I was expecting a longer climb/scramble. But even as short as it was, I was impressed with Pilot Knob. Some solid exposure to be had on this mountain. Combo with Yellow Mountain (13,188') to the west.
Up the standard trail for Pilot Knob, over to Island Lake, up US Grant, then up V4. Great day!
Solo scramble and it started to hail when I was going up the gully to the summit ridge, still summited, got beat up by hail, quickly took a few photos and headed down… Route finding was not that bad, and there are many cairns in the class 3 gully. Higher up I went over a middle summit, first down climbed a chimney and traversed, on the way back I stayed higher up.
Fun day on a ridge traverse climbing Pilot Knob, Golden Horn, Vermillion Peak, and Fuller Peak.
Traversed from Golden Horn, dropping around its south ridge to the west side. I went up a bit early, and had a bit more fun than on the standard route. It's surprising that the summit ridge goes as easily as it does. Trip report.
Would have been nice to have the summit view, but doing the ridge scramble in a cloud with the sides dropping off into the mist was pretty cool.
Solo after V2, US Grant (East Ridge!), and V4. Followed the ridge most of the way. Surprisingly, first person in 2012 in the register.
Rope is definitely NOT needed on the summit ridge if you are a competent scrambler at all. Mostly Class 3 with only moderate exposure (at least, not like a knife ridge).
Great approach. Snow in upper Ice Lake Basin. Traversed some steep, hard snow slopes on north and northwest sides with crampons and axes followed by a fun, airy scramble.
climbed w/mike, took the snow covered west face to the fortunately dry summit rampants. loved the easy, airy climbing along the seemingly cloud-like summit ridge. late may's a great time to go for this beauty!
Climbed with Jamie, started at the Hope Lake TH and climbed up the west face (snow covered) to the base of the standard ascent gully to the ridge. We may have been one gully to the south, but I liked our route. At first we didn't find the downclimb over the false summit and backtracked to a scary exposed slabby ledge. On the way back we went the correct way and couldn't believe we didn't see the downclimb. Over the top is the way to go for sure!
Fun summit ridge, definitely would recommend this one, but its not for those timid about exposure!
Best scramble in a scrambler's paradise known as the Ice Lakes region. Best sunrise view of the Wilsons, followed by a traverse to GH, Vermillion and Fuller topped off with a poop in pants post climb tex/mex meal in Montrose. Something you need to see or do before you die for sure.
7/4/06 - Pilot Knob - whenever I'm in the area I can't take my eyes off this thing for some reason. Its such a unique peak! Beautifully colored but rotten rock typical of the San Juans. Ice Lakes Basin is one of the most spectacular areas in the state. I think I was having an overly confident scrambling day because I danced across the exposed summit ridge like it was nothing and we never considered breaking out the rope. I have a feeling I may feel a little differently on my return trip - yes I am definatley going back!
5/30/16 - Went back and climbed the west face in perfect spring snow! Started from 10,100 feet on the road to the Hope Lake TH. The face itself is less steep than it looks and is a very straightforward snow climb. The summit ridge was interesting in crampons. We roped up at the exposed crux traverse because it was snowy. Went over to Golden Horn afterwards which required a substantial amount of traversing of very steep snow below Pilot Knob's summit ridge cliff band. Beautiful day.
3/18/17 - Snuck in a winter ascent from Trout Lake up the west face in amazing late May-like conditions. But unlike last Memorial Day weekend, no rope needed at the crux traverse (in crampons) because it was somewhat dryer. Headed over to Golden Horn afterwards.
There is a nice Arch in the tower just next to the summit. THe route description say to go over the tower just south of the true summit. They mean go over the easy tower, then go to the left below this tower with the arch in it, this arched tower would not be worth it or even fun to climb over. We took rope, good practice with the rope but it could be done without in dry conditions etc. as low to mid class 4.
Climbed the middle summit (lower one) by accident up a very scary gully. It topped out with some 5.6 climbing on the loosest rock i've ever been on. The downclimb was a pain. I was kinda bummed when i found out i was on the wrong summit and had to do another climb on this rock. Went over to the north summit and got up without a problem. the rock is a little better. Not sure if it is because people have cleaned it off a bit. This was the end of a long traverse from Fuller Peak. I wanted to link up US Grant peak too but a storm moved in.
As part of my CMC BMS (Basic Mountaineering School) we climbed this mountain. This was our graduation climb. What a wonderful mountain and area to visit. After seeing the rest of the peaks in the area - I want to climb them too!
We had nearly perfect weather the day of the climb and the entire weekend, despite it being in the middle of monsoon season.
The climb was easier than anticipated and the loose rock didn't play nearly the factor that I thought it would.