Peak(s):  Wilson Peak  -  14,017 feet
Date Posted:  07/19/2007
Date Climbed:   07/18/2007
Author:  Old Ickabod
 Wilson Peak Solo- Standard Route  

After climbing Mount Wilson the day before with Dave Keep, I decided to climb Wilson Peak the next day. The afternoon storms on the 17th gave me a great sleep and I was on the trail solo by 4am. I just went into the zone as I hiked up the same trail I had been the day before to the Upper Navajo Basin. At a tall pole where the trail to Mount Wilson and Wilson Peak splits, I headed up toward the rock of ages saddle.
Mount Wilson at sunrise from the Rock of Ages saddle

From the rock of ages saddle, I followed a strong trail over to the saddle between Gladstone Peak and Wilson Peak. I couldn't help but to take time to admire Mount Wilson while a marmot took my photograph.
Old Ickabod rests (Copyright Marmotphoto inc.)

I was greeted with an awesome sunrise and views of the San Juans from the saddle between Wilson Peak and Gladstone Peak.
Wilson cairn at sunrise

Wilson Peak from Mount Wilson summit

As I began the traverse over and up to the ridge, I selected to go through the "difficult rocks" rather than descending the gully. Looking back on it, it was a lot of fun. However, at the time, I began to feel the solo anxiety. For good reason, I get this when I'm the only one on a peak. This just increased my concentration and I soon joined up with the cairned route shortly after. The trail from here to the false summit went rather quickly. But on the false summit, the solo anxiety began to kick in again. The route up to the summit looks a lot gnarlier than it is. Nevertheless, I took some time to carefully look at it before the downclimb. I took photos of this section from top and bottom, but they somehow got screwed up...sorry again.

After a careful downclimb, I found the rock just right of the gully to be real solid and lots of fun. After some quick scrambling staying on top of the ridge I was on the summit by 7:30am.
Old Ickabod solo on Wilson Peaks summit

If you haven't been up there, it is a pretty eerie place. There's a plane propeller on the ridge and all kinds of personal items left from a plane crash along with a cross on the summit. After counting my blessings and saying a prayer for those that were lost in the crash, I headed down. I had thoughts of going for El Diente via an abandoned mining cart, however it had some mechanical issues and was not in condition to take me to the summit of El Diente.
Old Ickabod attempts to conjure the mining cart to take him to the summit of El Diente (maybe I had hypoxia?).

Once again, rusty metal was smarter than me. By the time I reached the upper basin, the clouds were rolling in. At this time I decided to return for El Diente at a later time with friends. I made it back to camp at 10:30am, packed up and was back to the Jeep by 12:30. By this time the thunder was clapping and the rain was falling. Again, I would say that one needs to be up these peaks early and carefully evaluate weather that can come in very fast.
Wilson Peak from Colorado 145 at 5 1/2 hours after summiting.

Rock on!

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):

 Comments or Questions

02/05/2011 00:22
take good pictures


Mining Cart
11/30/2010 17:28
Hey, maybe that mining cart couldn't help you summit El Diente, but what are it's possibilities of making it up South Colony Road??

Old Ickabod

07/19/2007 20:10
You can always count on the marmots for great photos! However, I was a little leary of the waiver and contract required in this case. He was a sharp one with a good eye for capturing the shot.

Old Ickabod

Mining Cart
11/30/2010 17:28
I'd be willing to take that cart up South Colony Lakes. It may need a lift kit? It couldn't do any worse than that orange truck about halfway up.


07/19/2007 20:32
I had better carry oxygen on our climbs from now on. I always knew you wanted to ride in a mine car, but I never actually thought you would do it!


11/30/2010 17:28
Those pictures kick ass! I laughed out loud at least 3 times when reading this TR. Thanks. That's awesome.

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