Peak(s):  El Diente Peak  -  14,159 feet
Mt. Wilson  -  14,246 feet
Date Posted:  07/13/2020
Date Climbed:   07/12/2020
Author:  SpringsDuke
 #54 and #55 El Diente Peak and Mt. Wilson   

#54 and #55 El Diente Peak and Mt. Wilson

Camping at the trailhead

Creek crossing in the am

Photo I like as the basin comes into view

Starting up the talus field.

El Dientes turn off looking up at the route.

Climbing higher on the route

Takes a while to climb up to these cliffs and take a left but then its pretty quick scramble right over to the grey gully.

Looking at the summit while going around the red rock rib. The gully is to the right of this photo just out of view but Im at the bottom of the gully up to the organ pipes.

Climbing the gray gully, organ pipes in front.

At the organ pipes taking a left

Take a right shortly after the climb the loose gully. Its not that loose. Other parts of this mountain though holy cow they arent kidding when they say loose rock fall potential. Everyone sends rocks down this mountain. Maybe one day it wont have any and Ill be back right away to climb it again then.

Looking back at the organ pipes from the loose gully

Crossing over to the other side of the ridge after the loose gully, looking around the notch to the north side of the ridge.

There is a high and low route to get to the notch in the photo. On the way up here I went to the lower route about 25 feet below the snow where the green grass is. It was VERY loose!! Although it may not be anymore after my rock slide. But a large rock that I didnt even directly touch went and sent the rocks that were under my feet down with it. It is the only rock slide Ive ever sent down a mountain in my life. It wasnt as large as other rock slides I saw the last two days camping and hiking here that other climbers sent down either but it was enough to give me an uneasy feeling and I chickened out of doing the traverse solo because of this one bad move.

Up in the notch looking back at the route and Mt. Wilson.


Summit views

Summit views. Wilson Peak.

Going back down to the notch. The ice here was bulletproof and you had to climb above it and around it.

Climbing above the hard ice and then down to the notch.

In the notch this time I can see there is a higher MUCH safer route to get back to the other side of the ridge.

Looking back at the notch from the safer and better higher route. See instead of 25 feet below the snow like before when climbing up now I am basically parallel to it. Use this route and stay high to gain El Diente summit!

Okay so watching large rock slides from other groups and even causing a pretty gnarly one myself I went against doing the traverse solo today. I just didnt have my mountain goat legs under me today I guess. Anyway, I didnt want to come all this way back to do Wilson either so I went for it after descending El Diente. I saw a guide from Telluride bringing up a father and son team and he want up El Diente by making a large switchback so they did not have to do the steep climbing up the the red rock rib. I watched them go below the lower cliffs in this photo and then turned back up to El Dientes trail where I am standing right here So I took their route to go to Mt. Wilson without having to go all the way back down to El Diente turn off.

No traverse and that did bum me out as I didnt get to do one of the great traverses on my 14ers journey. Oh well at least I got to avoid more loose rock and talus for some good ole snow! Also if you want to see a traverse and a crazy ridge run check out one of my old rip reports I posted here from a trip I took to Switzerland to do The Hardergrat. Which basically translates to the hardest ridge. You wont be disappointed!

Climbing up to Mt. Wilson. Once the snow ends its quick climbing up gully one here. The cross over is just to the right of the photo out of view.

In the cross over looking up gully two now.

Up on top of gully two looking left at the remaining climb to the summit. Mt. Wilson was much better than El Diente in my opinion with much more fun climbing.

Summit views





Going back down gully two the cross over is right in front of me.

In the cross over looking down gully one. You can see where the snow ends and see how close it is to the start of the climbing. That was great cause I got to glissade down and avoid talus the whole way back to El Dientes turn off.
Walking on nice soft snow.

Even got some booty slides in!

Back down on rock for the jaunt back to the trailhead.

Going back down the basin. Makes my feet hurt just looking at it.

The waterfall. I like this photo.

Back at the trailhead. Did not do the traverse but it took me 4 hours to summit El Diente, 2 hours from El DIente to Mt. Wilson, and 3.5 hours to go from Mt. Wilson back down to trailhead. That time includes all my breaks and 10 minutes spent on top of each summit.

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41

Comments or Questions

So close!
07/13/2020 18:07
Good work and I'm digging your photos. Cheers!


I'm impressed!
07/13/2020 18:38
I mean, I also didn't do the traverse, but I also-also didn't get Mt. Wilson. :/ Nice work getting both!

Congrats on two summits and smart decision-making...TG and I didn't actually hear the massive rockslide people kept telling us about on Saturday, but there was enough loose garbage just where we were that I could imagine the rest being totally sketch.

Snow Field on Wilson
07/15/2020 20:38
You walked across the snow field to access Mt Wilson. Is it possible to avoid the snow field? If not, please comment on the condition of the snow. Did you use crampons or an ice axe?
Thank you for a great report!

Snow Field on Wilson
07/15/2020 23:25
I used microspikes and an ice axe very comfortably. You could avoid some of the snow but not all of it and why would you the snow is nice and soft and easy on the feet compared to the hours of talus you just did so its nice snow! Hope that helps.

Nice report
07/16/2020 01:39
Excellent report and wonderful pictures.
I am really glad that I was almost 30 years younger whe I had my mt. Wilson/ED experiences.

Luther Longbow
Snowfield Cutoff - Very Cool!
07/19/2020 11:46
Excellent trip report SpringsDuke, Thanks!!!

We are very interested in the snowfield traverse - especially since we are climbing next week during the monsoon, and likely the loose rock hazards will only be worse, so two questions:

1) Can you confirm that I have interpreted the "lower cliff reference" correctly in your Trip Report Photo #24? Assuming it is the snow field at the base of the gray cliffs in the lower right corner, or above the gray cliffs? Did you just climb down to that point from the trail intersection

2) Can you tell me which picture on the Wilson Route is closest to where the snow field traverse intersects the trail (or the ~ elevation, if that is easier)? From your description it seems like snowfield in Photo #6 in the Wilson route guide?


Luther Longbow

Thanks Luther!
07/21/2020 00:20
Yes you got ti. I went to the base of the gray cliffs from where I stood taking that photo. There is a large cairn at the base of those gray cliffs and its easy to go right at it. The snow field started pretty low but you can avoid it for quite some time and hope on rocks if you wanted. Hope that helps!

Luther Longbow
07/22/2020 11:22
We tried on Tuesday the 21st, but got too late a start€¦ Turned back due to rain and lightning. Going to try tomorrow...going MUCH earlier€¦ The monsoon is definitely ON in Telluride.

Thanks so much for responding!

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