| North Buttress to El Diente, Traverse to Wilson
This past Labor Day weekend, we tackled the 3 Wilson Group 14ers. This report is for Saturday's pack in to Navajo Lake, ascent up the north buttress of El Diente, traverse to Mt Wilson, and descent down Mt Wilson's standard route.
The weather was splendid, allowing us to start from Navajo Trailhead at 7am, reach Navajo Lake at 9am, start our climb at 10:15am (after setting up camp, and lunch), summit El Diente at 1:50pm, summit Mt Wilson at 5pm, and return to camp at 7:30pm.
Main notes: The north buttress route hadpretty solid rock. We heard/saw a massive rock slide on the north slopes route, which looked like a war plane shooting bullets on the mountain. Very scary looking, so consider the north buttress route if hiking from Navajo. Also, a bit of snow on the traverse, just past the crux made for a surprisingly difficult downclimb off of the coxcombs. A hiker told us there was a way to bypass the crux and coxcombs, though I haven't seen anything posted about that. No doubt lots of people would be interested to read/see more about it, if anyone has pics/TR.
Full Report, with tons of panos and route info: http://matt.tracz.org/2010/09_04
Approaching the buttress.
A look back while on the north buttress route.
The route we took from ~13900' (in red), just past the catwalk, follows KeithK's non-slab alternative to the summit of El Diente. The traditional route across the slabs is in blue.
Still a steep climb...
A look across the traverse, before descending to the right side to bypass the 1st half...
One of the ledges encountered while bypassing the gendarmes to the right.
We followed the 14ers.com route up the crux. A zoomed in look at Tom and Chris climbing the crux.
Tom straddles the narrow ridge past the crux.
A look up the class 4 final pitch to Mt. Wilson.
We stayed on the left side of the sharp ridge.
A look back after descending back into the upper Navajo basin.
A look at the north buttress profile at sunset.
Lots more descriptive pics in the full report: http://matt.tracz.org/2010/09_04