It's wild and wooly up there!
I had a response to earlier, but it got deleted by accident, so here I go again!
I've not decided on a trailhead yet, although I'm leaning toward Elkhart Park and the trail up toward Seneca lake. From there, either Indian Pass through the Alpine Lakes area, or head up toward Sky Pilot and Elbow Lake. I'm looking for a 40 mile or so loop with some down time for a bit of fishing, and am exceeding open to suggestions!
My memory of that area is lots of trees up thru Hobbs lake and maybe until Seneca lake. After that, trees are scarce to nonexistent all the way to the Indian Pass. So you'll be on the ground or hanging from rocks.
I have not been on that glacier or over Indian Pass, only at it's western side.
I have heard that crossing Knife Point glacier at Indian Pass can be tricky these days. Have you been up that way? That route sounds interesting, but I'm not all that experienced at glacier travel, don't own an ice axe or crampons, and am balking at investing in them. Alpine Lakes and Brown Cliffs look like fun, though.
At or near Indian Pass ( in Sept?) is where the rock slide pinned that fellow, and he was there a week or two before someone found him. I think he died just shortly before they found him, having written it about each day in his journal. It can be dangerous in those Wind River passes. I hear it's pretty crowded up that way in summer before labor day. But when I was there the week after labor day 3 or 4 years back, from Elkhart to Seneca to Island lake to Titcomb Basin, we probably didn't see 3 or 4 other people. We didn't see anyone else camping anywhere except one couple the 1st night at Hobb's lake. The 3rd day it started raining (this has hardly ever happened to me the week I'm there) and rained very cold steady rain for the next 3 days, and was still pouring as we loaded up the car at the trailhead. As we were trying to leave Island lake, the main trail eluded us mixed in with all of the game trails, no signs, and all landmarks were lost in the fog. We realized the problem after what seemed to obviously be the main trail out suddenly just disappeared, after we had followed it for an hour or more climbing up into the wrong pass. We back tracked back down to Island lake, and still couldn't find what had seemed like a highway when we came in! All in pouring rain and fog, threatening to snow! Finally map and compass helped us find our trail out. It was a lot of fun!
June 27th, 1985, south of this area down near Mt. Washakee, I was in my 3rd week out there, one week to go. It had not rained the whole time more than a little sprinkle. It started to rain. I went to sleep in the tarp with the mosquitos sounding like the Indy 500 in my ears. I woke up about 2am with the tarp on my face. The weight of the snow had collapsed the tarp! It snowed all day as we hiked. That night the snow broke a branch of a tree and it pierced my friends tarp. I remember hearing him call out "Well, live and learn!". We all got a good laugh out of that! By the next morning there was 1 1/2 feet of snow on the ground, which wasn't so funny breaking trail thru mile after mile for several days till it melted! Good times!
If you don't have the experience or ice axe/crampons, I think you would be crazy to fool with crossing any glacier. In fact, you probably also should be roped to a companion. Though you might get lucky, I wouldn't do it! But then, that's just me.
Yeah, you won't be happy on that WW pad on the ground. So I hope your able to hang from the rocks. If you do, be sure to tell me about it. I'm getting really psyched for my Sept trip just talking to you! Just make sure you take a pad! You may also need it in the hammock. My coldest recorded june temp has been 24* that june 27th., but most early June nights were probably on the hi 30's low 40's. Everyone's wet boots froze solid that 24* night. My coldest recorded 1st week of Sept night was 15*, one week every single night was exactly 20*, other times the lows have mostly been in the 30's to 40's.
I use a JRB nest, and found in the Colorado Buffalo Peaks WA last summer that I need more insulation at night. Beefing up my sleepwear and bringing a Walmart pad for either cold nights or going to ground. I'm not a young guy anymore, and a night or 2 on the ground on top of that Wally World pad is gonna HURT! I think I'm going to buy a couple of these climbing nuts and do some experimenting, although I won't have the opportunity until I'm there... nothing but Loess clay hills around here! They're relatively inexpensive and light.
Fun, fun, fun! But be careful! :D