Wilson - El Diente Traverse
20 August 2016
Though I had planned to tag this wicked traverse with my good friend, he got held up at work last night, so I was on my own. As I departed the trailhead this morning, I figured I’d just do the two peaks separate sans traverse, but when I got to the top of El Diente, there were a number of folks up there who were doing the traverse ahead of me. I figured I’d at least have a look.
So often in the high country, I turn a corner and see the next pitch of a route- and the dang thing looks impossible. I get totally freaked. Then I will myself forward, force myself to make the first move, and the next. And once I’m doing it, it’s not so bad. The exposure, the crumbling rock, whatever it is- it’s not so bad. For all the hype, this traverse is just another of the same. It’s actually really straightforward. And so freakin’ fun! Plenty of exposure and a couple tricky moves, but nothing that required a rope. Another risk that I’m glad I took.
I ultimately caught up to the group ahead of me. We alternated route-finding the rest of the way to Wilson. It was a long day, even with the traverse: 18 miles, 13 hours. I was feeling absolutely shredded when I finally got back to my car. Still, I wanna tag both the Bells tmw. Definitely skipping the traverse, though. Class V moves with a few rappels? Not without a partner.
Lost my phone on the descent off of Mt. Wilson today. I tried backtracking, but there is no clear route down the gully, and I couldn’t figure out which way I’d come. It could’ve been anywhere. Ah well, better my phone than my wallet, I guess. The big hiccup was that I’d asked Alex to “get worried” if he didn’t hear from me by 8p. Fortunately I have an old phone, so I was able to switch out my plan, but not until I finally made it to Montrose en route to Aspen (and the Bells). I finally got in touch with Alex at about 755p. Just in time.