Friday, August 23, 2013

Mr. Wilson's House, Part 3

Day 3- Monday 8/19

Wilson Peak Southwest Ridge
Woods lake retreat

The Southwest ridge from the "Small Saddle" (SZL)

Scott traverses underneath the steep rocks

Looking back at the small saddle and Mt. Wilson beyond (SZL)
Looking up at the false summit from below. There's a bit of class 3 at the top (SZL)

Looking back on the ridge from up high (13,800') (SZL)

Looking at the true summit from the false one (SZL)

A word of caution here. When scrambling up the false summit, do not charge forward after reaching the top. There is about 3' before it quickly drops off at the top, and the exposure takes you by surprise.

Downclimbing from the false summit (SZL)

Climbing on the class 3 pitch below the summit (SZL)
The class 3 climbing was on solid rock with plenty of footholds. There was one exposed and tough section right after this, but it can be avoided by skirting around it to the right. Either way goes, and it's not quite as precarious as it looks. Once the class 3 section is breeched, the climbing quickly becomes class 2 and levels out to a large and inviting summit.

Scott tops out of the summit pitch!

Panorama of Gladstone, Mt. Wilson, and El Diente

Summit Pose (SZL)
We were worried about negotiating the difficulties coming down, but it was actually smooth and comfortable climbing, and we were quickly scrambling up to regain the false summit.

Looking back on the class 3 pitch after we got down

Looking back on the SW Ridge from the small saddle

Rock of Ages Mine. Cool!

Mining Cart!

Too much fun!

It really is too much fun to pass up playing with the mining cart. If you have some extra time, the mine area is worth carefully exploring. Imagine what it must have been like 100 years ago trying to scratch out a meager existance in such harsh conditions.

Getting back to Navaho Lake

Looking down the valley from above

At the crest of the pass

Beautiful San Juan skies

Woods Lake on the way back
We made great time on the way back. Gaining the pass was labourous, but once that was done we cruised quickly back. The forest had old trees, some old aspens were bigger than any I'd other seen, with trunks like great cottonwoods bigger than I could reach my arms around. It was a great route.

Splits (started at 4:20 AM):
1:40 Rock of Ages Saddle
2:00 Small Saddle
2:30 False Summit
2:50 Wilson Peak Summit
5:10 back to camp
1:50 Campsite to car via Woods Lake

The drive back over Dallas Divide was awesome. This is a great road with nice scenery abouding.
Another afternoon storm moving in over Sneffels and friends

The NW aspect of Mt. Sneffels

In Montrose we stopped at Colorado Boy for some fast and delicious pizza and beer. Great food, highly recommended.

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