Mt. Wilson-Gladstone ridge

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Hiking_TheRockies
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Mt. Wilson-Gladstone ridge

Post by Hiking_TheRockies » Tue Jan 12, 2021 5:52 pm

Was just wondering if anyone had ever done the ridge between Mt. Wilson and Gladstone Peak. I was looking at the 360 Summit Panorama from the summit of Gladstone and the ridge looks difficult but doable. And if it could/has been done, could you then traverse from El Diente all the way to Wilson Peak without dropping off a ridge?
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Re: Mt. Wilson-Gladstone ridge

Post by yaktoleft13 » Tue Jan 12, 2021 5:56 pm

There's a big-ass cliff along the ridge to mt. Wilson. Check the panorama from mt wilson.
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Re: Mt. Wilson-Gladstone ridge

Post by Hiking_TheRockies » Tue Jan 12, 2021 6:00 pm

yaktoleft13 wrote:
Tue Jan 12, 2021 5:56 pm
There's a big-ass cliff along the ridge to mt. Wilson. Check the panorama from mt wilson.
Your right, thats a big cliff. Would you have to rappel down it? (not that I'm going to try)
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Re: Mt. Wilson-Gladstone ridge

Post by justiner » Tue Jan 12, 2021 6:50 pm

I guess that's potentially doable, although I would not want to be in charge of making that anchor. Rock quality is dire, so some shenanigans may need to be done - perhaps even a deadman anchor. Doesn't look like you lose to much additional elevation by just going the standard route down until you meet the glacier though.

From Gladstone, the easiest way to get to Mt. Wilson is down a chossy gully - a place I may not want to be with a partner, as things are easily let loose. That gully will lead you close to the glacier, where you can then pick up the standard route. It goes, but it's not all that pleasant (or safe). If you do take the ridge from Wilson Peak to Gladstone, I would go back the way you came, rather than think of that gully as a great place to make your escape.

If it's Spring snow conditions, things could be different.
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Re: Mt. Wilson-Gladstone ridge

Post by yaktoleft13 » Tue Jan 12, 2021 7:15 pm

I agree with Justin. Don't think I'd want to bother rappelling that cliff. My memory is a little hazy, but I'd guess it's somewhere near 200 feet or so, which means you're hauling at least one long rope up gladstone. The quickest way to wilson from gladstone is either the gully justin mentioned, bailing off the low point on the north ridge (endless loose talus, but definitely goes), or just backtracking all the way to the rock of ages saddle and taking the trail to wilson's north slopes. The latter probably keeps you the most sane...
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Re: Mt. Wilson-Gladstone ridge

Post by DaveLanders » Tue Jan 12, 2021 8:17 pm

The ridge was done in 1971 by George Bell. He also did the first ascent of Sunlight Spire, and was on the 1953 K2 expedition.
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Re: Mt. Wilson-Gladstone ridge

Post by CaptCO » Tue Jan 12, 2021 8:18 pm

DaveLanders wrote:
Tue Jan 12, 2021 8:17 pm
The ridge was done in 1971 by George Bell. He also did the first ascent of Sunlight Spire, and was on the 1953 K2 expedition.
That’s a name to remember if I’ve ever heard one.
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Re: Mt. Wilson-Gladstone ridge

Post by Scott P » Tue Jan 12, 2021 9:16 pm

Your right, thats a big cliff. Would you have to rappel down it? (not that I'm going to try)
I tried it on 7/4/2001 I had just moved to Colorado and Wilson Peak, Mount Wilson, and El Diente were the closest 14ers to where I was working (Nucla).

I didn't have any info and planned to connect Wilson Peak, Gladstone, Mount Wilson, and maybe El Diente (I was in better shape back then).

From Wilson Peak and Gladstone you can't see the big cliff that is lower down. I made it down to that cliff from the top of Gladstone and tried to scout out the cliff to find a ropeless way down, but there isn't one. I remember it as a really dangerous and loose area (the area around the top of the cliff) as well.

The cliffs in the area are ledgy enough that you probably could find a multi-stage rappelling route through them if you are coming down. This would be risky though. First off all, if you do try it you had better know what you are doing and even if you do know what you are doing, it is dangerous to descend and unknown route if you don't know if you have enough rope or not. Better bring ascenders if you were to try it (in case your ropes don't reach). I'd imagine there is a reasonable multi stage rappel route down somewhere, but you had better know how to set up multi-stage rappels with awkward anchors and be ready for a lot of dangerous and loose rock.

PS, although I haven't done the potential rappel rout, I'm almost 100% sure that trying to find a rappel route would be much more time consuming than just retreating back along the NW Ridge and going across the slopes to Navajo Glacier (snowfield).
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Re: Mt. Wilson-Gladstone ridge

Post by CaptCO » Tue Jan 12, 2021 9:19 pm

That sounds like an adventure Scott.. very valuable info there for anyone considering.

I also agree with Justin & co. about the rockfall danger in the area, almost as bad as the hourglass if I’m concerned
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Re: Mt. Wilson-Gladstone ridge

Post by Scott P » Tue Jan 12, 2021 9:21 pm

yaktoleft13 wrote:
Tue Jan 12, 2021 7:15 pm
My memory is a little hazy, but I'd guess it's somewhere near 200 feet or so, which means you're hauling at least one long rope up gladstone.
Although I didn't try to measure it or make and accurate estimate when I was there, I think it's more than that. It might drop 200 feet vertical, but is ledgy and angled, so if you only had two 60 meter/200 foot ropes, I would guess that it would be at least a two stage rappel. This is only a guess though.
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Re: Mt. Wilson-Gladstone ridge

Post by handonbroward » Tue Jan 12, 2021 10:14 pm

DaveLanders wrote:
Tue Jan 12, 2021 8:17 pm
The ridge was done in 1971 by George Bell. He also did the first ascent of Sunlight Spire, and was on the 1953 K2 expedition.
Is there an existing trip report from that 1971 effort anywhere?
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Re: Mt. Wilson-Gladstone ridge

Post by NathanRL » Tue Jan 12, 2021 10:29 pm

If you went from Wilson to Gladstone, would it be an interesting climb up? Or too loose for the climbing crowd?
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