FATMAP difficulty grade
*Note: this route warrants a "Moderate" Mountaineering difficulty rating.* Check off two San Juan 14ers in one day with this technical combination of El Diente Peak and Mount Wilson.
This route is one of the few class 4-rated 14er hikes in Colorado.
While the standard route up El Diente only gets a class 3 rating, Mount Wilson’s standard route is rated class 4, and the traverse mapped here also scores a class 4 rating.
If you attempt this route, you should be prepared for high consequence technical mountaineering.
On top of the technical aspect, comboing the two peaks makes for a long day in the mountains: over 12 miles and 4,700 feet of elevation gain.
The route mapped here approaches via the Kilpacker Trail, before breaking out of the trees in Kilpacker Basin.
Once in the alpine basin, the trail slowly ascends across a scree field before the main ascent toward the summit of El Diente.
"In short, you must zig zag up the slopes to reach some cliffs, traverse left and then climb (Class 3) to reach terrain just under the 'Organ Pipes’ along the El Diente-Mt.
Wilson connecting ridge,” according to [14ers.com](https://www.14ers.com/route.php?route=eldi4&peak=Mt.+Wilson%2C+Wilson+Peak%2C+and+El+Diente+Peak).
Once you’ve gained the ridge, scramble the ridgeline to the left to reach the lofty summit of El Diente Peak.
To reach Mount Wilson in the shortest way possible, you’ll traverse the ridgeline between the two peaks.
The traverse is solid class 4 terrain, so if you’ve had any difficulty up to this point on class 3 terrain, it’s best if you turn around and return the way you came, skipping Wilson.
This technical traverse requires confident rock scrambling abilities, route finding abilities, and completing both of these tasks while at extremely high elevation and while avoiding serious fall danger. As you approach the summit of Mount Wilson, you’ll have to complete another fourth-class move to finish the climb.
According to Kiefer on [SummitPost.org](https://www.summitpost.org/mount-wilson/150340), "the final moves to reach Mt.
Wilson’s apogee [are] ‘airy’ with a decent amount of exposure but fortunately, the rock, right where one needs it, is of good quality.
Wilson has a genuinely exciting finish to a small but great summit with what I believe, to be some of the best views in all the San Juans.” The trail from Mount Wilson descends the southwest slopes in an obvious-looking valley.
Since this is the standard ascent up the mountain, the trail is relatively well-defined and easy to navigate.
And after descending the upper fourth-class moves, the rest of the descent is third class or easier.
Finally, once back on the Kilpacker Trail, follow the same route out of the mountains and back to the trailhead. Sources: https://www.14ers.com/routelist.php?peak=Mt.+Wilson%2C+Wilson+Peak%2C+and+El+Diente+Peak https://www.summitpost.org/mount-wilson/150340