Lower trail

The hardest part of this climb was the six-hour drive from Colorado Springs--...

I had picked up Laila, my <brand new> wife from the airport at Colorado Springs on Saturday. Our plan was to drive straight to the trailhead, set up camp then spend two days bagging as many of the Wilson peaks as we could.

Sounds easy enough...We pulled up to the end of the road after midnight. Poking around in the dark we determined a good enough platz to set up our tent for the night.

Next morning we were on our way up the road towards the "Rock of Ages" saddle.

Mt Wilson Sep 23, 2001
Laila and Steve Bremner
with Sam the Wolfdog

Descending from Rock of Ages Saddle
This was familiar ground for me being the third time I'd hiked up from the Silver Pick Trailhead. We soon caught up to a couple out for a day hike. They were hesitating at a cairn that marked a trail that led up and away from the road. We all decided to try it thinking it might be a quicker way up. Sure enough it did lead more directly up, avoiding some long switchbacks on the road. It was also a bit more aesthetic, as it moved through some vegetation and even alongside a small pond.

As we broke out well above timberline we came to a fork in the trail. The left fork climbed while the right fork dropped. Always one to go for the choice that ascends we made the wrong choice by going left. Soon we realized that the only way we were going to make it to the Rock of Ages saddle was to cross-country it across the scree. Long and difficult.

Back on track we labored up the track to the saddle. The view from the 13,000 foot saddle extends from Wilson Peak on the same ridge to across Navajo Basin to Mt Wilson and El Diente.

Dropping into the basin we passed an old miners shack, surprisingly intact. Four bunks inside made for close quarters for the old timers. We set our tent at about 12,000 feet, directly below our ascent path for Mt Wilson.

It was close to noon by the time we were ready to begin our climb of Mt Wilson.

Laila and Sam the Wolfdog

We ascended the spine directly north of our camp site. The way was marked by cairns and quite straightforward. That is until we reached a more difficult section. Sam hung back. I had to retrace my steps to retrieve him--encouraging him with the leash.

But Sam is game for quite a bit. He responded well to my encouragement and once above the difficulties was well up for continuing--to the top? Well, we'll see.

Laila on Gladstone

Climbing Mt Wilson from our approach you want to stay left until about 13,800'--then you traverse right ascending to what looks like the summit. It is not. Now you must reach a bit deep for courage or better for your strong climbing skills.

The final push to the summit is really a short ways, but there are two hairy class 4 moves along the way. We spotted another climber on top and asked him "Are you on the summit?". "Yes" he responded. He was maybe 100 feet away from us...

Page two of Mt Wilson and Gladstone Climb

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