Trip Report
Mt. Wilson - Inti Watana to Resolution Arete (V 5.10+)
Friday April 11, 2014 1:52pm
Mt. Wilson has one of the best-looking rock faces that I have ever seen. Combination of steep walls, massive buttresses and multicolored bands of sandstone compliment each other in such a way that makes this particular peak look like a cathedral from a sci-fi movie. Inti Watana (12 pitch 5.10+) linked with the top of the Resolution Arête (24 pitch 5.11+ when climbed in full) seemed like a very aesthetic link up and a fun climb of high quality. After my partner sprained his ankle I thought my dream to climb Wilson would have to wait till next year, but the Internet came to rescue! One of my facebook friends Wayne (thanks a lot by the way!!!) passed my number to Lisa. She was looking for a partner and seemed excited about Inti Watana. It did not take much convincing to get her excited about linking it up to the last six pitches of Resolution Arête. I was a little nervous when she said the longest route she has climbed was 11 pitches. Grade V with a stranger…sounds like a great idea! This time I was in the luck, she moved so fast on the approach, the climb and through the descent that it seemed like she has been crushing grade Vs for years!

Mt. Wilson and I. Decide for yourself which face is more BAD ASS! :) #SH#TZABOUTTOGETREALBRO

Some Big Horns around Calico Basin

A climber from PNW on Birdland (5.7). # EPICPITCHBROSEF

Roof high on Inti Watana. Looks hard, but in reality goes at 5.9 with huge jugs

A few days prior Mark was nice enough to hike over and belay me on a few climbs around Calico Basin. Atoman (5.10a) was a good warm-up. Yin and Yang (5.11a) was the main event. Y&Y turned out to be one of the best single pitch cracks I have climbed outside of Yosemite. Pumpy, intimidating, right leaning, thin crack with a spicy move over the lip. If Yin and Yang was a bit taller it would make any Indian Creek climber drool. Even though it requires a hike to approach and would be easier for those with smaller hands, I was glad we made it out there. On my first attempt it spit me off. Mark lowered me to the ground, we pulled the rope and I got it clean on my next attempt. I was fairly happy to get it clean and ran another lap on top rope. I was surprised because even than the route felt fairly hard. After that we made our way back to Canibal Crag and I got on a bolted climb named Baseboy (5.11b). This is where the real ass kicking started. At the crux I hung like an apple. I think this climb has cured me of any ego I had left. Mark made me feel a little better when he climbed the crux with a sprained ankle/approach shoes and labeled it “very hard.” –“Yeah man, I thought so too.” : ( Than I realized it was my fourth day of climbing in a row. Prince of Darkness, Epinephrine, The Fox and a bunch of bouldering got me tired and I needed rest.

Warming up on Atoman (5.10a). Sweet but short.

Crushing the gnar on Yin and Yang (5.11a)

Having a good time on Birdland (my active rest day)

Mark is a big Marilyn Manson fan

Rest was the logical thing to do since forecast for Wednesday was showing rain anyway. However, Mark’s ankle felt a bit better and he wanted to try it on something easy. We decided to wake up early and run up Birdland, a 5 pitch 5.7+. It was a perfect choice for a rainy day. We met a few cool climbers from PNW and had a good time talking and snapping photos. Mark and I managed to finish our climb and get down to the ground before the storm hit. We were back at the hotel by noon.

"That pinnacle looks a little less intimidating!"

This is the BAD ASS face I was talking about earlier

Some boulder got in my way on the approach. He was more messed up than me. Covered in blood after I was done with him :)

Lisa tunneling through the final chock stone on the approach.

Thursday was the big day. With numerous people complaining about the approach being burly we were planning to start it by 6 am. As a LV neophyte I got a little lost on my way to pick up Lisa and we ended up starting the approach close to 7. Not a huge deal, but both of us wanted to avoid the shiver bivy on top of the peak, which was a real possibility if the route took us longer than we anticipated. We found the approach to be fairly well traveled and easy to find. Even though I banged my shin on a boulder and lost some blood, we got the approach done in just under two hours.

Inti Watana tops out on the giant buttress that overhangs above

Lisa warming her hands on P 1 or 2

Cool rock on route

I guess I ran it out a little here. But look at that crack!

The crux of the route ended up in the first few pitches. First was a 5.10 and second is supposedly 5.10+ per guidebook. The rock was soooo cold that we had to find stances after every 20 ft of climbing and do our best to warm up our hands. I don’t think it was that cold when I climbed the Third Pillar of Dana in winter a few years back. Or maybe these are the signs of me turning into a cragger?! : / Due to cold temps the first two pitches went slow and I pitched them out,. After that I was able to link 3rd with 4th, 5th with 6th, 7th with 8th, 9th with 10th and 11th with 12th pitch of Inti Watana, using a 70M rope. The climbing was great and since the middle section of the route is less sustained, we were able to move fast. The difficulties of the route kept the climbing fun, but not difficult enough to make things desperate. There were several memorable pitches, including the S crack and a pitch with a giant roof which goes at 5.9 on huge jugs. However, my favorite pitches were the last few. The angle kicks up to slightly overhanging, the climbing becomes a little more sustained, but stays fun and on positive holds. As you climb closer to the final belay station you have to get over the last crux, a 5.10c roof. As you belay the last pitch of the climb you see the whole route beneath you. Not only the temperatures reminded me of the Third Pillar, the exposure and position makes Inti Watana a must do classic! This day I felt fairly rested and did not have trouble with climbing the route clean. Aside from Arctic temps and annoying wind, the climbing was pure joy.

Not a bad view

Lisa crushing the last pitch on Inti Watana. Exposure here is great.

Lisa happy on top of Inti Watana. Still quite a bit of rock left to climb.

View from Resolution Arete

Cool class two walkway high on Mt. Wilson

Upper pitches of the Resolution Arête were not as interesting as Inti Watana’s but I was glad we have continued to the top. There were a few interesting sections and it allowed us to see and understand the geography of the mountain in greater detail. The route finding on the upper pitches is the biggest challenge, and arguably, I ended up doing the hardest moves I had to perform all day here. First was when I took an overhanging wide crack to get up the first giant leaning block (below the 5.8 offwidth – which protects well with a BD #3 and a BD#4 cam that I ended up not placing here at all – the climbing was fairly secure). Second hard move was when we started to simul climb after the giant pine tree which marks the end of sustained climbing. Without much description of what route to follow I went up a ways than saw two wide corners that seemed direct. I protected the first with a BD # 4 cam and left it behind. When I got to the next corner I had to pretty much solo a difficult offwidth. It was about 20 ft tall and I was confident that there would be something big to grab once I reach the top. To my surprise, I found nothing of value, just a giant block that moved towards me when I grabbed it. Moving the block back with my left and changing my diapers with the other hand, I came up with some way to climb the corner. Even though I was blaming Yosemite for not having much overhanging face climbing earlier in the trip, I was glad the Valley taught me to get up wide cracks. I belayed Lisa on top of the offwidth and we unroped a few feet further when we realized the climbing transitioned into second class walking.

Top of Mt. Wilson

Lisa on top of Wilson

Both of us on the summit

Descent from Wilson was actually quite enjoyable

We hiked to the summit proper, had a few bites of food and continued down with plenty of sunlight left in the day. There was not even a chance for a freezing bivy. We had so much daylight that I think we could have climbed the mountain twice if we wanted to. When we got back to the car without needing to use the headlamps all day, we ate more food and complimented each other on the job well done. Having an amazing time on Mt. Wilson with Lisa and climbing a few good pitches with Weston a few days prior made the trip even more fun than I expected. It reminded me that forming new friendships and sharing experiences with people that we would not have met otherwise is just a small part of why I got addicted to climbing.

This was the second part of a report about a week long trip to Red Rock. One more to come...

  Trip Report Views: 4,044
Vitaliy M.
About the Author
Vitaliy M. is annoying gym climber from San Francisco.

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The Good Places
  Apr 11, 2014 - 02:01pm PT
Thank you for sharing your rad-ness! Now back to the politard BS....

  Apr 11, 2014 - 02:02pm PT

Trad climber
Davis, CA
  Apr 11, 2014 - 02:05pm PT
Awesome. DId this a couple years ago. We actually did the approach twice. Decided to hike to base on a rest/bad weather day and was kind of glad we did so that we knew it the following morning. You guys also had a much better time on the walk off than we did! We thought we'd have time to drop into the canyon with daylight, but ended up doing a lot of scrambling in the dark and then the endless gully thrash. I agree that the top of RA is not as interesting as IW, but worth doing once for sure.

The Hot Kiss On the End of a Wet Fist
  Apr 11, 2014 - 02:29pm PT
HOA MON! That was most excellent. Thanks! And I'm curious. What kind of camera are you running on this climb?

Bishop, CA
  Apr 11, 2014 - 04:11pm PT
Thanks for the write-up. This is definitely going on my todo list.

Trad climber
The pitch of Bagalaar above you
  Apr 11, 2014 - 04:26pm PT
Very cool stone!

Thanks for the Look at miles of terrain.


Social climber
boulder co
  Apr 11, 2014 - 04:37pm PT
Nice TR! I love red rocks maybe its time to go back

Gym climber
Minkler, CA
  Apr 11, 2014 - 05:12pm PT
You're making me want to climb places other than the Sierra. I don't like this feeling

Trad climber
South Pasadena, CA
  Apr 11, 2014 - 09:32pm PT
Now answer me truly, does the gnar ever get dabbed better than that?

Absolutely beautiful spot in RR that I knew nothing about.

Mountain climber
  Apr 11, 2014 - 09:45pm PT
Great writeup and photos, V!!! Very good read!

Trad climber
Hustle City
  Apr 11, 2014 - 09:47pm PT

Trad climber
CA Central Coast
  Apr 11, 2014 - 10:10pm PT
YEAH man!!

You take the danger out of being a stranger.


Trad climber
  Apr 11, 2014 - 10:58pm PT
great pics man

way to go get it done
Ezra Ellis

Trad climber
North wet, and Da souf
  Apr 13, 2014 - 07:45pm PT
Wow, you are on a roll,
Thank you!!! V

  Apr 13, 2014 - 07:49pm PT
I miss bloody shins..
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
  Apr 13, 2014 - 10:09pm PT
Mt Wilson is sooooo cool looking. Can't wait to get back

Trad climber
Bay Area
  Apr 13, 2014 - 10:20pm PT
Getting vertigo just from the pics!
Love long steep climbs. Too bad so many of them are out of my reach.

Trad climber
  Apr 13, 2014 - 11:46pm PT
TFPU -- nice.

  Apr 14, 2014 - 02:27am PT
Beautiful pictures as always

Big Wall climber
Newbury Park
  Apr 14, 2014 - 10:19am PT
The Inti-Resolution link-up is one of my favorite adventures in Red Rocks. Glad to see you enjoyed yourself...

Trad climber
Fresno/Clovis, ca
  Apr 14, 2014 - 11:17am PT
I know riiiiight?

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
  Apr 14, 2014 - 12:20pm PT
It is amazing what annoying gym climbers do these days, and with girls, too! Who knew?

Trad climber
  Apr 14, 2014 - 10:11pm PT
Such a sweet read- I reeeeally need to do this
Vitaliy M.

Mountain climber
San Francisco
Author's Reply  Apr 15, 2014 - 12:45pm PT
Walleye, I use a small Panasonic Lumix. Got it for under 100$ on the internet about 6 month ago. I used a larger and more expensive model before, but it took a long lead fall. I decided smaller/cheaper would fit me better since it was like the third camera that got destroyed. I like Lumix a lot more than Canon.

  Apr 15, 2014 - 01:39pm PT
Good stuff Vitaliy, looks like quite an awesome trip. Too bad you didn't get a #blinddateshiverbivy out of the deal.

Hey still no second pullout bolt clipping wtf?!

U haven't climbed at RR until you've seen someone Z clip on yak crack.
The Alpine

The Sea
  Apr 15, 2014 - 02:18pm PT
Whats Lisa go at? 5.11?

Social climber
  Apr 15, 2014 - 03:55pm PT
Vitaliy has been on a roll for the last couple years! Another nice one. Fabio should retire and you should be the new Old Spice spokesperson.

  Apr 15, 2014 - 04:20pm PT
Very nice.
Vitaliy M.

Mountain climber
San Francisco
Author's Reply  Apr 15, 2014 - 05:14pm PT
Vitaliy has been on a roll for the last couple years! Another nice one. Fabio should retire and you should be the new Old Spice spokesperson.

They tried to arrange that, but I said I can't accept their offer. Climb too much. :)

Oakland, CA
  Apr 15, 2014 - 08:58pm PT
Nice TR, man, really nice!

Long linkup
Good position
Cool summit

Edit: f'ing around with formatting for some reason

The Good Places
  Apr 5, 2018 - 09:10pm PT
springtime do things bump
Bad Climber

Trad climber
The Lawless Border Regions
  Apr 6, 2018 - 07:40am PT
Yeah, bump! Would love to do that linkup.

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