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|Conditions Information||Posted By||Posted On|
|2015-10-21||Route: North Slopes
Info: Ventured up to Navajo Lake on Tuesday, spent the night, and attempted El Diente‘s north slope on Wednesday. Very muddy trail for the first several miles to Navajo Lake. Firm snow hiking past the lake, but the couloir I tried to climb consisted of thigh-deep postholing and I ruled out the North Buttress route because of high winds. Should have brought snowshoes!
|2015-10-11||Route: North Slopes
Info: Trail from Woods Lake was completely free of snow, and the trail from Navajo Lake to the base of the peak had only a few small patches. Snow began as you start up the peak (Photo 1). For the first half of the ascent to the ridge, the sun-softened snow compacted easily underfoot, and the snow-covered rock was mostly frozen in place. As the slope steepened, however, the snow became icy and I turned back rather than proceed without traction and ice axe (Photo 2). For reference, pictures of Mount Wilson (Photo 3) and Wilson Peak (Photo 4).
|2015-09-29||Route: North Slopes
Info: Very little snow as one should expect this time of the year. Going up was loose and sketchy. I thought the ascent to Diente was the hardest part of the Diente/Wilson traverse. There was some snow in tricky places that made me glad to have brought my axe.
|2015-09-24||Route: Kilpacker Approach
Info: Climbed El Diente > Mt Wilson from Kilpacker. We stayed on the ridge for 90% of the traverse peak to peak. Snow/hardpack on the north side standard route for El Diente. Snow later in the traverse descending in front of Mt. Wilson, near the north slope trail. Snow sections are 2 to 3 inches deep with hardpack surface, ice bottom layer. You really need spikes. These areas are exposed. We did the standard route climbing El Diente descending a class 4 ridge to connect our traverse. Stay on the ridge as much possible in the traverse! Loaded shelves with loose rock if you contour below.
|2015-09-21||Route: South Slopes
Info: Like the previous report mentioned, there is compacted snow on the north side once you cross over the ridge (starting with Photo 19 in Bill‘s description). Microspikes highly recommended for that final stretch because of the severe exposure in that area. I was glad I carried them. The rest of the route is completely dry and in great condition.
|2015-09-18||Route: South Slopes
Info: Snow starting to stick on North face, microspikes would have been more useful here for a few very short sections than in my garage. Passable for now...
|2015-08-31||Route: From Wilson Peak
Info: Didn‘t climb El Diente. From Wilson Peak the area looks mostly snow free.
|2015-08-15||Route: South Slopes
Info: Ascended South Slopes on Saturday...zero snow to contend with for El Diente; no ax or traction needed. There are still snow fields for the south route up Mt. Wilson, though.
|2015-08-13||Route: North slopes and traverse to Wilson Peak
Info: This report will cover the rock of ages approach, ED‘s North Slopes and the Traverse. 1) rock of ages is ridiculously well marked and easy to follow. There is one spot that might give you issue and ink if you‘re walking in the dark. After turning off the road at a well signed junction you‘ll switchback to the left. Following that trail/road you‘ll gain elevation and come to a point where it appears the trail switches back to the right. There is some PVC pipe about and no real trail to speak of. However, if you continue walking straight as if the trail kept going forward you‘ll hit grass and a very small stream. Shine your headlamp around and you‘ll see the cairns. Again, very easy to see unless it‘s your first time and it‘s dark. For those of you who have been on this trail before it‘s where the remains of a brick house/cottage are. At this point you‘ll step over the creek and cross a bit of snow. About ten steps. Very solid at 4am and 130pm. Follow the very obvious trail to the saddle. 2) El Diente‘s North Slopes. Dropping down from the saddle the trail is well marked. As I started heading west on the Navajo Basin trail I didn‘t see a clear turn off to the basin so I just bee lined it. (Sorry) the basin is easy to navigate and I basically just searched for larger rocks up. The couloir is a different story though. I hugged the left side as much as possible avoiding scree and dirt as it was wet and slick. Microspikes might actually help on this portion. No need for an ice axe as most of the snow is gone and what‘s there is avoidable. From there the description on 14ers is spot on and there are no issues to speak of. 3) Traverse Same thing. Nothing to report other than conditions are favorable for the traverse. Easy to follow 14ers description and the trail is decently cairned. I tried to take the northeast ridge down Wilson but I‘m pretty sure I got lost. I ended up using an axe to glissade a small section of snow. Happy hiking!
|2015-07-28||Route: South Slopes
Info: Most snow can be avoided at this point. Small patches in the basin can be circumvented, which we did in the morning, or crossed, which we did when things softened up on the way down. We got confused on the way up and missed the grey gully that leads to the organ pipes. We were too far climber‘s left (west) and topped out past the organ pipes and right in front of the narrow section (photo #22 of the route description). There is snow in front of the pipes but at a glance, it seemed like it could be crossed or avoided. The only spot I was thankful for an ice ax was a bullet proof snow crossing on the north side, basically photo #27 of the route. It was only four steps to cross it and there were existing footsteps in place but its a long ways down if you slip. We contemplated going up and around this section as it would have only required about 10-15 ft climb of some OK looking rock but the firmly planted ice ax got us across. In another week or two, I bet the snow will have receded enough to not be an issue.
|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.
|2015-07-22||Route: South Slopes
Info: There are still several snowfields, so ice axe/microspikes/hemlet are all recommended. Snow varied from soft in the lower regions just past the waterfall to icy and firm as we ascended. Probably used the axe in 8ish different sections. Near the top there was one particularly icy area just above a steep gulley. This was probably 25 feet below the summit. It‘s about 15 ft wide. We were able to cross it safely and summit, but definitely be careful. We had hoped to traverse, but crossing the snow slowed us down a bit, so we opted not To. Lots of wild flowers out there, it was beautiful.
|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.