Ascent of Wilson Peak on 2020-07-07

Climber: Will Wente

Others in Party:Christie
and Zia
Date:Tuesday, July 7, 2020
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Wilson Peak
    Elevation:14017 ft / 4272 m

Ascent Trip Report

On July 6, from Navajo Lk TH backpacked in to Navajo Lake (~10,800', 4.6 mi) and set up camp just before (west) and overlooking the lake. Ethan and Taren used Paul and Deb's old Arcteryx backpacks. Weights were 35 (T), ~38 (E), 38 (C), and 50 lb (W). Had nothing but bluebird days (some scattered clouds) for the whole trip. Camped three nights.

Awoke 6am on July 7, and prepared daypacks and had breakfast. Taren was pretty worn out the previous day from the backpack in, and a poor nights rest for all of us didn't help with recovering energy levels. Departed camp ~7am. The trail to the peak is mostly on talus the entire way, although there were a few welcome spots of dirt and even grass. We put the dogs booties on and before long Zia had lost all of her.

It was 3 mi to Rock of Ages saddle and here the wind was blowing pretty good. Taren, who had been hiking slow, got spooked at the saddle for some strange reason. He and Christie continued with us to the saddle between Wilson and Gladstone Peaks, but did not continue. They were supposed to keep the dogs, since we'd heard that Wilson was a Class 3 and they wouldn't be able to make it. Unfortunately, Zeus got away from Christie and joined our party

Ethan and I continued to Wilson Pk. The exact route was a little unclear and we went too low initially, crossing a snow field, which was probably the most sketchy part of the hike. After the snow field we ascended back up to the "trail" and had no problem following it to the false summit. We passed a number of groups, include one descending off the false summit all roped together with a guide. Seemed completely unnecessary. From the false summit the route to Wilson Pk was clear: a slight descent, followed by a Class 3 climb. Ethan and I took turns holding Zeus on the false summit. I ascended first. It was easy to find solid handholds and footholds and I quite enjoyed the ascent. It didn't feel sketchy and I didn't see anyone have trouble with it. I had the summit to myself, took some selfies with the new climbing helmet, and returned so Ethan could take his turn. Poor Zeus, no turn for him! I think he could have made it, but he's not quite as careful, and I'd hate to have to do a rescue on the peak.

We returned the same route, staying higher this time as we approached the saddle with Gladstone. We spotted Christie and Taren way down below the mining ruins, but didn't catch up with them until we were almost back to the lake. The wind had picked up and become more steady, which was annoying. We were all pretty tired, and it felt good to return to camp and stretch out in the hammock. Taren and Ethan took a long nap.

Next day we whittled some boats and tried them out on Navajo Lake. Was able to sail mine across the lake twice. Backpacked out on July 9, to more travel restrictions due to increasing COVID-19 cases.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:3267 ft / 995 m
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail, Open Country, Exposed Scramble
    Gear Used:
    Weather:Pleasant, Breezy, Clear
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:3267 ft / 995 m
    Distance:4.1 mi / 6.6 km
    Start Trailhead:Navajo Lake  10750 ft / 3276 m
Descent Statistics
    End Trailhead:Navajo Lake  
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip

 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by Will Wente
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Note: GPS Tracks may not be accurate, and may not show the best route. Do not follow this route blindly. Conditions change frequently. Use of a GPS unit in the outdoors, even with a pre-loaded track, is no substitute for experience and good judgment. accepts NO responsibility or liability from use of this data.

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