Peak(s):  Wilson Peak  -  14,017 feet
Date Posted:  05/25/2010
Modified:  05/26/2010
Date Climbed:   05/15/2010
Author:  dholm
 Wilson Peak - Northwest Face   

Wilson Peak 14017'
Northwest Face
May 15th, 2010


The forecast for the night before our attempt called for four inches of snow and heavy winds. From Stony Peak, it looked like the Wilson group was getting hammered with snow. It also poured for most of the drive over. We initially were considering the NE face but with the weather most of our group opted for the NW face. The forecast called for a cloudy day with a high of 35 so we didn't get a very early start. We left from the Silver Pick TH closure at an elevation of around 9700'. We put our skins on about a half mile up the trail.

Chad and Ed decided to climb the NE face.

Evan, Michelle, Jackie, Cole, Kevin, and myself stuck with the NW face.

We skinned our way up Silver Pick Basin Road and then towards Wilson Peak. Image Image ImageImage

Most of the face is consumed by a huge bowl. From the top of the bowl there are a few options for gaining the ridge and summit.


We skinned up most of the bowl to an elevation of around 13,500'. The bowl was filled with ~5 inches of fresh snow. The last 150' of vertical to the summit was the worst. From the top of the bowl we took a short couloir which eventually dried out. Image

We then had some class 3 scrambling to gain the ridge to the summit. None of the climbing was very difficult or exposed but we didn't have much experience scrambling in ski boots and with skis on our backs.
Image Image Image

We would have left our skis below this section but we thought that there was a chance that we would ski the NE face. The very last move was the worst and it involved fully trusting our boots and doing a mantle of sorts. We met Chad and Ed on the summit. They had a spicy climb up the NE face so that ruled it out as a plausible ski descent. Image

Coverage just wasn't good enough and it sounded like more of it would have been spent side-stepping than actually skiing. None of our group was excited to down climb the class 3 to where the skiing could start, but we made it through it just fine. We then skinned the couloir and bowl. The snow conditions were great! We were able to ski most of the way back to the car. Image Image Image Image

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):

 Comments or Questions
Easy Rider

some scrappy looking climbin‘
05/27/2010 00:04
The Wilsons have been difficult this year. More snow in the air than on the ground. The Coors face has been looking a little better after these past few storms. It looked pretty good from Sneffels yesterday, but this report makes me doubt there is much improvement. Especially sinces everything eventually rips out to the red dust layers.


Well done
05/27/2010 15:47
The ski boots definitely up the antee a bit with the scrambing,don‘t they? Pic 11 is pretty intense. Great accomplishment.

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