We got a bit off route near the top, after scrambling back a bit we were feeling silly for missing the obvious turn off. Another fun scramble.
Left Navajo Lake at 6am knowing that there was a 30% chance of tstorms. Got to the top of El Diente via the god-awful North Slope Route at 9:20am (I will never do that again). Part of our group was having issues with exposure so we left the summit of El Diente at 10:00am and half our group decided to go down. We continued across the ridge and got to the saddle in 40 mins. A storm rolled in and we watched and heard the lighting from the ridge over Navajo Basin. It cleared up so we kept going. Went off route in the crux section and ended up climbing some scary 5th class choss. We summited Mt. Wilson at 11:30am and then went down the regular route back to lake. All in all, it took 8 hours roundtrip. The summit ridge to Mt. Wilson is spectacular and the coolest summit ridge I have ever done
West ridge. Left lake at 15.46. Shortly before reaching ridge crest, Faith decided to turn back (windy, late, loose rock). I continued (17.27 @ this pt.). Initial section of ridge straightfwd (class 2ish)- even had a trail! Notches in ridge kept getting deeper & ridge more & more knife-edged. Last 1/4 mile full-value. @ one particular section, it took 4 tries/attempted routes before figuring out a way to get through the section. After that, it relented slightly, but still plenty of stomach-turning exposure, numerous class 4 sections, nightmarishly loose rock. Very relieved when summited @ 20.07 (probably a record for me on a CO 14er), but still had to get down. Had vowed last ~20 min. of climb that I would not repeat that ridge, so did variation of standard (N slopes) route- avoided snow as much as possible as did not bringe ice axe from camp (d'oh!) & didn't have gaiters. Back @ Navajo Lake camp @ 22.54. Spent ~15 min. @ summit. Could tell there was large forest fire to SE. Sad Faith couldn't be on climb, but she would have hated it. Wild climb! One of the scariest soloes I've done.
With Ben and Eric. Great snow climb on N Face to the ridge from Navajo Basin. Final pushes to the summit a bit sketchy with loose rock, ice, slush, mud and exposure. Usually find this terrain fun but have been out of the game mentally for some time now. Need to heed some prudence and rebuild some comfort before doing that again.
Went up the north route from Navajo Lake. Not enough snow for me to feel comfortable to the summit! Rematch next summer I hope!
Climbed the North Slopes route with Dustin Kelley and Matt Jamison. We then did the traverse to Wilson. Tough Day. 2 nights at Navajo Lake.
Solo, Kilpacker trailhead.
Long day with my brother, probably would have thrown in the other Wilson if I was solo, but it was great to show the bro some mountaineering. Great kick off to 8 14ers in 5 days.
Stormed off the traverse from Wilson a year before. The camping in Kilpacker below the waterfall was worth the return visit.
Good snow climb!
I climbed El Diente with Facebook friend Frank. It was his final 14er. We hiked in the day before and camped below the lower falls. We started around 5:30, summited at 9, and got back to camp around 12:30. The weather was good, though the clouds began to build as we got down from the top.
blanca and bells traverses are better but this one is still good. only heinous part was the scree in the couloir up to diente. a big earlier it he season would have nice snow the whole way (climbied in aug). Tr at http://zoomloco.xanga.com/732717261/purple-mountain-majesties/
8/27/06 - Climbed the nasty north slopes from camp in Navajo Basin and then traversed to Mount Wilson.
2/13/11 - Attempt from camp in Kilpacker Basin. Explored an unknown line up the southwest face. Simulclimbed the entire face, placing pieces in poor rock to try to protect against possible avalanches (recent snow but no signs of instability). Quite the exhausting wallow. Reached the west ridge 0.14 miles west of the summit only to find we had not passed all of its difficulties. Due to time constraints we had to turn around at 13,900 ft.
1/15/11 - Looong winter daytrip from east end of the (closed) Dunton Road. Climbed something resembling the normal south slopes route but finished directly on the summit ridge to avoid dropping down onto the north slopes near the end. Ridge was spicy but fun in crampons.
North Slopes miserable in Summer! Not suggested! However, highly suggested as a snow climb. Traverse was awesome.
July 2001 as part of Wilson-El Diente Ridge.
This was an interesting climb. Got fresh snow on the north side, making it an ice/snow climb, the final approach to its tiny peak was completely covered in the snow, so I climbed on the top of the ridge, making it more exposed. Descended down via south slopes - dry rock, but more exposed, lot of loose stuff. Fun day. Start and end at Navajo trailhead.
7/27/13 - 2nd summit of El Diente, via North Buttress, fun scramble. With Patrick (patyoda on SP).
Had to hide out in an old mining shanty below the rock of Ages saddle when we got in some hail on the way down.
Climbed El Diente via South Slopes Route from Kilpacker TH, traversed to Mount Wilson and returned via Navajo Lake and Kilpacker Trails. 12 hours car-to-car. Nice scrambling, beautiful weather, great views.
great day out
...but at least I'm still alive. Brad Snider's North Buttress route was fun (except for the slabs - which I thought were much more difficult that advertised). The traverse turned tragic when the mountain crumbled under the foot of a climber in our group and took a life. This was NOT loose, free-standing rock being kicked around; this was a large piece of the mountain breaking off. Be very careful!