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 Peak(s):  Mt. Wilson  -  14,246 feet
El Diente Peak  -  14,159 feet
 Post Date:  10/01/2010
 Date Climbed:   09/15/2010
 Posted By:  jesse

 The 3rd great Traverse   

Resolved to get Mt Wilson before it snows, and after our defeat the week before, Mark and I met Zach in Avon and rushed to Navajo Lake. We made camp a bit after sunset and were up and hiking b4 sunrise.
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Wilson Peak at sunrise.

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El Diente's first light

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Wilson Peak

Again up into the basin we hiked towards Gladstone Peak, the trail is well cairned and soon we started the scrambling.
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Gladstone Peak's shadow

Here's a look of the N slope route on Mt Wilson. The difficulty stays at 2+ maybe a few 3 moves, rock is very nice for the San Juans.
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Wilson Peak and Gladstone Peak

We scrambled up the edge of the rocks and found the gully that meets the ridge, is was a little loose but ok on the sides.
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Fun solid scrambling

The temptation to climb the small peak NE of Wilson was too great to resist. It was a good choice we were treated to astounding views of Lizard Head, Gladstone Peak, and Mt Wilson.
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Mt Wilson from NE wilson

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Lizard Head!

Quickly down-climbing to the top of the gully it was a short scramble to the notch and then up the final small ridge to Mt Wilson's Summit. I was pumped and soared to the top!
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Looking down at the Crux from Mt Wilson

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Mark on the Crux

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Zack on the Crux

What a better day to be on Mt Wilson's summit! Worth the drive and hike in again to experience the San Juans one more time this summer!
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Rawr!!

I almost felt like climbing down was easier for once, you can kind of hug the crux and lower.
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Looking up at the Crux

Back to the notch you turn left and descend the south side of the ridge.
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Descending from Mt Wilson

We tried to climb directly on the ridge too early and were forced to backtrack down and around. Unfortunately we choose to stay too low for too long and missed the "coxcomb". The scrambling lower on the south side of the ridge was class 2+ but we felt like we missed alot of the glory and exposure that the ridge directly here would have provided.
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Looking back to Mt Wilson

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After regaining the ridge the climbing became much more exposed and exciting, the sky was clear the temp just right it was an amazing day to traverse! A short downclimb was needed to pass some towers.
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Mark downclimbing a small chimney

Cautiously we continued and at one point we should have climbed up and over we went around and were forced to rappel.
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Rappelling

The rope wouldn't pull through so Zach was stuck with the traversing downclimb, after I set a 6 piece anchor he made it safely across. We realized here on the other side it would've been best to stay on the ridge.
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Zach Climbing

After this we found the Standard gully and Mark and I knew the rest of the route to El Diente From our rainy snowy experience the week prior. We traversed on the south side to the final gully and had a much better time with everything in its dryness.
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The Gully leading back to the N side

Up to the top, here's a direct comparison from the week before.
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The Notch this week

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The week B4

Bam! El Diente down.
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Zach on El Diente

Mark and I had to look down to try and see what we climbed in the fog and snow.
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El Diente's N buttress

One more Bear shot!
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This is the ledge after the notch and before the final gully that goes slightly down the south side.
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The base of the N gully a horrendous downclimb like a horrifying shooting gallery, at least it was mainly dry this time.
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The Gully

We we're back to camp and out to the car an hour after sunset. We drove quickly back to Avon where I blew out a tire at 77mph and was the most scared of the trip.
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Navajo Lake

That pretty much all of the 14ers for this climbing bear what a great way to end the summer!



Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
 


  • Comments or Questions
James Scott


thanks for the pictures     2010-10-01 20:29:44
Great shots- this made the traverse look a lot more serious than it felt when I went across the other direction on Sept. 4. We had a similar experience- tried on week, weathered off, and returned two weeks later to great weather and a great day. Congratulations.



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