Peak(s):  Wilson Peak  -  14,017 feet
Date Posted:  09/08/2010
Date Climbed:   09/05/2010
Author:  quicksilver1321

 The Wild West  

This is an account of my third summit of a Colorado 14er. I am a resident of Albuquerque, New Mexico where we still pride ourselves on being a Rocky Mountain state. However, we more or less have the tamer southern tip of the Rocky Mountains the Sangre de Cristos. The highest point in New Mexico is in Taos, NM, it's Wheeler Peak and its one of our few 13ers. Anyways my family owns a place between Durango and Silverton and I have recently (over the summer) become an enthusiastic 14er collector and backpacker. So being that I had a long weekend at my disposal I recruited my sister and her boyfriend as well as my friend to backpack the Navajo Basin and climb Wilson Peak. We originally planned on taking the train to Needleton and doing the Chicago Basin 14ers but were discouraged by the $100 per person cost. Having been to Telluride mulitple times I have always been interested in the striking peaks of the Wilson group and always wanted to climb them. I originally planned to do the traverse between El Diente and Mt. Wilson, however my three counterparts are relatively inexperienced in scrambling and dealing with the dangers of decaying mountains, so we settled for a day trip to Wilson Peak. We started about mid day Friday and drove up to Silverton and took the Ophir pass to the 145 and continued on to the trailhead for Navajo Basin.

After about 2 hours of hiking we reached the last bit of the Navajo Lake trail, which is pretty strenuous with a 50 lb pack. After some self pity and effort we were able to find a great spot next to the lake. Due to our evening arrival we were surprised to see know-one camped up there yet, which gave us great selection of campsites.

The weather was absolutely amazing as the forecast predicted. Gotta love post-monsoon! We woke up the next morning and due to the amazing weather didn't get started till about noon.

Gladstone Peak at the end of the valley

Looking back at Navajo Lake

Upon ascending Wilson Peak there is a 13er that fools you into thinking that your near the summit. Upon reaching the saddle you realize the game has just started.

Relics of our past.

Surely spider infested

The TRUE peak (Wilson Peak)

Gladstone to the South.

Lizard Head

Got scree?

The Plateau west of Telluride

This is the last bit of the mountain gets a little more technical here so I let this man and his girl do there thing before I tried up.

After getting to this point I got a little nervous at the exposure but wasn't about to come all that way for nothing.

The SUMMIT viewing my favorite place in CO! At this point I looked back and had seen that the rest of my crew had decided not to summit due to the last sketchy part of this climb.

The lonely summit.

On the descent. if you look closely at the bottom right you can see a massive gully dug out by a house sized rock fall off of El Diente YIKES!

God's country

Camp Arnold


 Comments or Questions

Response to Messages
09/09/2010 20:54
To Scott yes it was Navajo Basin.. Awesome place!
To Cooper.. not really sure what the hell your trying to say
To McKinney.. Thanks for the compliment

James Scott

Nice work
09/08/2010 18:50
I liked your pictures- it's a beautiful place, Navajo Basin, isn't it?

Barrett Cooper

No Spiders...
09/08/2010 21:11
Surely spider infested, you can't be serious?
I am serious... and don't call me Shirley.

Nice report.

Mel McKinney

Telluride is my fav place too.
09/08/2010 21:12
Congrats on the summit and nice photos!

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