Ellingwood Peak, also known as Harrower Peak on the Fremont Peak South USGS 7.5' topographic quad, is a rugged peak in a remote and beautiful alpine basin. Like many of the more famous peaks in the Cirque of the Towers area of the Wind River Wilderness, Ellingwood Peak is characterized by several 4th class routes, and at least one high quality rock route, the North Arete (5.6). The peak is located in the Titcomb Basin area of the Wind River Wilderness, and while the approach is long (12+ miles), the setting is spectacular, the climbing is first rate, and the views are superb. While the peak itself is seldom climbed, Titcomb Basin is heavily used, so please tread lightly.
The North Arete of Ellingwood Peak is a long and memorable route, and rivals the West Ridge of Mount Conness in terms of quality, difficulty and scale. This arete rises from talus to summit in an unbroken, 1500 foot sweep, and as suggested by Joe Kelsey, it is nearly continuous 5th class (but only moderately difficult), and "an indication of the routes character is that you seldom untie from anchors before belaying the next pitch."
This is another peak whose history was enriched by Albert Ellingwood, who made the first ascent, solo, in 1926. Since his ascent, the peak has been "informally" known as Ellingwood Peak. However, the peak appears on the Fremont Peak South quad as Harrower Peak, the name of a former ranger and mayor of Pinedale, WY. Nonetheless, in the climbing community (and hence guidebooks), a fondness for Ellingwood's historical importance have led to persistent denials of the official name, and general acceptance of the name "Ellingwood Peak."
Approach via the Elkhart Park Trailhead.
Follow Highway 191 (south from Jackson or north from Rock Springs) to Pinedale. From the big bend in 191 (just south of Pinedale), follow the signs to Elkhart Park and Fremont and Halfmoon Lakes. Pass the lakes, the White Pine Ski Area, and the Elkhart Park Guard Station, and after some 14 miles, arrive at the trailhead.
From the large parking area at Elkhart Park, follow the Pole Creek Trail to Eklund Lake. Join the Seneca Lake trail and follow it past Seneca Lake to Island Lake. From Island Lake, reach Ellingwood Peak's S routes by leaving the trail and traversing east under Elephant Heads S Face. To reach the N Arete, follow the main trail past the cutoff for Upper TItcomb Basin to a stream which drains Lake 10813. Hike up the stream to the lake, and head for the base of the now obvious arete reaching into the talus at the far end of the lake.
When to Climb
Ellingwood Peak is a long hike (12 miles) from the Elkhart Park Trailhead, so a one-day ascent (especially via the North Arete) will be impractical for all but the fittest, fastest parties. However, a high camp at Lake 10813, or even at Island Lake, will make the summit day a relatively easy one.
Also, for all but the heartiest of souls, most successful attempts will undoubtedly occur during the summer months, especially on the N. Arete. However, even on a warm day, climbing on the north side of the peak will be chilly, so bring layers and prepare for cool temperatures. On our ascent day (8/26), it was warm and pleasant in the sun, but absolutely freezing down low in the shade on the north side of the peak.
Keep in mind that the weather in the Winds is ESPECIALLY finicky, so get an alpine start and get off early to remove bad weather on the ascent from the realm of possibilities. Keep in mind that the descent will likely take 2 hours and factor that in to your starting time.
Wilderness Regulations apply. Please tread lighly in this beautiful area. Parking at Elkhart Park is free, but often crowded. Don't be discouraged. This area is heaviliy used by fisherpeople and hikers; very few climbers heading to Ellingwood Peak.
Note: This area is heavily impacted by horse traffic, so be ready to dive off the trail to yield to the mule trains.
Camping is allowed in the area. Camp 200 feet from trails and water. Island Lake can be crowded, but there are dozens of lakes en route that are beautiful campsites.