| Wilson Peak Solo- Standard Route
After climbing Mount Wilson the day before with Dave Keep, I decided to climb Wilson Peak the next day. The afternoon storms on the 17th gave me a great sleep and I was on the trail solo by 4am. I just went into the zone as I hiked up the same trail I had been the day before to the Upper Navajo Basin. At a tall pole where the trail to Mount Wilson and Wilson Peak splits, I headed up toward the rock of ages saddle.
Mount Wilson at sunrise from the Rock of Ages saddle
From the rock of ages saddle, I followed a strong trail over to the saddle between Gladstone Peak and Wilson Peak. I couldn't help but to take time to admire Mount Wilson while a marmot took my photograph.
Old Ickabod rests (Copyright Marmotphoto inc.)
I was greeted with an awesome sunrise and views of the San Juans from the saddle between Wilson Peak and Gladstone Peak.
Wilson cairn at sunrise
Wilson Peak from Mount Wilson summit
As I began the traverse over and up to the ridge, I selected to go through the "difficult rocks" rather than descending the gully. Looking back on it, it was a lot of fun. However, at the time, I began to feel the solo anxiety. For good reason, I get this when I'm the only one on a peak. This just increased my concentration and I soon joined up with the cairned route shortly after. The trail from here to the false summit went rather quickly. But on the false summit, the solo anxiety began to kick in again. The route up to the summit looks a lot gnarlier than it is. Nevertheless, I took some time to carefully look at it before the downclimb. I took photos of this section from top and bottom, but they somehow got screwed up...sorry again.
After a careful downclimb, I found the rock just right of the gully to be real solid and lots of fun. After some quick scrambling staying on top of the ridge I was on the summit by 7:30am.
Old Ickabod solo on Wilson Peaks summit
If you haven't been up there, it is a pretty eerie place. There's a plane propeller on the ridge and all kinds of personal items left from a plane crash along with a cross on the summit. After counting my blessings and saying a prayer for those that were lost in the crash, I headed down. I had thoughts of going for El Diente via an abandoned mining cart, however it had some mechanical issues and was not in condition to take me to the summit of El Diente.
Old Ickabod attempts to conjure the mining cart to take him to the summit of El Diente (maybe I had hypoxia?).
Once again, rusty metal was smarter than me. By the time I reached the upper basin, the clouds were rolling in. At this time I decided to return for El Diente at a later time with friends. I made it back to camp at 10:30am, packed up and was back to the Jeep by 12:30. By this time the thunder was clapping and the rain was falling. Again, I would say that one needs to be up these peaks early and carefully evaluate weather that can come in very fast.
Wilson Peak from Colorado 145 at 5 1/2 hours after summiting.
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