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Northern New Mexico conditions?

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Re: Northern New Mexico conditions?

Postby Matt » Mon May 20, 2013 7:04 am

Lynn,
I talked to a guy from Taos on Saturday.
He told me that the peaks around Wheeler will be skiable for a few more weeks, not dry.
I've also heard that there's a good bootpack up the Williams Lake route.
We are all greater artists than we realize -FWN
A man is rich in proportion to the number of things he can afford to let alone. -HDT
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Re: Northern New Mexico conditions?

Postby skiwall » Mon May 20, 2013 8:13 am

We were discussing heading up to Wheeler on Wednesday. If that happens I'll take some pics.

(Also if any of you NM people would be up for skiing Wheeler (or anything in the area, this spring or next winter.... or ever...), send me a PM. I'm new to the area and missing my Salt Lake crew.)
"A good woman knows her place is in the backcountry." - PW '08

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Re: Northern New Mexico conditions?

Postby TravelingMatt » Mon May 20, 2013 3:14 pm

Did Chicoma today. Craziest thing, got chased off by a couple of Indians. (Part of the south slopes are on Indian land, but the summit and most of the mountain is squarely USFS.) Anyway, a few snow patches here and there but for hiking purposes dry.
Expect to go the wrong way some of the time. -- Gerry Roach

Re: Northern New Mexico conditions?

Postby LynnKH » Mon May 20, 2013 6:33 pm

Thanks, Matt!

skiwall wrote:We were discussing heading up to Wheeler on Wednesday. If that happens I'll take some pics.



That would be awesome. Thank you!

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Re: Northern New Mexico conditions?

Postby pete26 » Mon May 20, 2013 10:47 pm

I'm headed down to Wheeler fri and sat. I'd like to hear about current conditions too. Wanting to go light weight without snowshoes and other winter stuff. Thinking of maybe camping in La Cal Basin so any info on that wold be great. Just don't know if there will be too much snow down there in the trees.
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Re: Northern New Mexico conditions?

Postby TravelingMatt » Wed May 22, 2013 11:37 am

I did East Pecos Baldy yesterday.

As mentioned, patches of snow were present on the last mile or so to the lake, above 10,700 feet. They were solid in the morning, and were melting in the afternoon. I think they'll be mostly gone by the weekend, although you may still have to deal with runoff.

From the lake up to the col with point 11975 there was a ton of snow, as it was on a northern aspect and likely collected drifts all winter. I ended up bushwhacking this portion. Above the col is mostly dry.

From the summit, I descended the northern/eastern face, which was steep but dry.

I think Wheeler will be mostly dry from the Bull of the Woods route. As I recall, only the first couple miles are under deep cover (where there isn't any snow anywhere) and after that it's mostly open. Where the trail dips back under treeline I'd stay high. Anything open is mostly dry now.
Expect to go the wrong way some of the time. -- Gerry Roach

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Re: Northern New Mexico conditions?

Postby ChrisinAZ » Wed May 22, 2013 2:55 pm

Thanks for the update, Matt! Some of us may try hitting up E Pecos Baldy along the way. Would you recommend ascending your descent route as well?

Also, did you by chance take any pics of Trailriders Wall and/or the Truchas Peaks?
"If trees could scream, would we be so cavalier about cutting them down? We might, if they screamed all the time, for no good reason."
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Re: Northern New Mexico conditions?

Postby TravelingMatt » Wed May 22, 2013 3:44 pm

Sorry, no pics. The snow up high is limited mostly to cornices and couloirs. It looked possible to run the ridge from East Pecos to Truchas unimpeded. Of course the view from East Pecos is the southern aspects.

My decent wasn't an ideal route, but no different from several dozen Colorado 13ers I've had the pleasure to come down. :? From the summit I followed the ridge north, then once I got slightly northwest of the col with point 12020, zigzagged down the east face. This was rather loose but eventually I tacked south to a more sure-footed grassy area. I reached trail in a rather flat area about 100' below the East Pecos/12020 col. Can you go up this way? Sure, but the upper few hundred feet to the ridgeline is a bitch.

BTW, the first couple miles of trail from the Jacks Creek TH aren't exactly right on USGS topos. The trail is mostly several long north/south segments with switchbacks and the junction of trails 25 and 257 doesn't seem to be in the right place. The USFS map of the Pecos Wilderness is closer to the truth. I'd put the total distance from Jacks Creek to the summit of East Pecos at 7½ to 8 miles.
Expect to go the wrong way some of the time. -- Gerry Roach

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Re: Northern New Mexico conditions?

Postby skiwall » Fri May 24, 2013 8:01 am

This is probably too late for you guys (sorry!!!)...

My fiance got an extra day off work, so we went fishing in that area instead. I was rather disappointed at the lack of snow (I had still hoped to ski Wheeler). Seeing it from Questa, everything exposed is melted out. Everything rocky is melted out. If there are areas in the shade or in trees, especially n-facing, there may be snow, but that's about all that's left.
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Re: Northern New Mexico conditions?

Postby TravelingMatt » Mon Jun 03, 2013 9:07 am

Due to a fire in the Tres Lagunas area, NM highway 63 and access to Pecos Baldy from the south are currently closed. The closure area runs along the Santa Fe Baldy/ Pecos Baldy/ Truchas ridge.

http://nmfireinfo.files.wordpress.com/2013/06/closuremap_page_2.jpg
http://nmfireinfo.com/2013/06/02/tres-lagunas-fire-update-and-maps-sunday-june-2-2013-830-a-m/
Expect to go the wrong way some of the time. -- Gerry Roach

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Re: Northern New Mexico conditions?

Postby tdliles » Thu Jun 06, 2013 3:57 pm

As of yesterday, June 5, the entire Pecos Wilderness is closed to all activity, no access at all. The Tres Lagunas fire is still going strong. Going to be a long dry smokey summer in New Mexico...
Tom and Stef

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