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Technicals for the Mount Wilson - El Diente Traverse

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Technicals for the Mount Wilson - El Diente Traverse

Postby phy304 » Mon Sep 16, 2013 9:48 pm

I have found SP to be rich with detail for this ascent, but I am left with a question:

As an experienced hiker/backpaker is this a realistic ascent/traverse for me in view of the class 4 crux? I am fit, experienced with difficult rock, but do not do technical ascents with ropes. I assess and assume risk, but am always safe.

Input on this (Hopeful) attempt would be appreciated. Thanks so much for your guidance.


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Re: Technicals for the Mount Wilson - El Diente Traverse

Postby seano » Tue Sep 17, 2013 1:29 am

I did it a few years ago starting from El Diente with fresh October snow, and found it the least technical of the 3 classic 14er traverses. It was mostly just route-finding through fins and loose gullies, though there aren't many opportunities for escape without retreating the way you came. You can always tag them separately from the same camp if you don't feel comfortable on the traverse. You might also try 14ers.com for more info.
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Re: Technicals for the Mount Wilson - El Diente Traverse

Postby Monster5 » Tue Sep 17, 2013 4:54 am

I don't mean the following in the tone it sounds, but y'know, internet.

How are we, a group of unknown internet sorts, supposed to know what you're capable of and if you can ascend class 4 alpine rock? The whole point of a rating system is to convey difficulty as objectively as possible. The route requires several moves of class 4. Up-climb ElD>MW or down-climb MW>ElD. Plain and simple. Holds are abundant and hands are required to move upwards. Exposure and loose rock in spots. Can you do that? I haven't a clue. I wouldn't take certain 5.12 climber friends on this route whereas I'd feel comfortable taking others who don't even know how to tie a figure 8. Ratings might attempt to be objective but climber tolerances certainly are not.

I guess what I'm saying is that we can't accurately and honestly give you reassurances as we don't know you - your skills, capabilities, mental fortitude, tolerances, and so forth. Hundreds (thousands?) of "experienced hikers/backpackers" have traversed successfully sans rope and hundreds have failed to complete it.

On this traverse (4 classics by the way, not 3), I'd be more concerned about the class 2+ crap than the class 4 stuff. There's a bit of junk rock one could run into off-route.

Better (overly-detailed) info to help you assess: http://14ers.com/routemain.php?route=mwil5&peak=Mt.+Wilson%2C+Wilson+Peak%2C+and+El+Diente+Peak
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Re: Technicals for the Mount Wilson - El Diente Traverse

Postby seano » Mon Sep 23, 2013 11:37 pm

Monster5 wrote:On this traverse (4 classics by the way, not 3),...

My bad -- temporary brain failure. Still, of the 4 (Crestones, Bells, Little Bear to Blanca, El Diente to Wilson), I found it least technical and most sloggy. And I agree -- though it's hard to say, the loose class 2 will probably be more of an issue than whatever class 4 you find.
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