On the Road is a weekday feature spotlighting reader photo submissions. From the exotic to the familiar, whether you’re traveling or in your own backyard, we would love to see the world through your eyes.
Good morning everyone,
We continue today with Wag’s submission. Have a great weekend, everyone!
Welcome to Part 2
After our fun day on Wilson Peak, we were looking forward to more high altitude fun. After a recovery night at a hotel in the town of Ridgway (and an excellent meal at the Colorado Boy Pub and Brewery), we drove to our next trailhead at Kilpacker Basin.
In the late afternoon od the 30th we hiked in about 3 miles up Kilpacker Basin and set up camp in a beautiful meadow. It was late in the summer, but here were still a few wildflowers to be found
When climbing 14er’s it is imperative to start early in order to be off the mountain by early afternoon so you can avoid getting caught by a thunderstorm while on an exposed ridge. we left camp at 5, and hiked high into the Basin to 12,600 ft and the trail split. We started up just as the alpenglow was highlighting our first peak, El Diente, 1500 ft above. Our route wended its way up the talus slopes, then traversed the cliffs above on ledges, aiming for the ridge where the sunlight hit the ridge on the right side of the summit block. From there we circled to the other side of the ridge, approaching the summit from the north.
It sounds complicated, but not as complicated as the upcoming traverse to Mt Wilson
From the summit of El Diente we had a great view of our upcoming traverse to Mt Wilson.
The next summit was only a mile away…
Once we left the ridge we had to traverse beneath a formation named the Organ Pipes, a series of fluted cliffs above us and out of the picture. From here we got a good view of our next objective, the high ridge ahead
A photo of another couple that we met along the way as they worked their way along the crest of the ridge to Mt Wilson, which dominates the skyline behind.
The traverse from El Diente to Mt Wilson was only a mile, but with the difficult route finding and exposure it took us 3 hours. This is a shot back on the ridge. If you zoom in on the crest of the ridge you can see a pair of dots, one white, the other green. The dots are the helmets of another pair of climbers following behind us.
The view from the summit, looking north towards Wilson Peak, our climb 2 days previous. On the skyline you can also see, from left to right, Mt Sneffels, Wetterhorn Peak, and Uncompahgre Peak, three other 14er’s in the San Juans.
After our descent from Mt Wilson, we came back to our campsite in the Basin, packed up, and hiked out. Here is a final view back at El Diente.