"South Wilson"

Condition Updates  
Route: From Cross Mountain Trailhead
Posted On: 2023-05-19, By: daway8
Info: Perfect weather day on South Wilson despite a very questionable looking forecast. Still a lot of snow even down at the trailhead. Overnighted at Lizard Head Pass since Cross Mountain had too much snow. Overall snow was pretty well consolidated at all elevations, but started at 2am to optimize conditions. Booted up to 12k then switched to crampons with ideal conditions for them but hit a few patches of bare rock which lived up to its reputation of being utterly crappy loose garbage though fortunately was able to connect snow fields almost the whole way up - some were pretty crazy steep (compared to my limited snow climb experience). Summit at about 9:30am (much later than expected). Decided snow conditions were stable enough to risk some pretty wild glissades, though carefully picked the locations since there was evidence of small wet slides here and there, and by the end of the day some not so small ones. Rollar coaster trail through the woods on the way back was annoying and challenging to navigate under current conditions but with snowshoes didn't sink much. 
9 4
Route: Groundhog to Slate Creek
Posted On: 2022-05-01, By: goingup
Info: We skied South Wilson's south easterly face from the Cross Mountain trailhead off of 145. The entire week leading up we went back and forth on skiing in from Cross or Kilpacker (did not know how Kilpacker road would be and didn't feel like adding mileage with skis on our backs). There is very little information on the approach to this elite 14er sub summit from the Cross Mountain trailhead. Takemetoyoursummit has one of the only trip reports and we were very confused on his approach because it sounded like he took the Cross Mountain trail high and crossed Slate Creek high. We decided to try something else and ended up drawing our own route on cal topo and seeing if it went. We started up the Cross Mountain Trail at 3:45 a.m. and cut off fairly quickly onto the Groundhog Stock trail. It is still 98% snow on the Groundhog trail which contours around 10,200 (but there are ups and downs, read: a 600 foot climb on the way out). However, there are intermittent dry spots which keep things exciting and will appropriately ruin your very expensive ski gear thus triggering a tantrum here and there. The Groundhog trail, which is not a trail right now and requires good navigation on a moonless night drops you down to slate creek and if you do your due diligence you will find a bridge to cross. After the bridge crossing we headed in a north westerly direction and climbed the steep, then mellow, then steep slope up to the base of South Wilson's southeast face. We had to put skis on our backs because parts were melted out. There was continuous snow after 11,000. We were both excited because there was very little deadfall and very little bush whacking. The upper portion of this approach made for a nice ski out! The southeast face was in primo condish but it is likely the upper portion to gain the ridge will be melted out in 2 weeks time. However, the east face (if you are a more hardcore skier than I) is in absolutely primo condish and will likely hold snow a bit longer. The climb up to South Wilson pushed 45 degrees in spots but the snow was really secure (gained like 2,400 vertical feet in under a mile). We did not witness any wet slide activity and agreed our line wasn't going anywhere. It appeared there was more windslab on the east face, as the final summit pitch was a big ole' slab (and a similar aspect). There were signs of wet slabs in the cirque between Mount Wilson and Gladstone, but who is hanging out there? There were also signs of wet slabs in the El Diente/Wilson basin and we were happy we didn't go that way because the knob gully up from that side looked miserable in comparison to what we did. Side note: I do not understand how people do this mountain in summer. This is an excellent spring snow climb and ski and you won't see another person. As well, the views are SO unique. We did time the ski just right and harvested thy corn. The depproach was a mixed bag and ski gear was pushed to its extreme. This isn't easy but we think it is the best way to climb this mountain. Oh, bonus, we bore witness to Jupiter and Venus going through a conjunction which looked like a UFO at 5 in the morning. And we had a completely windless day, HOW? I am not sure if anyone has approached from the Groundhog stock trail? I am sure someone has? Where are you? Okay, I have only 3 14er sub summits left, South Elbert, Massive Green and North Massive, I am coming for ya! 
10 6
Route: Kilpacker Basin
Posted On: 2020-06-15, By: dhagan
Info: There are a few easily crossable snow fields below the El Diente turnoff at 12,600 feet. Above this, nearly continuous snow which makes for nice snow climbing rather than loose scree and talus. The snow was continuous to approximately 100 feet below the ridge where "Knob Gully" joins. The last bit of rock climb to the ridge after the snow ended was typical awful loose rock. The climb along the ridge to the South Wilson summit is uneventful and snow free. 

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