Peak(s):  Mt. Wilson  -  14,246 feet
El Diente Peak  -  14,159 feet
Wilson Peak  -  14,017 feet
Post Date:  08/26/2009
Date Climbed:   08/22/2009
Posted By:  piper14er

 El Diente to Mount Wilson traverse, Wilson Peak 56, 57 & 58   

Myself, syzygy01 (JP) and ngoodnight (Nolan)

9 miles roundtrip from trailhead to lake - 2000'.
7 miles roundtrip Navajo Lake to El Diente, traverse and Mount Wilson - 3600'.
8 miles roundtrip Wilson Peak - 3000'.

A great weekend in the San Juans topped off my 14er list with peaks 56, 57 and 58.

Hiked to Navajo Lake and camped just below the lake Friday night.

JP and I left camp Saturday morning at 5:15 a.m. summited El Diente at 8:30 a.m. Left El Diente at 9:00 a.m. and traversed to Mount Wilson. Summited at 11:20 a.m. Descended and returned to camp about 2:30 or 3:00 p.m. The traverse was my first of the four classic traverses and was both fun and challenging. The ridge does narrow down considerably and the last short ridge up to the Mount Wilson peak gave me pause. JP left and headed back to the trailhead and went back home to go back to school.

Nolan and JP visited before JP left. Both of these guys have degrees in physics with minors in math and computer science. Funny I got a degree in math and computer science back in the mid seventies but when they started talking about quantum physics and formulas on integrals, matrices and heat dissipation, I kind of glazed over. I can do the "Time Warp". Nolan has a master's degree in something-something harmonics and JP was going for his masters in chemical engineering. Both of these guys were rock climbers as well as being interested in the 14ers. I was very lucky to have them leading the way.

Sunday morning Nolan and I left at 4:10 a.m. for Wilson Peak. The weather overnight was rainy. The stars were out to start but quickly the weather moved in and the peaks were shrouded in clouds. We quickly made our way up the trail and summited at 6:45 a.m. A new record for an early summit. We also quickly descended as we were not sure if this was real weather or would clear off. Very fall like with cold winds. We reached camp about 9:00 a.m., took a little time for a snack, packed up and left. The clouds were still on the peaks as we looked back from just above the parking lot later on. Very appreciative to have had Nolan on my 58th 14er.

Great guys to share some time in the mountains with.

Some pictures below.


First look.

Kilpacker cutoff.


JP on the north slopes.

Half way up the slopes.

Looking up to the ridge.

Looking back down.

Looking at El Diente and the route.

Along the way.

JP and looking down.

No. 56 – El Diente.


Traverse and gendarmes.


Looking back.


JP and traverse

Traverse along ridge and person on Mount Wilson.

No. 57.

Nolan on Sunday morning above ridge.

No. 58. Wahoo!

Nolan on way back down with cloudy weather.

Wilson Peak in the clouds.

Looking back at Wilson Peak on the way down.

Also thanks to the other partners I was lucky enough to hike with the last month or so. Besides JP and Nolan thanks to zeekzilch (Roger) and booboo (Barb), Ken and Chris on Capitol, Kzar (Chris) and blues311 (Mike) on N. Maroon, dubsho3000 (Matt) on Pyramid and Scott E. (aka The Marlboro Man) on Little Bear and S. Maroon. (hope I got all the names right). Enjoyed the climbs and the company.

I have to say my wife will be a little happier now. I was a little obsessed this summer with the 14ers and am feeling some relief about all this. I am however planning to get another 5 or ten more centennial peaks in September and October. Of course then there are another oh maybe 490-500 more 13ers besides.

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):

  • Comments or Questions

Great work!     08/27/2009 01:27
Congrats Al! 54 of 54 / 58 of 58 must have been fun to write.


The rest     08/28/2009 01:48
Let me know if you want to hook up to finish up some of those 500 some 13eeners.



58!!!!!!!!     08/28/2009 02:02
Your the man Al,sorry I could not go with, chest cold finally gone. Going down this weekend to follow in your steps, well done.


Thanks.     08/28/2009 23:03
Thanks guys.

Derek I will get with you in mid-September. I need a few weeks off and then gear back up.

Ken let me know where to send the water bottle.

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