Peak(s):  Mt. Sneffels  -  14,150 feet
Mt. Wilson  -  14,246 feet
Wilson Peak  -  14,017 feet
El Diente Peak  -  14,159 feet
Date Posted:  07/22/2008
Date Climbed:   07/19/2008
Author:  KirkT
 2 Beautiful days and 4 great summits in the San Juans.  

Mt Sneffels (14150) , Mt Wilson (14246), Wilson Peak (14017) and El Diente (14159)
July 19-20, 2008
Round Trip: Sneffles 5.5 miles, 3hours 40 Minutes, Wilson Trio Total 11 miles
Elevation Gain: 11050 ft. total for all 4 peaks
Hikers: KirkT & ChrisP

I thought since there are several trip reports over the Wilsons from this past weekend, I would make this more a pictoral of mine and Chris's weekends in the San Juans than post some of the same beta.
The plan was to hike Sneffels under moonlight and then head over to complete the Wilson trio with the traverse thrown in for good measure.

We left the city around 6pm Friday night and arrived at Yankee Boy basin around midnight. We started hiking under clear skies and a full moon at 12:20. The temperature was perfect in the upper 40's, quite warm actually. Was a very neat hike doing this mountain under full moonlight. We only used our headlamps occassionally. They were not needed hardly at all. We did use our crampons on very solid ice/snow up the upper couloir to make things easier. We summited at 2:15, less than 2 hours. I took some pictures but most of them unfortunatley did not turn out because of the lack of light. Only the summit pictures turned out... sorry. We stayed on top for 20 minutes and took in the views. We really could see quite a distance.. Montrose, Telluride and most of the surrounding towns could be seen very clearly. After about 20 minutes on top we started back down. The descent also went very quickly and we actually arrived back at the trailhead at 4am perfect. Less than 4 hours! The only regret I have of this part of the hike is not being able to see the surrounding beauty of Sneffels. I will definitely have to go back in the daylight sometime to take it all in. We packed up and headed towards the Wilson group.

We arrived at the Wilson group trailhead around 6:45am. After gearing up we started out at 7:15. The sun had already risen obviously, and the early morning sunlight was incredible on Wilson Peak. We were loaded pretty heavy with our overnight gear so we did not move at our normal pace... especially me. After reaching the Rock of Ages saddle we dropped our big packs and took off to the summit of Wilson Peak. We summited at 11:35. After taking in the sights of the surrounding peaks, enjoying the incredible weather, and looking at all the recently discussed wreckage of the plane crash we started back down around 12:10. We descended down into Navajo Basin and set up or camp and quickly passed out. Both of us by now working on about 33 hours without sleep. Needless to say we passed out rather quickly. After taking a 3 hour nap I awoke and took a walk to filter water and such. I met another hiker who was camped further down in the basin named Reynald. He explained that he was wanting to do the traverse but was unsure of the exact route. I invited him along to join Chris and I in the morning. Back to camp and to bed around 6pm.

After a somewhat blustery night with rain showers, we eventually geared up and met Reynald at the bottom of the intended couloir route around 6:30. After gearing up with axes and crampons we started our 1800ft couloir climb upwards towards El Diente. We could see the group of Aubrey's heading up the Rock of Ages saddle during our ascent. We reached the top of the ridge in 2 hours. After another 30 minutes we we sitting on the summit of El Diente. This peak definitely should be counted as a separate 14'er in any book. It truly is a challenge to climb and deserving so. After 20 minutes of surrounding enjoyment we started the traverse. I had read Bill's description several times and was fairly confident of the route. Chris and I changed leadership several times during the traverse. I would be lying if I said we did not get off route a few times and found ourselves in some class 5 climbing. We would just back track and get back on track pretty easliy. We arrived on the Mt. Wilson summit at 11:20. Traverse time of 1hr 55 min. We were pleased with our time and efforts thus far. After 25 minutes of beautiful weather to enjoy we started our descent. We decided to glissade almost 1200 ft down Mt Wilson's North slopes. We were actually back in the basin at camp in about an hour. We packed up camp and started back towards the trailhead and Reynald hiked up to do Wilson Peak. We arrived pretty tired back to the truck at 3:20.

2 days... 4-14'er summits and beautiful weather all around in the San Juans. What else could be better?? Only Chicago Basin and Snowmass left...

Thanks for reading.

Sneffels mug shot.

Chris on Sneffels.

First light on Wilson Peak.

Wilson Peak ridge.

Chris working on Wilson Peak.

Wreckage and Memorial on Summit of Wilson Peak.

Our Ascent route up to El Diente.

Alpenglow on El Diente.

Our Group working up the Couloir.

Looking down our ascent route.

El Diente.

The Traverse looking towards Mt Wilson.

Chris working the traverse.

Me working the traverse.

More artistic moves on the traverse.

Awesome jagged Mt Wilson.

Spider Monkey (Chris) ascending the class 4 summit pitch

Finally.....4th summit in 2 days!

Wilson Peak.

El Diente and Traverse to Mt Wilson.

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):

 Comments or Questions
mike offerman

That is a full 2 days!
07/23/2008 04:07
It was nice to meet you and Chris on Wilson Peak.

top pin

07/23/2008 04:11
Great finally meeting in person below Wilson Peak - sorry we couldn‘t climb these together. Super photos - great job to you and Chris! Best of luck in Chicago Basin and on Snowmass.


Nice Job Guys
07/23/2008 04:11
I love your timeline for bagging these four . . . very aggressive, I bet you two were completely done in after Mt. Wilson, nice TR.


Great CLimb
07/23/2008 05:13
And solid TR. Hope to head down in the next couple of weeks, so this is very helpful. Love the photos. Congratulations!


Almost there!
07/23/2008 12:05
Just another 2 or 3 weeks, eh? Then what will you do when you have nothing driving you each week? Nice job as always!


Scared me..
07/23/2008 18:26
Thanks for sharing since I probably won‘t be climbing these. Looks like you guys had a fantastic time, great job!


All from Navajo?
07/23/2008 20:32
Hi- Did you start and finish your Wilson Group at Navajo Basin TH? We were planning for Wilson Peak next week from Silver Pick but the TH is still closed so we are reevaluating the mileage and time required! Sounds like fun!


07/23/2008 19:31
for the complements. It was a great weekend and with incredible weather to boot. Funny thing had rained like crazy the previous 5 days before we arrived.

14ergirl- the only really challenging part in my opinion was the last pitch up Mt. Wilson. To be honest, it was not that bad as it looked. It was more difficult than it looked. It took us less than 5 minutes to scale the last 150ft of class 4. You just climbed Carson/Challenger, you should be just fine.

Chicago Transplant

Not Much Longer
07/23/2008 22:56
Not to much longer to go! You have been really cranking them out this year, I admire the determination
Great TR and photos as always!

Holy Schist

Thank you
07/24/2008 04:26
Thank you for showing the Wilson(s) pics and El Diente. I was able to check off three summits I may never reach because I would be too scared.


I Have A Few Questions
08/13/2008 16:51
Congratulations on a fine climbing adventure!

I am planning a trip for next week to see if I can do the 3 peaks: Wilson, Mt Wilson and El Diente.
Wanted to know if we could talk. I need some feedback on times and routes to make my plans.
You can PM me directly.

Thank you!


Great pics!
08/18/2008 00:51
Hey KirkT,

Linda and I were planning that traverse ... looks like it was a blast!!!! I will have to do it in her memory some day! Hmm .. maybe I coudl get Uwe and Dean to try the traverse .... ;-)

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