Mt. Wilson  
Condition Updates  
Route: East Face
Posted On: 2021-04-14, By: rangercarl
Info: 40ft of dry rock to the summit. boxcar couloir was in good shape for skiing. Snow coverage from lizard head pass was continuous. 
Route: East Face
Posted On: 2021-04-10, By: ClimberSkierDave64
Info: We climbed and skied the East Face yesterday. We started at 4:30 AM and got to the top a little bit before 2:00 PM. It took us a lot longer than expected, especially the route finding through the forest. We made the same mistake as the last people who skied it by staying to high in the forest and having to descend a steep hill on skins down to the creek. The snow was hard as a rock on the way up but we were still able to skin all the way to 13,100 ft. except for a little boot packing on the first headwall. There were multiple good sized wet slides from the previous week on south facing aspects, especially on the slope to the right that you cross under around 11.5k. Above 13.1k, we broke trail bootpacking up the face, since the bootpack from the last group had blown over and wasn't visible for the most part. The snow was pretty much the same hard, icy and chalky wind crusted snow mixed with powder covered with a suncrust on the right side of the face and couloir. The snow was about perfect for bootpacking all the way up, with ankle deep snow for the most part, although some places had harder or deeper and softer snow. Crampons and Ice Axe were both necessary, especially on the harder snow in the left side of the couloir. The final class 3 pitch is completely dry except for some ice and a 30 foot snow pitch right below the summit. I did it in ski boots but my friend transitioned to trailrunners. Trailrunners were fine except for the final 30 foot snow pitch where ski boots were better and an Ice Axe was necessary. The first 1,000 ft. of the ski descent was pretty bad skiing. It was icy, chalky snow mixed with suncrust. Below that, the snow slowly transitioned to corn and the final two headwalls had some fun corn skiing back to treeline. The snow never got soft enough the whole day for wet slides with temperatures in the high 20s or low 30s above treeline. Boxcar looks in and some people have skied it recently it seems. We chose not to because of the icy conditions. The skin back up through the forest and back to the Cross Mountain trail was horrible and took longer than expected. We followed the GPX but it seemed to get too low and get into some steeper hills to traverse. I would go higher and stay on the flatter benches in the terrain like we did in the morning. Overall, it was a fun, challenging day that was tiring and long (13 hrs) with the long slog out. 
15 1
Route: East Face
Posted On: 2021-04-04, By: artemavovk
Info: Did not summit - got to 13800 but too late in the day. Weather is too warm, so you have to be up there before noon to be safe. Early day snow is strong and plentiful. There's a week+ old ski track that I tried to follow but coming down to the creeks was rough (so now you get my meandering tracks too). Waist high snow if you ever misstep - snowshoes won't save you in the afternoon. On the actual slopes the snowpack is stable early in the day, but south/east facing slopes have lots of slides and I saw some start after 1pm. North facing slopes are a bit safer, so I hugged those. Once past the headwalls (12k+) there's a tonne of slides and it was so late in the day that the final couloir did not look safe and booting up was not a good option - waist deep snow again. Does make for a great ski down though. 
5 4
Route: East Face
Posted On: 2021-01-28, By: Wentzl
Info: Access from the Cross Mountain trailhead. I didn't get near the summit, but at least a trench from snowshoeing up to treeline. Not sure if it was the best line, as I ended up further east than I was aiming for, but not too bad. Three hours up, 90 minutes down. Difficult to describe where to turn off the Cross Mt. Trail and head for Slate Creek. But nice country to hike through and trail up to treeline if you can find it! Lots of whomping and settling of the snow, even on wide flat areas. 
3 3
Route: Kilpacker Approach
Posted On: 2020-11-23, By: ScreeSurfer
Info: I used Snowshoes from trailhead all the way to the waterfall area just above treeline. Mix of rock hopping and firm snow up to the summit from there. Carried crampons but never needed to use them. Did a hybrid traverse to go over to El Diente along the south flanks of the ridge, staying low towards Mt Wilson, and then finally reaching the ridge proper west of all the difficulties (organ pipes). The north side of the El Diente summit area is holding thigh deep snow, fairly heavy which holds you safely rather than fluffy slippery snow. Descended down tractionable snow pretty directly to the south to regain standard trail at bottom of basin. 
5 2
Route: Mt. Wilson and El Diente Traverse
Posted On: 2020-10-01, By: MartyTheOneManParty
Info: Climbed the traverse from El Diente -> Mt. Wilson last Sunday, 9/27. The route was dry except for two spots: -the final stretch on the North side of El D (south slopes route photos #19-24, see attached photo) -the steep downclimb after the crux on the traverse (traverse route photo #2 Microspikes were helpful here but not necessary 
Route: Mt. Wilson and El Diente Traverse
Posted On: 2020-09-18, By: zootloopz
Info: The south side of the traverse is basically snow free - patchy snow but mostly avoidable. The north side is clogged with up to ~36" of snow. This is split literally perfectly along the traverse ridge. Went up from kilpacker on the south slope routes - Diente is great up until the last 0.25 miles when you turn onto the north side of the peak - where there is some legitimate snow/ice - but it is doable with microspikes. The traverse is definitely far from perfect - the crux wall from Photo 22 is perfectly fine, but there is patchy snow on the narrows which takes a bit longer to navigate, and there is a second crux to the route with the snow - Photo 26 with the steep downclimb on the north side of the traverse - it is very steep and covered with fresh untouched snow - we went off route to the right at this point on a narrow ledge which connects back to the gully leading up to Mt. Wilson. Be prepared to choose multiple times between going off route a bit to stay on the south side or choosing snow travel. Microspikes and poles required. The descent from Wilson south slopes is also completely snow covered down to 13k. Overall time: 11.5 hours. 
Route: Southwest Slopes
Posted On: 2020-09-11, By: heathbromley
Info: There is anywhere from 12 - 24” of corn snow from the falls to the summit. It's very weak and for the most part did not support weight, so watch out for the boulders below the surface. Watch your step! Class 3 features were very slippery and hard to find holds. Route finding was made difficult by the snow, but not impossible. 
7 1
Route: Southwest Slopes
Posted On: 2020-09-19, By: Pak Pagosa
Info: The route description from the Kilpacker Trailhead is spot on. Once you reach talus, know that the roundtrip on it will be roughly 10 kms, so make sure you're physically up for it. Upon reaching Mt. Wilson's base at the back of Kilpacker Basin, pay close attention to the route description photos, particularly as it relates to your descent. And also be mindful of climbers doing the traverse from El Diente along the connecting ridge. There were a few the day of my climb, but I arrived at the summit well before they did and coordinated my descent with their ascent in order to mitigate the rockfall hazard for me. Absolutely wear a helmet. 
Route: North Slopes
Posted On: 2020-08-16, By: Danger_D
Info: Trail in great condition all the way, except maybe a tiny bit of mud in Upper Navajo basin. A few general updates: 1)Don't start your traverse too soon after the green buttress. Go left(ish) up the gully to the shoulder mentioned in the route description. Hike up even further to the right of the (current) snow patch following cairns. I started my traverse too soon at ended up some loose garbage. The cairned route doens't 100% match up with the gpx. See pic 2) The camping spots in the basin fill up fast on the weekend. You can always find a spot, but if you don't get up there earlier on friday you might have to hunt (or be close to others) 3) The exposure on the 4th glass summit pitch ain't no joke. Its not that hard, but oh boy 
Route: Southwest Slopes
Posted On: 2020-08-16, By: HikesInGeologicTime
Info: Almost all remaining snow avoidable; one or two steps on a level crossing required unless you're long-legged, an Olympic jumper, or willing to talus-hop a questionably worthwhile distance up and around. Lots of rockslide potential from above your head as well as below your feet on this one, so don't forget to bring and wear your helmet! 
Route: Southwest Slopes
Posted On: 2020-08-09, By: ryans
Info: Most of the snow is avoidable on the southwest slopes route. There are great campsites around 10,600 feet about a half mile or so past the creek crossing. Our campsite coordinates (N 37.823773 W 108.027609) could fit about two to three tents and was about 50 yards from the trail and right near the creek. 
Route: North Slopes
Posted On: 2020-08-10, By: little_castaldo
Info: Having seen reports on the dangers of rockfall, we were moving extremely slow and methodical on our descent of the north slopes, and luckily, made sure no one was above or beneath us. One of our party went to test a hold and a 20x10 foot section of the mountainside gave way at 13,900ft. It roared down for about 2 minutes and at least 2000 ft. The only other party on the north slopes descended a different gully, and we heard them also cause a major rockslide maybe 30 minutes before. ***Please make sure that you don't have anyone above or below you on these routes. It is near impossible not to dislodge rocks or cause slides if there is no snow. 
Route: Southwest Slopes
Posted On: 2020-07-20, By: lifewithcare
Info: Bring traction! Several large snowfields still exist and will likely remain for quite some time. Micro-spikes saved us a TON of time. You could potentially circumnavigate around the snowfields, but it will add significant time to your hike. Snow was solid before 7am and softened up a little after 9am when we were descending- however, it was still too hard to glissade comfortably. Our group tried hiking to the top of one of the first snowfields because it appeared we could cross on the rock at the top, but the depth of the snow along the rock wall prevented us from doing so. The steepness of some of the existing snowfields makes crossing without traction foolish. We were so grateful to have packed our spikes! There is no (Verizon) cell service at the Kilpacker trailhead or the campsites in Kilpacker Basin. We did have service on both summits of Mt Wilson & El Diente. 
Route: North Slopes
Posted On: 2020-07-19, By: Scott P
Info: Don't bother with an ice axe for this route. We brought them, but the only snow on the north slopes route was a low angled snowbank low down on the route. 
Route: North Slopes
Posted On: 2020-07-13, By: sailingstar22
Info: Fantastic weather day up the south routes of El Diente, Traverse, Mt. Wilson and back down. Several rockfall incidents on the traverse and North Mt. Wilson route. In looking at the north routes from Wilson peak on 7/12, they are still holding quite a bit of snow (and combined with the loose rock would be hellacious). Very glad we changed our plans to do the south routes. Traverse is essentially snow free with a 10ft crossing that is relatively easy (compared to some of the moves on the rest of the route); we were also glad to have done it from ED to MW, as the opposite would have required a very challenging downclimb after the narrows) Decent of Mt. Wilson was much more pleasant than expected. We brought ice axes, but the glissades were so mild that we didn't even bother to unstrap them from our packs. More of a burden to carry across the traverse than anything else. If you plan to camp on Killpacker, there is an awesome campsite in the second to last set of trees before the waterfall - it is mostly obscured from the trail, so you have to hunt around a bit, but very worth it for the waterfall views/sounds, flat surface, and fire pit (not allowed right now, but had some flat rocks for our meal prep and stove). Just fill up your water at the stream cross to avoid a long descent to the waterfall runoff. 
Route: Southwest Slopes
Posted On: 2020-07-13, By: emily_m
Info: Did Kilpacker TH -> El Diente -> traverse to Mt Wilson -> down southwest slopes. Everything up El Diente and on the traverse is summer conditions, remnant snow can be avoided or quickly crossed without issue. On the way down Mt. Wilson in the early afternoon, we used ice axes to glissade. The upper part of the route is dry, but you will hit snow when entering the upper basin. There was some sun-cupping in the snow, but the glissade was overall pleasant and way faster than trying to boot ski or walk down the very large snowfields. I thought it was worth having the axe for this purpose as I gained some speed in some longer sections. It didn't seem like this route would be super fun to go up right now, though the snow was very icy in the morning so you could go up with traction. A lot of the snow was unavoidable. 
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Route: North Slopes
Posted On: 2020-07-11, By: CaptCO
Info: Descended this route from the traverse, a few snowfields but all can be avoided. Kilpacker route was a mad house, take the Navajo lake trail if you like fun climbing and being secluded. One decent camp site at first tree break past lake, one of the better spots for filtering water as well 
Route: Southwest Slopes
Posted On: 2020-07-07, By: PikaSteve
Info: Three minor snow patches from 12,300' to 12,700' were easily crossed. Continuous snow fields from 13,100' to 13,700' required microspikes and ice axe. Snow was steepest and firmest from 13,600' to 13,700' - I downclimbed rocks to avoid this slope on my descent. Any snow above 13,800' was at the edges of the gullies and did not impact climbing on a mix of dirt, scree and rock. Studying the route photos in advance was critical to navigating up to the notch via the gullies and rib crossover. See attached pictures and captions for the snowy details as of July 6th. About 8 climbers summitted via SW slopes route on a beautiful Monday in Kilpacker Basin. Thanks to Colorado Fourteeners Initiative, the trail was very smooth up to treeline. Flowers are out and mosquitos were light. Pic 1: Kilpacker Creek crossing at 10,400': log at back of photo was dry, stable and had low consequences if stepping into creek Pic 2: CFI Stairway to Heaven Pic 3: CFI Inca Trail Pic 4: El Diente and South Wilson dominate the views for most of the approach Pic 5: At 12,700' looking up at El Diente Pic 6: At 12,700' looking up at South Wilson with Mt Wilson barely visible left of center Pic 7: At 12,700' looking back at small snowfields crossed so far Pic 8: Turning corner at 13,100' to see Mt Wilson Pic 9: Ascended to 13,700' - top of snow left of center. On descent, avoided steepest snow by downclimbing rocks right of center to top of boot ski tracks at about 13,600'. Pic 10: Details of upper route - on way down from notch, rib crossover point is just below upper snowfield Pic 11: Summit view toward El Diente Pic 12: Summit view toward Wilson Peak Pic 13: Descent path from about 13,600' Pic 14: Afternoon view up Kilpacker Basin Pic 15: Morning view up Kilpacker Basin 
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Route: Mt. Wilson and El Diente Traverse
Posted On: 2020-07-03, By: mjohnson1960
Info: Climbed El Diente via South slopes from Kilpacker, some snow patches on the route but all either avoidable or easily negotiable, used microspikes and axe just to feel safe, but not necessary. Traverse to Wilson clear of snow as per previous report, fantastically fun route! Descended Wilson's snowy south slopes early afternoon and got in 3 fun (though bumpy) glissades. Great day, great mountains, great traverse! 

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