east.

mount-bonneville-to-gannet-peak
Looking north from the summit of Mount Hooker, one can see all the peaks from Raid Peak
on the far left, to Gannett Peak way off in the distance in the upper right.

freemont-and-gannett
The South Couloir of Freemont Peak looking rad and
the upper snowfield of Gannett still holding tons of snow.

east-fork-river-zone
Looking west to the East Fork valley from the summit of Mount Hooker.
From left to right, Mount Geikie, Ambush Peak and Raid Peak.

backcountry-tv
After scurrying around each day, we’d come back to camp in the afternoon and enjoy some
primo backcountry TV watching these dudes trying to free climb Mount Hooker’s Northeast Face.

closed-to-you
Though I knew it would be there, it was still a bummer to see this sign and it took a bit away from
the wilderness experience. To me, it seems crazy that I’m not allowed to walk across some imaginary
“line in the sand” way off in the middle of nowhere without paying $50 for a piece of paper.

musenbeah-closed

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15 Comments

15 Responses to “Some Baptiste Lake/Mount Hooker Photos”


  1. 1 Brad Samuelson Aug 18th, 2010 at 8:26 am

    Awesome pictures and mountains, Steve. Great way to spend a weekend.

    Can’t say I blame them for protecting their land and mistrusting our said intentions.

  2. 2 Nick Aug 18th, 2010 at 9:20 am

    Sweet area Steve!

  3. 3 ptor Aug 18th, 2010 at 11:27 am

    Beautiful zone!! Small price to pay for a little genocide.

  4. 4 randosteve Aug 18th, 2010 at 12:50 pm

    I can see where you guys are coming from….but to me it seems strange that I’m paying for some pioneers actions…how many years ago? A few year’s ago, I had to pay $250 (well…no one forced me) so some women could drive me 6 miles up a dirt road to a trailhead in the reservation. It seem outrageous to me…and I will never do that again.

  5. 5 Smokey Aug 18th, 2010 at 1:59 pm

    Yeah, I feel it’s kinda bullshit and personally don’t pay to access the reservation north of my town.

  6. 6 Reg Aug 18th, 2010 at 2:30 pm

    I know your intentions are probably fine, but it definitely comes across as spoiled or even whiney when you think of all the beautiful places you are allowed to go to.

  7. 7 Omr Aug 18th, 2010 at 3:48 pm

    I’m with you Rando. I read a story (you’ve probably seen it) about skiing Navajo Mt on the AZ/UT state line. The Navajos said it was sacred ground and made the skiers jump through hoops and finally pay a sizable sum before permission was granted to hike their sacred land. Funny thing is, when they topped out on the peak, they were astonished to find the “sacred ground” was a forest of cell towers. I guess rent for antenaes qualifies as spiritual?

  8. 8 Derek Aug 18th, 2010 at 9:18 pm

    I say the hell with them!!! Anyone who has been up by GNP sees how they treat the land they care for so much they trash and thats just the truth. Plus MY pionier grandfather stocked those lake I have to pay to fish in the Winds. Its BS period.

  9. 9 Brad Samuelson Aug 19th, 2010 at 8:26 am

    The point is not how they treat their land, it’s that it is their land and they can do with it what they want. Remember the treaties where we gave them a little bit of land so that we could have the rest.

    If your great grandfather hadn’t over fished the lake your grandfather wouldn’t have had to stock it.

  10. 10 Reg Aug 19th, 2010 at 10:37 am

    Holy cow, like i said wah, wah wah, So what if you can’t ski one small area without having to jump through hoops. If our grandparents had treated them better, instead of embarking upon the me first attitude that is still evident in their offspring, things would probably be different. Usually we have given the Natives the shittiest bits of real estate as fair exchange for raping and murdering them in the past. So i feel we can all live a pretty good life without ever skiing or hiking on their land that makes up less the 1% of the terrain available to us all.

  11. 11 randosteve Aug 19th, 2010 at 5:07 pm

    um reg…i really don’t think my grandparents had anything to do with the persecution of the native americans.

  12. 12 Brad Samuelson Aug 20th, 2010 at 8:04 am

    I’m pretty sure when reg said “our grandparents” he was referring to those with colonial/European heritage.

    It’s interesting that Steve and Derek make ancillary off point arguments but never address the matter head on. It’s their land and they want to limit access, what’s the big deal? We deal with that all the time from ranchers, the timber industry and other land owners. Should all land have public access through it? I’m no right wing property rights activist but give me a break, I don’t want people walking through my backyard.

  13. 13 randosteve Aug 20th, 2010 at 12:54 pm

    brad…the big deal is that is sucks to have to pay to cross some imaginary line in the middle of no where…it’s as simple as that. i go to the mountains to get away from rules and be FREE…not to be told where i can and can not go.

    i see your point…but how long can someone hold a grudge against what others have done? to me, it feels like the persecution of native americans was eons ago. maybe not to them i guess?

  14. 14 norml Aug 20th, 2010 at 4:23 pm

    I don’t think it’s about holding a grudge. You pay to go into the park right? Is that because the feds have a grudge? What do you get paying the NPS? To cross that line of Federal land. Why is that different? You pay the fee to the go on the Rez and you’ll see that what you are paying for is a step up in wilderness quality that is unavailable outside the Rez. Pay what they ask, like you do for the park, if you really want to see whats out there. It’s not that big of deal.

  15. 15 Reg Aug 20th, 2010 at 10:25 pm

    Like Chris Rock says, “Have you ever met two native americans, you may have met one once, and one another time, but you ain’t never met two together.”

    Good point norml. If you want to be free and alone stay in your room with the door locked.

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