The San Juans are a large mountainous area in the southwest part of Colorado. They contain 13 of the Colorado's 14ers, including some of the most remote and difficult ones. I've done 6 of them. For a change, I list the mountains from west to east.
Wilson Peak is part of a group of 14ers along with Mount Wilson and El Diente Peak. Wilson Peak is the easiest of the three, but is still a challenging climb. This trip was in July 1997.
This is a famous mining cabin at 12,000 feet with the
summit as a backdrop. It's only been during the last
20 years or so that the roof of this cabin collapsed,
and there are many reminders of the extensive mining
history of this area.
This is a photo of El Diente from the summit of Wilson Peak.
In the original photo, the clouds looked darker, and in fact,
a thunderstorm developed about 15 minutes after this photo was
taken. It was just after 11am when I first heard thunder, but
luckily the storm fizzled out and I made it safely back down.
You are looking at a north face which is why there is still
so much snow in July.
Here is the companion photo of the top of Mount Wilson (El Diente
is just off to the right of the frame). Navajo Glacier is in the
One of the hardest 14ers based on its 150-foot summit pitch. I climbed this in June 1996.
This photo is looking down the summit pitch to the famous
shark's fin tower that you skirt just before the final push.
This one shows the ridge to the summit, from left to right, and the
east face. The shark's fin tower is just left of the summit block.
These two modest 14ers are often climbed together, and that's exactly what I did in August 1995.
This shows the final ridge hike from a 13,000-foot saddle.
The summit is the high point on the left.
Here is the view down the Bent Creek drainage from the saddle.
The summit of Redcloud, looking across the connecting ridge
to Sunshine Peak. The ruddy rock near the summit is what
gave Redcloud its name. Sunshine Peak is about 1.4 miles
away and is notable for being the lowest 14er at 14,001 feet.
This is a view from at or near Sunshine's summit looking
down into the drainage that I descended. This area has
some of the prettiest rock colors of any place I've hiked.
Finally, here is a shot with a 135mm lens looking at 14ers
Wetterhorn Peak (high point of the left background) and
Uncompahgre Peak (high point of the right background). I
subsequently climbed both of those peaks.
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File last modified: 08 January 2005