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Mt. Wilson, Aeolian Wall, The Wicked

The first time I approached the Aeolian Wall on Mt. Wilson I quickly became enamored with the crack systems flanking the classic route Inti Watana (2,000’, IV 5.10c). This past season I convinced my friend Kyle to fly down to Vegas and meet me for a short climbing trip. In the fall of 2016 we climbed the crack system to the right of Inti Watana (see AAJ 2017). Still convinced of the potential on the wall we decided to scope out the more difficult looking line to the left of Inti Watana. Kyle and I met our friend Royal and decided to work as a party of three on the attempt.

On the first go we encountered difficult, brush-choked cracks and hanging gardens loaded with gravel. After four pitches and a few close calls with loose rock, we decided to head down and rest a few days. Not wanting to repeat the shower of choss for no reason, we decided to have a look at the upper part of the route before climbing it. We ended up climbing Inti Watana and traversing into our route. We then climbed the last two pitches before establishing a rappel down the route using natural anchors and nuts. This gave us an opportunity to clean several death blocks. At this point the route was primed for an ascent, with a sizable chunk that had yet to be climbed. But, as things go both Kyle and Royal had to leave to return to work.

All my other climbing partners were busy, so after about a week of waiting I went back to the route alone. I rope-soloed to the top of the wall, then spent the night scrubbing the route on rappel. The Wicked (1,000’, 8 pitches, IV 5.11a) is a stellar and challenging natural line with little to no choss to speak of. The route climbs about 1,000’ of new terrain before joining Resolution Arete for another 1,500’ of climbing to the summit of Mt. Wilson.

– Sam Boyce