Wilcox, Mount (Naylor Lake Loop)

elevation: 4,086 m.  height gain: 160 m. (from the Argentine-Wilcox Col)
area: Guanella Pass,Colorado,USA
map USGS 1:24,000 Mount Evans, CO
39105E6 Montezuma, CO 39105E7

Ref: 14ers.com
backtracking to wilcox

Backtracking to Mount Wilcox's connecting ridge.
Snowshoe trip: RT 10.75 (includes Square Top Mountain and Argentine Peak); 1.25 up from Argentine. As I made my way down from Argentine Peak, I was pleased to see that Mount Wilcox's ascent appeared short and sweet. I decided to keep my snowshoes on and aim for the snow on the aesthetic ridge line. The climb was pleasant and I enjoyed this ridge with its sheer drop on the northern aspect. The upper mountain was more rock than snow so I left the snowshoes behind to scramble along the ridge crest. In little time I topped out and followed snowdrifts to the high point. I was really happy with myself, I had pushed through despite feeling depleted. I took more pictures before heading down. I didn't want to linger for too long because Wilcox's south facing slopes, above my exit in the drainage, were baking in the hot sun. I picked up my snowshoes on the way down and strapped them to my pack, I didn't need them for the descent to the drainage below. Lower down, I put my snowshoes back on. I followed the path of least resistance in the open drainage while avoiding as much avalanche terrain as possible. A casual descent led to Naylor Lake; after crossing the lake, I took a nice long break. I knew that I had about 2 kilometers due east before reaching the truck. I didn't trust I would be able to follow the Naylor Lake road due to abundant snowcover so I followed ski tourers' tracks for a while. At some point, I got a glimpse of Guanella Pass road through the trees so I left the skiers' tracks and beelined for it. Shortly thereafter, I saw some red through the trees; I had reached the parking lot. I couldn't believe my good fortune!! I thoroughly enjoyed this fantastic loop, the scenery and the weather. This was another spectacular day out in the tall Colorado Mountains. I stopped in Georgetown for a snack before going back to Leadville.

on my way to the col

Making my way to the col.

square top mountain

Square Top Mountain was the inital objective of this loop.

tall power lines

Tall power lines are erected over the Argentine-Wilcox Col.

snowy ridge crest

Mount Wilcox's climb is brief, the snowy ridge crest is fun.

looking back

Looking back towards Argentine Peak.

upper mountain

Nearing the summit ridge.

looking back again

Looking back again.

walking to the top

Walking to the top on firm snow.

view east

View east over Guanella Pass towards Mounts Evans and Bierstadt.

i'm on the right summit

Yep, I'm on the right summit!

north-eastern view

North-eastern view.

north-western view

North-western view with Grays Peak (left center), Torreys Peak (center) and Mount Edwards (right center).

south-eastern view

South-eastern view with Pikes Peak in the far distance.

going back down

Going back down.

short ridge

This short ridge grants very easy scrambling.

dropping in the drainage

Dropping in the drainage between Mount Wilcox and Square Top Mountain.

casual descent

Casual descent towards Naylor Lake with Mount Evans, The Sawtooth and Mount Bierstadt in the background.

naylor lake

Naylor Lake comes into view.

crossing the lake

Crossing the lake was not an issue.

looking back across the lake

Looking back over the lake with Square Top on the left and Argentine on the right.

naylor lake road

Naylor Lake road leads to the winter closure on the Guanella Pass road.

following ski tracks

Following ski tracks.
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