Mount Wilson From Navajo Lake TH and Return via Kilpacker

Mount Wilson From Navajo Lake TH and Return via Kilpacker

Page Type Page Type: Trip Report
Date Date Climbed/Hiked: Jul 18, 2009
Activities Activities: Mountaineering
Seasons Season: Summer

Mount Wilson Solo

The alarm went off at 2:30. I was a little slow at first, but got with it in a few minutes. I was excited the night before and slept little. I pressed some lethal strength coffee and hit the road.

I arrived at the Navajo Lake TH at about 4:15. I made some last minute prep and hit the trail at 4:30 by head lamp. I’ll admit straight away that walking through the woods solo gives me a little anxiety, especially when I can’t hear because of the rushing river.

As I reached the first meadow, I first noticed on set of eyes. Then as I looked around, there were like seventy sets of eyes. I eased up to the first set and confirmed it to be a deer. They seemed to be at ease with me, as I went within a few feet of twenty of them.

I arrived at Navajo Lake in two hours. People were just beginning to stir and I shot some nice photos of lake and reflections. It wasn’t long until I had one set of climbers ahead and one behind. I found the appropriate shoulder of Mount Wilson and left the trail. I dipped water for a refill and headed up. Some fabulous third classing on fairly stable rock developed. I stopped for a refuel bread as soon as I was in the sun.

Onward and upward, more third classing. At the saddle, I shot some photos. I watched the couple I’d met, Al and Patty, negotiate the crux by a direct line. I eased down and left and found the easier line. It was still fairly exposed forth class and very fun. The summit was great, small and had spectacular views.

I had planned on trying the traverse to El Deinte. I was looking for the third class route to the left of the organ pipes. I ended up going too low and this cost me the traverse. I was cliffed out at one point. I continued to traverse and found a low fifth class gully that I down climbed. It was where me and Tom were bailed on our last attempt in the spring. I had thoughts of rejoining the traverse route on the west side of West Wilson. As I approached the saddle, some dark clouds rolled across the ridge. I then committed to a retreat down Kilpacker Basin.

The Kilpacker escape added some extra miles that I really didn’t appreciate, plus it gave me the opportunity to negotiate my favorite scree field. It also had a long stretch through the forest where I was endlessly attacked by flies and mosquitoes. During a river crossing, I had the misfortune of slipping off a rock and getting one foot soaked. Well only five or so miles left. After regaining the Navajo Lake trail it was mostly down hill and smooth sailing.

I was met in the parking lot by my family, which was a pleasant surprise. I rehydrated while my kids played in the river.

Sunrise on Navajo Lake TH


Navajo Lake with Gladstone Peak

Reflection in Navajo Lake

Navajo Lake with El Diente's West Ridge

Reflection in Navajo Lake

Dolores Peak with upper West Dolores River in Foreground

Dolores Peak

Upper Stretches of North Slopes Route

Mount Wilson s North Slope

Mount Wilson Summit Block

Mount Wilson Summit

El Deinte and Connecting Ridge

El Diente

Kilpacker Falls on Descent Route

Kilpacker Falls


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Viewing: 1-2 of 2

cftbq - Jul 26, 2009 9:15 pm - Hasn't voted

nice photos...

...thanks! Should be helpful. You make it sound very doable!


BigRob - Jul 27, 2009 1:10 am - Hasn't voted

Re: nice photos...

Optimally I'd stay on the Navajo side. I'd like to go back and complete the traverse and west ridge of El Deinte in a single day (car to car).

Viewing: 1-2 of 2



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