Peak(s):  Mt. Wilson  -  14,246 feet
El Diente Peak  -  14,159 feet
Date Posted:  08/01/2007
Date Climbed:   07/30/2007
Author:  canyongoddess
 El Diente-Mt. Wilson from Navajo Lake  

These were my first fourteeners of the season, and certainly challenged my sea level lungs. However, the weather was terrific and the views certainly made up for any bodily pain.

My dad and I camped at Navajo Lake the night before - several nice campsites on the W end of the lake and one nice one at the NE end. Watch out for marmots, however - they will eat your pack if it‘s sweaty/salty. The trail up to Navajo Lake (Image) is very scenic and gradual for the first 3.5 mi or so, then gets considerably steeper for about 3/4 mi, but the trail is good the whole way.

We awoke the next morning to climb El Diente via the NE route as described in the Roach book. His description is accurate. There was a bit of snow in the couloir that we avoided by scrambling up the L side. This part of the climb was pretty unpleasant given all the loose rock, but it was pretty standard Class 3 the whole way. No ice axe was needed and the snow could be completely avoided. The ascent was pretty slow going due to my pathetic lungs and the loose scree - 3.5 hrs.

From the summit (Image) (which one is it, exactly? there were 3 possibilities...), we tackled the ridge. It took us just under 2 hrs to complete the whole traverse. The ridge rock was much more solid, though there were several loose slabs. This climbing was really enjoyable, much more so than El Diente‘s ascent. Climbing did not surpass Class 3+ at any point (up until just below Mt. Wilson‘s summit). The coxcombs were the most exciting and exposed - the rock is solid. Just don‘t look down. The Class 4 move just below Wilson‘s summit was brief and not too tricky - lots of solid handholds. This will be no sweat for folks who have technical climbing experience.

Finally, the summit! (Image) This was my 50th peak and my dad‘s 53rd. The summit of Mt. Wilson yielded a great view of the connecting ridge (Image). The route down Wilson was easy to find (nicely cairned) but steep and rough on the knees and quads. Looking up at the face from Navajo Basin, it‘s hard to imagine actually navigating that peak - but the descent was pretty smooth.

Weather held, didn‘t feel any raindrops at all. Amazing climb!!

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):

 Comments or Questions

02/05/2011 00:22
...and thanks for the beta! Glad the weather held for you; I hope we can have similar good luck when we can schedule a trip to do this duo. You make it sound easier than the literature suggests, and I hope you're right. I'm just amazed to hear that there is a snow-free route.


08/01/2007 21:06
your not nude, whats the deal???


11/30/2010 17:28
ok, i can't resist. must have been weird asking dad to take the nude pix.

thanks for the TR; i'm hoping to hit the Wilson Group in Sept.



Nice Job
11/30/2010 17:28
On Princeton in 2002 actually took a picture for two girls who were making a clander nude on the top of 14ers. Not quit sure they were doing all of them, but, anyhow at that point I wasn't listenning that closely to what they were saying. I think it was just random peasks though, so you may be on to something!


The nude thing...
11/30/2010 17:28
So just to clarify:

1) Yes, I stood on both summits in the buff
2) No, my dad was NOT the photographer - I made him climb down a ways out of sight. He has the patience of a saint.

I can't believe someone stole my nude 14er calendar idea...

Jon Frohlich

Someone did at least half
08/06/2007 17:32
Not sure if the person I know ever finished but I know she posed nude on ~30 14ers. She had a photo in Backpacker magazine at one point I think with a group on Mount Bross. That was a few years ago so she may have finished by now.

Steve Knapp

Great job on this climb
11/30/2010 17:28

Nice TR. You two did real well on the loose stuff and the ridge. I'm heading there Labor Day wkd to climb Gladstone and repeat the 14ers from Navajo Lake. The first time I did these it was June and a snow climb up El Diente. Now I'm not looking forward to the loose rock. The ridge is definitely fun. I love the Wilson Group and can't wait.

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