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|Conditions Information||Posted By||Posted On|
|2015-07-24||Route: South Slopes
Info: The conditions have not changed much in the last couple of weeks. An ice axe is still recommended.
|2015-07-15||Route: South Slopes
Info: The Colorado 14er Initiative did a great job on the Kilpacker trail last year! Well cairned up through the talus in the basin 11500-12500. About 12500, turning north towards the peak, we encountered our first snow field. Ice axe is essential consistently throughout the remaining of the route. We carried our crampons, but didn‘t use them - there were a few places where we would have felt more safe with them. In the final pitch to the summit, there is a snow couloir that is iced over and very steep - we wouldn‘t cross this without the axe. You can go up and around several pitches to avoid this snow couloir.
|2015-07-04||Route: South Slopes
Info: Attempted El Diente on 7/4. The trail has small, easily passable snow fields until just above the turnoff (Route Photo #10). From there to above the "Large Rock", snow is avoidable at the risk of increasing the difficulty a bit (low class 3). From just above the Large Rock all the way up to the Red Rock Rib is a huge, steep snowfield that will require crampons or an ice ax and a lot of nerve. The snow was reasonably solid in the morning, and very slushy by noon. The Red Rock Rib itself and the grey gully are mostly snow-free, although very wet. There is a snow patch at the base of the Organ Pipes that is avoidable, and then the "chimney" (Route Photo 22) is full of snow, though still climbable without any aid. From the top of the chimney to the ridge is clear. The north face traverse (Route Photo #27) is still buried in snow, and this is where we turned back. The "trail" is too narrow and the snow too steep even with crampons at this time - a fall here would be fatal without question. Another two weeks should open this trail up to summer conditions. We started just above the creek crossing in the Kilpacker approach at 4:45am, and turned back just below the summit at 10:00am.
|2015-06-27||Route: South Slopes
Info: Snow starts at 12,600‘ when you make the left turn to proceed north. Crampons absolutely necessary above 13,000‘ past the big rock and on the way to the black spot. Also required to traverse to the red rib and head up the gully to the organ pipes. Also required to traverse below the pipes to the gray gully. Would not try this route as is with just microspikes. All in all a beautiful day in the sky. Snow will probably be up there for another 2 or 3 weeks. Stay safe out there folks.
|2015-06-12||Route: South Slopes
Info: There is still quite a bit of snow on this trail. We had hoped to make it to the waterfall before encountering snow, but there was up to 3/4 feet still in some places about 2.5 miles in. We would have probably gone up to the waterfall nevertheless to see what the conditions were like above, but it had been raining the entire time we hiked in (and the past week for most part with severe weather, supposed to be more of same the following day), so the conditions were not favorable for an ascent no matter what.
|2015-05-31||Route: North Slopes
Info: Pretty decent wet avalanches on all aspects; transitional snowpack. Be careful.
|2014-09-13||Route: South Slopes
Info: Dry, summer conditions until you cross to the north side at the saddle. Light dusting of snow over the rocks but nothing requiring spikes. We climbed to the summit without spikes and put them on to descend since we had them.
|2014-08-23||Route: Kilpacker Approach
Info: We climbed El Diente on August 24 through a snow cloud of sorts. More ice particles than snow and it was blowing uphill. The top (approx. 800 ft.) of the mountain was covered in ice and snow. Definitely prepare for all conditions as the lack of visibility made route finding a challenge.
|2014-07-26||Route: North Slopes
Info: Climbed El Diente via the North Slopes. The gully on the 14ers.com trip report and Gerry Roach‘s book was horrible. It was some of the loosest most rotten rock I‘ve climbed. We average 30 RPs an hour and it took us 4 hours to summit ED from Navajo Lake. There is very little snow left in the gully but still quite a bit of water coming down the center. With sketchy weather approaching, we made a quick descent (back in to Navajo Basin) further east down a gully at the low point in the ED to MW traverse and glissaded down about half the gully. The snowfields were very soft and only 1-4 feet thick so this may not be doable soon.
|2014-07-17||Route: South Slopes
Info: I did the El Diente/Mt. Wilson traverse on Thursday. There are two patches of snow on the way up from Kilpacker of about 100 vertical feet. One is at about 12,800 and the other is just before the red rock rib at 13,500. In the morning they are hard and steep and if you want to travel on them you need traction. I scrambled around them. In the pm they are soft and good to plunge step or glissade. I took the gully from the junction of the traverse and the Mt. Wilson rt. back into Kilpacker. There is no snow there but lots in Kilpacker down to 12,700. The snow is the best part of the return. No postholing and a lot better than the Talus. I had crampons and ax but they remained on my pack the whole time. Between El Diente and Mt. Wilson the Marmots are fearless, aggressive and voracious. Anything you put down for one minute will get there attention. A lot of people stash there bags before the summit pitch on Mt. Wilson. I guarantee you they will have a go at it, even if other people are there.
|2014-07-12||Route: North Buttress
Info: Approached via the Navajo Lake Trail clear to the top. Plenty of camping at the lake and the water was very delicious off the stream may I say. Hiked the North Buttress to El Diente then traversed along the connecting ridge to Mt. Wilson descending the North East Ridge of Mt. Wilson (3.5 hours from the start of N. Butress to Mt. Wilson Peak). Mostly solid rock accent with some very exposed sections near the top. All snow was avoidable except for a small 3 foot section after descending off the peak of El Diente and some patches while descending the North East Ridge of Mt. Wilson. South Slopes of El Diente looked like very soft snow. Many did it without crampons but all were carrying an ice axe.
|2014-07-04||Route: South Slopes
Info: I climbed the El Diente from the south slope camping just below the falls and starting out just before daylight. I didn‘t use crampons as the times that I needed them were interrupted and brief, but they would have been helpful. The ice axe was a must however. Past the organ pipes I found the approach beyond the chimney that accessed the traverse spine a bit confusing with several "false" trails and ended up going up to the spine too early. It made for an excited scramble to the summit but conditions were favorable in spite of the exposure. The route down was easier to find but I really wouldn‘t have missed that scramble for anything.
|2014-07-04||Route: North Slopes
Info: Climbed up the North Slope from Navajo Lake. Lower valley is snow free up to the base of the climb, I scrambled the rock for an additional 500ft due to really soft snow conditions at the bottom of the couloir even by 8am. Used crampons the rest of the way up the couloir, soft top layer with hard snow underneath. It was possible to do the climb with just microspikes/ice axe, but those of us with full crampons were much more secure. Snow is melting fast, and it‘ll soon be a nasty mess in the gulley. Sorry no pictures at the moment, on crappy wifi.
|2014-06-16||Route: North Slopes
Info: Here‘s a pic of the north slopes of Wilson and El Diente as seen from the col near Wilson Peak. I headed to Navajo cirque intending on doing the traverse, but there were extreme winds today and I was spooked at the idea of being up point that ridge and getting hammered. Nearly got knocked over by a gust down in the cirque. Anyway the north slopes have good looking snow on then. Navajo lake is snow free for all the campsites.
|2014-06-15||Route: Luttrell Line
Info: In and sweet. Great conditions. Encountered snow on traverse to MW only on the faces, ridge crest dry. Will upload pics later today. No problems driving to Silverpick (ROA) TH. Snowshoes not required.
|2014-06-08||Route: North Slopes
Info: Navajo approach mostly free of snow except for last 1/2 mile near the lake. Most camping spots are snow covered but there is some dry space to be found. North slope route has continuous snow top to bottom, ridge still has decent amount of snow as well, but is mostly avoidable up to El Diente. Sorry, no pics of the traverse to Wilson, we had to make a speedy descent due to lightning.
|2014-05-22||Route: North Slopes
Info: Lots of snow. little rock work needed to traverse N. Face. W. couloir in, little rocky at the bottom it looked like (from top)
|2013-07-09||Route: South Slopes
Info: I am reluctant to post this but I will do so in the interest of full disclosure. I climbed El Diente via the South Slopes on the 9th. It was as good as it gets. No rockfall, no nothing. I did not do the traverse as I had hoped because the weather was coming in already when I submitted (8:15) and I don‘t "mess with Mother Nature". Warning: This will change with the advent of the Monsoonal moisture which I believe has already started. When it rains, El Diente is a killer.
|2013-06-29||Route: North Buttress
Info: Hiked from Navajo Lake, climbed the North Buttress of El Diente, then traversed to Mt. Wilson and descended the standard route back to Navajo Lake. No need for traction or ice axe (I climbed in trail runners and never took microspikes or axe off my pack). Any remaining patches of snow are easily avoided. Clouds formed late morning, with a short rainstorm mid-afternoon. Bring insect repellant - the warm temps have the bugs out in force. Not much snow remaining in the North Couloir up El Diente. Recommend the N. Buttress route if you are comfortable with Class 3/4 routes.
|2013-06-21||Route: South Slopes
Info: Creek was full. Take the second log to the right (up-climberís right). Itís easier than the first log. Only a few snow fields to cross. Some snow in the chimney, but not bad. I brought, but did not use the Crampons, Axe nor Microspikes. Earlier in the day some of the snow was iced over and took care to cross. Hiking poles helped with this. The gray gulley is NOT the one filled with snow, but the one to the left of it. It is actually gray/green in color.