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 Peak(s):  Wheeler Mtn  -  13,690 feet
 Post Date:  10/07/2010
 Date Climbed:   10/01/2010
 Posted By:  rpb13

 Wheeler Mtn - South Ridge   

I wasn't really planning to make a trip report on this one, but I noticed there were no summer-conditions trip reports for this mountain (that and I don't have anything better to do at the moment). Wheeler Mountain is located in a beautiful drainage and has a number of 14ers and high 13ers as nearby neighbors and is well worth a visit, especially given its easy access from Summit County and Front Range cities.

The forecast called for a bluebird day, so I started out at a reasonable time. I parked my car at the Montgomery Reservoir and hiked a little over 3 miles west on the Wheeler Lake Road. Parts of this road reminded me of the road to Como Lake in that only a well-modified, skillfully-driven vehicle was going to be able to deal with some of the obstacles on the road.

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Wheeler Lake Road


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Ridiculous obstacle on the "road"


The road ends at Wheeler Lake and I took a few moments to enjoy this interesting place.

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Wheeler Mtn from Wheeler Lake


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Old, abandoned car at Wheeler Lake


I followed a faint trail around the west side of the lake and hiked a short distance to the unnamed upper lake, which I'll call Upper Wheeler Lake.

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Waterfall seen on hike to Upper Wheeler Lake


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Upper Wheeler Lake and Wheeler Mountain


From Upper Wheeler Lake I hiked up to Clinton Peak/Wheeler Mountain saddle on scree and grass mostly following a faint trail.

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Hiking up to the Clinton/Wheeler saddle


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On the saddle looking at the south ridge


From the saddle I headed towards Wheeler's south ridge. Cairns led me around the west side of the ridge and up, over, and around a number of gullies. Cairns led the way for the most part but I did have to do some route-finding in a couple of places where I didn't see any. This part of the route was a loose scramble and I would recommend a helmet, but the scrambling itself was not difficult or exposed (I would say it never exceeded moderate class 3).

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Starting on the south ridge


When I finally saw the summit block, which is marked by a couple of easy to spot stripes of light-colored rock, I climbed up a final loose gully and gained the ridge. The final scramble to the summit was about 30 feet on a fun, narrow bit of ridge crest.

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Gaining the ridge crest


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Final scramble to summit


It was a beautiful day and I took my sweet time on the summit.

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Quandary Pk


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Mt Democrat


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Blue Lakes


I descended the way I came and snapped some more shots of my surroundings on the hike back to the car.

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Upper Wheeler Lake


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Wheeler Lake


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Another look at the old car


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Mt Democrat


This was a nice, moderate outing. Final numbers at the end of the day: just under 3000 vertical feet and about 9.8 miles round trip.



Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
 


  • Comments or Questions
Derek


Car     2010-10-07 16:35:33
I loved checking out that car when I was there. Just so odd. But I suppose if I was an old rusted out car, thats where I would want to be too.

Nice report. I'd like to try Wheeler from that direction with snow, I hear its supposed to be a nice snow climb.

--Derek


Greenhouseguy


Nice     2010-10-09 09:35:05
Wheeler has been on my back burner since Derek and I did Clinton/Traver/McNamee. Looks like fun; thanks for the report.



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