I think this was my stupidest climb ever. Backpacked into Navajo Basin and awoke to horrible weather. Electrical storms passed through in waves all day. Managed to climb Wilson Peak, hiding out in the old mining cabin to let a storm pass on the way up. Retreated back to the cabin on the way down and then went on to Gladstone. The sky was black, but I had summit fever. My partner waited low on the ridge while I scrambled as fast as I could up to the summit and back. Upon my return, I felt my hair standing up. We booked it down steep, slippery, loose talus back into the basin. Just plain dumb!
I did Gladstone from Silver Pick Basin via Rock of Ages. I started up the Wilson Peak standard route until it intersected with the ridge to Gladstone. On the return I saw a avalanche of snow, mud & rock. When the main mass came to a stop, one rock the size of a soccer ball continued down Navajo Basin at a fast pace.
quite loose, but makes it more interesting. almost lost the hack on the summit
There was fresh snow already.
Very loose ridge. We definitely found the tetering, grand piano-sized rock that Roach describes. Real class 3 climbing. Super-dry that year. This is the year that the San Juans had a 6% of normal snowpack in the spring. Climbed in tennis shoes in late June!
Was camped in the area and thought this one looked tougher and more interesting than Wilson Peak, so off we went. Fun scramble with decent exposure and a couple of funky moves, and a great little summit!
Since I inherited the page, I thought I'd best get up there again and check it out. Decided to climb the entire North Ridge to get some pics and beta for the page. I underestimated the amount of snow that collected on the east side of the ridge during the heavy storms of the last couple of weeks. It made for a tougher climb, as traversing left (east) of difficult points on the ridge was problematic. The inability to pass the difficult spots made the climb actually alot like the Wilson-El Diente traverse in terms of difficulty.
Luckily, I had good weather, and got up and down (car to car at the gate closure) in 7 hours. If I remember correctly, it can be done in 5 hrs. car to car when dry.