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Ascent of Wilson Peak on 2011-09-18

Climber: Gustav Sexauer

Others in Party:Dave
----Only Party on Mountain
Date:Sunday, September 18, 2011
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Wilson Peak
    Location:USA-Montana
    Elevation:10705 ft / 3262 m

Ascent Trip Report

Dave and I parked at the designated parking lot where the trail head 1/2mi sign is. We began hiking at about 10:30AM. Go straight when the road splits 1/4mi up the road. There is a sign on a tree that points this way, but I did not initially see it. From there the trail begins at the entrance to the final house up the valley, and loops around the people's South property line. As the hike goes, there is much thinned forest at the beginning and no steep parts. The first creek crossing is the hairiest, only because the two logs on the north half of the crossing are rotting. Then we passed through two large meadows and a few more creek crossings. The large crossings are maintained in some way with sawed logs as bridges. However, there are a at least half a dozen trees down in the trail, which you may need to go under over or around. Eventually, we crossed the main creek one last time and a small but obvious sign said that the trail was to the left. This trail snakes up and is somewhat steep in places, until it winds it's way to Dudley Lake. Near there, Dave and I found a string in a tree, and then a tarp with several back packs underneath it full of gear. We found this strange as we did not see anyone, but I was excited, for the increased chances of running into another county highpointer for the first time. From the lake, we headed up through its main source up to a higher lake which is NNW of Dudley, From here we went straight up the to the ridge, and by then three hours had passed. We then followed the ridge up, seeing the large and curious rock formations. There was even a trace of fresh snow on the shade side under some rocks! We threw a few marble sized snowballs at each other. From there, we found the three/four stacked rock summits. We went over the first two and maneuvered around the third. Here we were standing at the base of the final pillar. We found the SE face to be a good one to go up, and I made one move where my weight was entirely on my arms. Coming up from the South side might be easier if you want to avoid this. Finally we made it to the top! I had dreamed of this for two years, and after scrambling to find a climbing partner, had finally done my new home county! It was a fabulous experience, and we ate lunch at the top. Only a sweatshirt was needed, but with the wind it was quite chilly up there. Great views from the Bridgers to Yellowstone! Some of the highest peaks had fresh snow on them, and also a few had perennial snow pack like the back side of Lone Peak. After this we found an easier route down, the south face, than we came up the last bit. We followed the ridge back down and retraced our path back to Dudley Lake. We found some tiny crayfish in the water there. However, even from the top of the county, we never saw the other people. Where were they? There was no one climbing the peaks in any direction from the lake, as we would have seen them. It remained a mystery to us, and on the way down we saw no one but two high altitude robins playing in the trees. We became tired on the way back, and the end was much longer away than we thought. Finished in 6h 45m with around a 15-20 minute break at the summit and a 5 minute break half way through the ascent.
Click on photo for original larger-size version.
The summit rock pile knob of Wilson Peak as seen from Dudley Lake (2011-09-18). Photo by Gustav Sexauer.
Click here for larger-size photo.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:4345 ft / 1324 m
    Round-Trip Distance:12 mi / 19.3 km
    Trailhead:Dudley Creek Trail Head  6360 ft / 1938 m
    Grade/Class:Class 3
    Quality:9 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail, Open Country, Stream Ford, Scramble
    Weather:Cool, Windy, Partly Cloudy
Ascent Statistics
    Time:3 Hours 45 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Time:3 Hours 



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