14,023-Foot Wilson Peak, CO Conditions Report + Photo Tour:

Keenan Grady | BackcountryBackcountry | Conditions ReportConditions Report

Yesterday I got the chance to hike Wilson Peak, one of the many 14,000ft peaks of Colorado’s Rocky Mountains.  More specifically this peak is near Telluride and known by many as the mountainous logo on the Coors can.  Just a note, we didn’t have the intention of reaching the summit, it was more of a skin and scope mission to see what we could get into next time and to get a general time frame of reaching the summit later this spring.  On that note we started on the access road towards rock of ages trail head and then ended up in silver pick basin and ripped skins at 12,300 after skinning for approximately 4 hours and 40 minutes.

All photos are taken by me, Keenan Grady.

 

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The day started at the crack of eleven.  With eyes on the prize, the five of us set out for the day towards our goal: Wilson Peak.  It was a bit rocky down at the lower elevations due to the extreme heat last month.

 

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The gang stops to take a quick snack break after the first hour or so of skinning up an old forest service road.  This was the last bit of shade before we topped out tree-line and continued our skin up the basin.

 

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Erik points out some lines that he wants to ski on the way down.  This was the start of a pretty mega traverse over some wind-blown, icy terrain.  It was nice to have some ski crampons for this section.  Also, just out of sight was a truly gorgeous ice flow.  The blue was so vivid it looked electrified.  Anyhow, we continued hiking up on this road/ traverse section for another 45 minutes or so.

 

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The traverse continues directly past the ice flow.  It’s straight ahead of the skier in the photo.  At this point, we’re getting up high enough to start to see the basin under Wilson Peak and are able to start discussing line choice. 

 

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This photo was taken at the same time as the previous one.  Just a 180 degree difference.  This valley faces nearly true west towards Utah and the La Salles.  Erik and Mariel are in the corner of the frame, navigating their way through the traverse and ice flows.

 

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“Oh hey, check it out, you can see my house from here”- Willy

“Is it right there?” – Mariel

 

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A summit beer is a must have when hiking 14ers.  This is as high as our road was going to take us, to the basin at 12,300 ft.  The rest of the gang is barely visible on the knuckle below Wilson Peak.  What an amazing St. Patricks Day! even the moon was hanging out right above the peak.  It made for a one of a kind experience.  Thanks to Telluride Brewing Company for the hook up on some awesome IPA’s.

 

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Mandatory group summit photo.

left to right: myself (Keenan), Erik, Rudy, Willy

 

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Rudy ripping a tele-turn on his drop in.  Free the heel, free the mind.

 

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A gorgeous view in the backdrop with Erik ripping it up in the foreground.

 

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Re-grouping before the traverse back to the forest road.  What a fun day of skiing from 11 til 5, despite the fact it was hard to wake up for work during the time change, that extra hour of daylight on the tail end of the day is most pleasant. I hope everyone else had a blast on St. Patties Day!  Cheers from Colorado!


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