Wheeler Peak, New Mexico

Colorado 13er peak questions, condition requests and other info.
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Greenhouseguy
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Wheeler Peak, New Mexico

Postby Greenhouseguy » Wed Nov 06, 2013 9:13 pm

Any recent beta for the snow conditions on the Williams Lake route? I'll be heading down there this weekend. Thanks!
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kimo
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Re: Wheeler Peak, New Mexico

Postby kimo » Wed Nov 06, 2013 10:07 pm

We were up there on Saturday 11/2. Went up Bull of the Woods to the Wheeler Pk trail, then down from the summit to Williams Lake and back to the car by walking on the road. Glad we had snowshoes for the ascent up Bull of the Woods Mountain and through La Cal basin. The Williams Lake route held some snow but probably nothing you couldn't boot up. You might find traction devices useful in spots. Or maybe not. Some pics:

The upper slopes of Wheeler Peak. Williams Lake can be seen down below.
Image

Approaching the summit.
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The descent to Williams Lake.
Image
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Greenhouseguy
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Re: Wheeler Peak, New Mexico

Postby Greenhouseguy » Thu Nov 07, 2013 2:48 pm

Thanks, Kimo. Great information!
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semitrueskerm
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Re: Wheeler Peak, New Mexico

Postby semitrueskerm » Thu Nov 07, 2013 4:01 pm

Toas Ski Valley got 14 inches of snow two days ago, so be prepared.
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abqben56
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Re: Wheeler Peak, New Mexico

Postby abqben56 » Thu Nov 07, 2013 5:24 pm

The Powderhorn snotel at TSV, at about the same elevation as the lake itself, is reporting 23 inches.
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Re: Wheeler Peak, New Mexico

Postby Greenhouseguy » Thu Nov 07, 2013 8:59 pm

Ouch! That's a lot of snow. I hiked it in mid-November with no snow at all in 2010. Sounds like it will be fun. Thanks for the info.
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Re: Wheeler Peak, New Mexico

Postby desertdog » Fri Nov 08, 2013 10:30 am

We were there yesterday via Williams Lake route. Snow up to our knees from last storm. Because it was very warm the snow had the consistency of mud. We used snow shoes. The basin held less snow once out of trees. The good news is we broke trail for you.
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Re: Wheeler Peak, New Mexico

Postby Greenhouseguy » Fri Nov 08, 2013 11:40 am

desertdog wrote:We were there yesterday via Williams Lake route. Snow up to our knees from last storm. Because it was very warm the snow had the consistency of mud. We used snow shoes. The basin held less snow once out of trees. The good news is we broke trail for you.


Thank you much! I was a little concerned about avy danger with that quantity of snow.
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semitrueskerm
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Re: Wheeler Peak, New Mexico

Postby semitrueskerm » Fri Nov 08, 2013 11:51 am

Be careful, Greenhouse. That Williams Lake route does go through some dicey areas that look as though they could break loose. There wasn't much snow then when Mongoose & I climbed it a few weeks ago, but Mongoose & I commented on how we might be uncomfortable if it had more snow. I don't think it should deter you from going, especially if a trail has been broken...but be aware, as I'm sure you will.

(Remembering our snow climb on that windy day on Elbert a few years ago...)


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IfpbBa0SXJI&list=TL92SloAm9-Ih-FyoxyBPZ2Wq9ONPnzEFc
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MonGoose
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Re: Wheeler Peak, New Mexico

Postby MonGoose » Fri Nov 08, 2013 12:19 pm

It's a beautiful area. The switchbacks above Willams Lake do cross a few avalanche paths, so be careful.

http://caltopo.com/map.html#ll=36.55827,-105.41873&z=15&b=t&o=r&n=0.25&a=sf
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Re: Wheeler Peak, New Mexico

Postby desertdog » Fri Nov 08, 2013 1:29 pm

Greenhouseguy wrote:
desertdog wrote:We were there yesterday via Williams Lake route. Snow up to our knees from last storm. Because it was very warm the snow had the consistency of mud. We used snow shoes. The basin held less snow once out of trees. The good news is we broke trail for you.


Thank you much! I was a little concerned about avy danger with that quantity of snow.


Yes, we talked about it and it made us nervous for sure. Didn't see any slides or signs so we went for it. I would definitely agree with the other comments be careful.
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Re: Wheeler Peak, New Mexico

Postby Greenhouseguy » Fri Nov 08, 2013 7:39 pm

semitrueskerm wrote:Be careful, Greenhouse. That Williams Lake route does go through some dicey areas that look as though they could break loose. There wasn't much snow then when Mongoose & I climbed it a few weeks ago, but Mongoose & I commented on how we might be uncomfortable if it had more snow. I don't think it should deter you from going, especially if a trail has been broken...but be aware, as I'm sure you will.

(Remembering our snow climb on that windy day on Elbert a few years ago...)


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IfpbBa0SXJI&list=TL92SloAm9-Ih-FyoxyBPZ2Wq9ONPnzEFc


Yes, Jim, I thought about that trip and threw some handwarmers in my backpack just in case. I also have a lanyard on my camera so it won't pop out of my pocket again! I called the ranger station in Questa for conditions, and he sure didn't offer me any encouragement. We'll probably hit Santa Fe Baldy instead. Thanks for all the responses.
"May your boulder be your blessing." - Aron Ralston

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