Mt. Wilson  
Condition Updates  
 
Route: North Slopes
Posted On: 2019-08-15, By: tjf242424
Info: We descended the North Slopes route after traversing from El Diente. There is no snow remaining on the route. Crampons and ice axe are necessary for the North Slopes route on El Diente, which should only be considered as an ascent route. 
 
Route: North Slopes
Posted On: 2019-08-12, By: LivingOnTheEdge
Info: Didn't climb the North Slopes but had planned to descend them this weekend. Due to a variety of reasons, that did not happen. Axe and crampons almost certainly necessary for the last gully before the notch and likely necessary to cross the gullies before that. Looks like the snow will probably be significant enough that this stays until winter. Also, it snowed a little on 8/11 while we were up there. Looks like full summer conditions may not happen this year. 
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Route: Mt. Wilson and El Diente Traverse
Posted On: 2019-08-11, By: adamjm
Info: El Diente can be done without traction but an ice axe was helpful for about 20 yards. Traverse is clear of snow. Descent of Mt Wilson via the gully described in the South Slopes report looks hairy from the traverse but snow is somewhat easily bypassed (see pic looking down prior to crossing the rock rib on descent). Ice axe definitely wanted for Wilson descent, whether glissading or walking. 
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Route: North Slopes
Posted On: 2019-08-09, By: glenmiz
Info: Photos from Gladstone - sorry but the weather wasn't cooperating. First photo on ascent of Gladstone's east face looking south toward Mt. Wilson Second photo from Gladstone's summit. 
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Route: Southwest Slopes
Posted On: 2019-08-05, By: lizh
Info: Not much of a change from previous updates, just figured I'd post this so people know the snow is still very much there. Snow fields start in the basin, 1 or 2 before the El Diente turn off. I used trekking poles for stability but didn't bother with traction. Starting in the upper basin, there is snow and ice, sometimes very steep sections, pretty much until the final third class gully before the summit push. I would not have felt comfortable without ice axe and crampons. The top gullies are melting out a bit, with several options for third class scrambling instead - I found those helpful on the way down. Lots of long, fun glissades on the way down. I expect some of this snow will carry through this next winter. 
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Route: Southwest Slopes
Posted On: 2019-07-30, By: mollykay
Info: To add to the previous 7/28 conditions - we climbed up the route not down. Four snowfields to cross in the morning that are hard enough to require axes and traction in the morning. People were getting away with micro spikes on these, but turned around higher up without crampons. Snow is continuous from the El Diente turn off to the rock rib crossover. The snow climbing before the rib is very steep. The rib itself is dry, but once you get over it, the next gully is full of snow. You can avoid the snow by hugging the rock wall on climber's left, but it is still ice/snow mix you have to deal with. Above that stretch, the final Class 3 gully is dry to the summit. 
 
Route: Mt. Wilson and El Diente Traverse
Posted On: 2019-07-29, By: Misi197
Info: Did Diente and Wilson via the traverse on Sunday, 7/28. Did not use traction to summit Diente. There is now a solid option of large, blocky rock to by-pass the snowfield should you want that option. Stay to the left. The north side of Diente is still a bit tricky, but increasingly becoming mud, not the mashed potato snow from previous reports. The traverse is 100% clear of snow. (pics 3, 4 and 6) Any thought of leaving the axe and traction goes away at that point however. Upper Kilpacker Basin is still very full of snow, offering long glissades down (pics 1 and 2). If you were to choose to go for Mt. Wilson first (or only), you'll want to start very early. Folks coming up that route at 10:00-10:30 were facing some slushy conditions. Conditions aside...what a beautiful part of the state!! Kilpacker is such a beautiful spot. 
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Route: Southwest Slopes
Posted On: 2019-07-07, By: Tacocat Climbing
Info: Summited both El Diente and Mt. Wilson, but did not traverse the ridge. Started at 430am at the Killpacker TH. The approach is 99% snow free, the streams are a bit high though. One stream crossing right before the basin was hard to cross, I ended up going upstream about 100ft and found a log. Snow starts a little bit up the basin, and is still covering a lot of the steep faces of both el diente and mt. Wilson. Crampons and Axe were an absolute must-have for both peaks. The north-side of El Diente was really sketchy, steep snow still covers a lot of the trail and had to be very cautiously traversed. I ended up heading back down to the basin to go up the southwest slopes of Mt. Wilson. The weather reports were not setting my mind at ease. Wilson was pretty easy to get up, nothing too bad about it. Steep snow up to the class 3 pitch to the summit. Started to thunder right as I got into the treeline. Video of the hike: https://youtu.be/D1tXDyrbdNk 
 
Route: Mt. Wilson and El Diente Traverse
Posted On: 2019-07-08, By: c13mueller
Info: We summited El Diente and Mount Wilson on 7/6. Please see other people's post regarding the route conditions until the traverse. In general though, there is still a fair amount of snow on El Diente from the waterfall until you reach the organ pipes. We went the standard route (El Diente to Mt Wilson). We only wore hiking boots with microspikes and gaiters, but would highly recommend crampons. Personally, I would have also preferred ascending the steep snow with two axes, but a standard mountaineering ax is sufficient. We scrambled to the El Diente summit and back to the organ pipes without traction. The north side has quite a bit of snow, so we stayed directly on the ridge or the southern side of it. For the rest of the traverse, there are little patches of snow that make the route difficult. When we reached the gendarmes, we had to be a little creative on how to get around the snow field that covered some of the rocks. You really need front points from crampons if you want to be safe. There were maybe 4-5 gullies where we modified the route with extra rock climbing to avoid the snow. Two of the gullies were unavoidable, so we had to put our microspikes back on. Overall we felt trusted our rock climbing technique more than our shoddy microspikes. Directly on the ridge, there were a couple small patches of snow (see photo). These were largely flat, and the longest patch was maybe 40ft. The saddle also has some flat snow. There is one section after the narrows that we had to completely modify (photo #27 in the route description). Steep, icy snow filled the gully, so we opted to traverse the south side of a highly exposed spine. Softing snow made the final gully before the summit ridge challenging. Other people's steps made it doable with our axes and spikes. The summit ridge was dry. We returned down that same gully and followed the other groups glissade route back to the waterfall. Definitely, start early to have firm snow during the ascent. We were lucky to avoid post holing even as the snow softened in the hot afternoon sun. The traverse is doable, but bring the right gear. Don't assume a lack of snow just because the summit of El Diente looks dry from the trailhead. 
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Route: Southwest Slopes
Posted On: 2019-07-06, By: bwleachuk
Info: Hiked in from Kilpacker TH, departing 4:30am and returning 5pm after gaining the summit of Mt. Wilson. Not many people are trying this route yet due to the late snow conditions. Below 12,000' there are just a few sections of manageable snow with high runoff from the streams (all passable though). From 12,000', where you gain the headwall and pass the waterfall, all the way up to the summit -- everything is still covered in snow. The snow is hard and slick before sunrise, making crampons (or at least Microspikes) a must for this route. In the afternoon, the route becomes slushy and soft, making ice climbing harder but glissading easier. Towards the top of the route, there's a snow corridor that's about 35-40 degree angle. Getting to the top of this is tiring work, and an ice axe is highly recommended. Above 14,000' is mostly dry and free from snow. We went straight up the snow gully on the left and didn't cross over to the right as advised on the standard route. We thus ended up on the Class 4 ridge (see North Slopes route) and roped up before gaining the summit, due to the exposure. This time of July, and before end of July, there are a lot of good stable weather days. We had bluebird, no clouds, and light wind conditions, which is good because the snow slowed us down considerably. We glissaded down much of the way from the top of Mt. Wilson, after rappelling down the top 300' or so out of an abundance of caution. We considered trying the Mt. Wilson to El Diente traverse, and in fact, saw 1 person achieve this coming from El Diente to Mt. Wilson. But there's a fair bit of snow still along that traverse, and the section closest to Wilson looked steep and foreboding, so we saved that for another day. All in all, you'll have these mountains to yourself, the conditions are warm, and the descent is mercifully light on the knees in the snow. But you'll need headlamps, proper crampons, snow boots, an ice axe, and know how to self arrest if you fall. If you're looking to maximize safety, as I was, I strongly advise bringing a 30 meter rope along too. The top sections are dodgy without having the Class 3 standard route to follow. Assuming that all sounds fun, have at it! ' 
3
 
Route: East Face
Posted On: 2019-06-23, By: alpinenut
Info: Attempted to ski the E Face today. Left our skis at 13.8K It's done, snow was was awful. Punchy, lots of avalanche debris. Box Car looks done too. Slate Creek approach is getting patchy. Weird weather. Didn't get a very hard freeze but then it never warmed during the day. 
 
Route: East Face
Posted On: 2019-05-06, By: MtGnargnar
Info: - Snow pack deep (3-6 ft on approach, 4-8 ft on apron and east slope) - Rope required for direct decent off summit, continuous descent off summit not possible on skis (boot-descent down class 3 ice/rock covered summit) - Deep powder full-on winter conditions 13-14k feet. Perfect early spring corn in Box Car Couloir at 11am. Hard-pack and mixed quality snow from middle apron down to slate creek. 
3
 
Route: East Face
Posted On: 2019-04-18, By: cjw
Info: Wintery powder above 13k, mixed crust and hardpack below, corn below treeline. Skied to trailhead on Lizard head. Does not ski from summit proper even with this snow pack. Signs people skied it the weekend prior. 
4 2
 
Route: East Face
Posted On: 2018-11-07, By: c13mueller
Info: Accidently put this as a TH report, but it belongs here: A friend and I attempted to summit Mount Wilson via the east face. There was only light snow at the parking lot and we were able to navigate the cross mountain trail very easily. Somebody had snowshoed towards lizard head before us, but we were fine with bare boots. Unfortunately, we went too far without turning and had to double back. The trek through the woods was the hardest part. We took slightly different routes in each direction, but faced similar challenges. Snowshoes would have been helpful, but parts of the route were free of snow and I'm not sure they would have been particularly helpful on that terrain. We were constantly crawling over falling trees. If there is a nicer route through those woods, I'd love to find it. We were tempted to follow the river down and just hike the road back to up to the trailhead. Sun had baked much the snow off the south facing slopes above the treeline, so we made easy progress up towards Gladstone. Pockets of deep powder made the scree field difficult. We would slip ofd the exposed rocks and often posthole above our knees. Crampons and micro spikes were a great help, but I wish I had snowshoes. We found some harder wind swept snow as we made the left turn towards the summit. Crampons and axes worked great on this hard snow. We made the smart choice to turn around at 2. We had made it to that final gully at 13800, but it was filled with waist-deep powder, the sun was setting, and a storm was rolling in. It was snowing pretty hard during out descent, but the route is still too dry to ski. For a reattempt, I'd like more snow, so I can commit to skis or snow shoes (with 3 more feet of snow, maybe you can cruise over all the fallen trees on skis). Also, I'd like to start a couple hours before sunrise or camp at the treeline. As always, stronger hip flexors would be nice too. 
 
Route: Mt. Wilson and El Diente Traverse
Posted On: 2018-10-03, By: andrew85
Info: Some snow remaining just past the notch on the north after beginining the descent from the El Diente summit (you would have encountered this already if you came up the north slopes route but not the buttress). It's pretty well packed so shouldn't be much of an issue, but microspikes could offer a peace of mind. After crossing back over to the south, the remaining route is in full summer conditions. 
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Route: Mt. Wilson and El Diente Traverse
Posted On: 2018-09-30, By: Danger_D
Info: There was some snow on the north side routes for Mount Wilson and El Diente above ~13,500. As you can see in the pictures there is scattered snow on what looks like the route so I decided to skip the summit bid, but it might be fine for seasoned climbers 
2
 
Route: Southwest Slopes
Posted On: 2018-09-24, By: Moogie737
Info: The Kilpacker approach and trail were 99% dry. A comment on camping: after crossing the creek and progressing another 5 minutes (about 3 miles from the TH) our camping sites were just to the right of the small wooden sign indicating a closed area for restoration. There are many campsites here. We would advise looking around and checking out the sites further to the south near the drop down to the creek. You are much closer to water there and only a few extra minutes from the trail. After the big cairn which marks the "trail split" (Mt Wilson to the east, Diente to the north) the route is mostly well cairned. But the sometimes sketchy boulder hopping and talus navigation above 13,000' wears one down, ascending and descending. We would advise anyone against taking this route too casually. However, that said, it was for us a fascinating approach and class 3. There was a tad of residual snow on the north facing gullies during the last 300' vertical. 
 
Route: Mt. Wilson and El Diente Traverse
Posted On: 2018-09-19, By: lukedog
Info: We did El Diente/Mt Wilson traverse from Kilpacker on 9/15 and Wilson Peak SW Ridge from Navajo on 9/16. Really summer conditions throughout. A few bits of snow in very small areas near El Diente summit and on the exposed area between the false summit and summit of Wilson Peak. Most of it was avoidable. We took care on a little that wasn't as avoidable but still didn't need any traction. 
 
Route: North Slopes
Posted On: 2018-09-14, By: Wentzl
Info: What little snow is left from the early dusting can be stepped over or around on the North Slopes route and the traverse to El Diente 
 
Route: Southwest Slopes
Posted On: 2018-09-12, By: KC Aakhus
Info: The southwest slopes and any southern-exposed portions of the traverse were completely dry. 
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