Turret Peak is a little known thirteener that resides in Wyoming's rugged and remote Wind River Range. Steep and rocky on all sides, this complex mass of ribs, towers and couloirs promises to challenge any climber who wishes to discover its well kept secrets. Situated at the end of the southeast finger of Dinwoody Glacier, Turret Peak lives a humble life, its impressive ridges seemingly doomed to be forever neglected in favor of the gentle-sloped giant, Gannett Peak, across the way.
Turret Peak (left) & Mount Warren (right) as seen from Dinwoody Glacier
Despite being the sixth highest mountain in the state, Turret Peak receives very little attention from climbers. The approach is long, there is almost no information on potential routes, and there doesn't seem to be a particularly easy way to the top. The sole objective of nearly all climbers who make the long trek to Dinwoody Glacier is of course popular Gannett Peak, the highpoint of Wyoming.
The top of this aptly named peak is comprised of several distinct towers and the highest point is certainly debatable when viewed from a distance. Both guidebooks listed at the bottom of this page state that the southern summit is higher, but this is complete garbage. We found it rather obvious that the northern summit was higher and confirmed our suspicions by hand leveling from both summits. As if further proof was necessary we found the northern summit to be home to a large cairn and a register. One wonders how the authors could describe several routes to the summit and not know where the summit actually is! When we opted to climb the west ridge it was largely because we believed it would take us directly to the true summit without having to negotaite time-consuming gendarmes. Choice words were uttered upon the discovery of this misinformation.
Turret Peak can be climbed from Dinwoody Glacier using one of the popular approaches for Gannett Peak:
1. Glacier Trail – The standard route for climbing Gannett Peak and perhaps the best approach for attempting Turret Peak as well. Follow the Glacier Trail for 24 long but easy miles to the edge of Dinwoody Glacier where several good camping opportunities exist. In my opinion this the best launching point for a climb of Turret Peak. See the Glacier Trail route page for more information.
2. Titcomb Basin – This alternate approach is a few miles shorter but requires going up and over Bonney Pass. See the Pole Creek Trail/Seneca Lake Trail/Indian Pass Trail route description for details. Fast parties could make a day trip of Turret Peak from upper Titcomb Basin but I don't recommend it due to possible routefinding issues that could make the climb longer than anticipated. The terrain can be a bit confusing.
An alternate approach via Helen Glacier is also a possibility but I have no information about it.
Kelsey lists six routes on Turret Peak. See his guidebook for terse descriptions of each.
North Ridge (4th class) Northwest Face (5.4) West Couloir (4th class) Southwest Ridge (5th class) Southeast Face (5.8, A3) East Ridge (5.6)
I relay firsthand information on Kelsey's Southwest Ridge route (or the variation I climbed) on the West Ridge route page. I'd love to hear what you know about any of them!
West Ridge (aka Southwest Ridge)
"Guide to the Wyoming Mountains and Wilderness Areas" by Bonney & Bonney (1965)
"Climbing and Hiking in the Wind River Mountains" by Joe Kelsey (1994) NEW (3rd) EDITION DUE OUT 6/4/2013