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Wheeler Peak in NM this weekend

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Wheeler Peak in NM this weekend

Postby mattb19 » Tue Jan 02, 2007 4:04 pm

Anyone interested in climbing Wheeler Peak in Taos this weekend? I made an attempt over the Christmas weekend but burnt out a few hundred feet from the top. I went up from Williams Lake and broke trail the whole way and was so tired I decided to turn around. This time I think that I am going to go from the Bull of the Woods trial due to the fact that I don't want to have to worry about avy danger over Williams Lake. I could really use a partner due to the fact that it sucks to break trail all by ones self.

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Postby smason505 » Tue Jan 02, 2007 5:51 pm

Be prepared for lots of snow. I know Santa Fe received well over 30 inches last week and it has been cold.

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Postby Matt » Tue Jan 02, 2007 6:56 pm

He's right. Santa Fe got 3 feet in town and the Taos ski valley is reporting 32" in the last five days. The Bull of the Woods route is going to be a loooong slog, especially given the elevation loss (several hundred feet) and gain several miles in around treeline.
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Postby mattb19 » Tue Jan 02, 2007 7:10 pm

They did get a lot of snow and that is why I am a little worried about treking up from Williams Lake. There are lots of slopes above Williams Lake that are going to have soft wet snow on frozen (crystal) snow. I figure the Bull of the Woods trail although long, it will keep me out of danger.

I am also thinkng that I might try a ridgeline on the south end of Williams Lake and then follow that north to Wheeler.

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Postby mildly neurotic » Tue Jan 02, 2007 9:09 pm

Are you talking about hiking or skiing? You would be insane to do this now without skis. However, I did a similar thing many years ago when I hiked up Mt. Evans in February through waist deep snow wearing sweat pants... so go for it!

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Postby frannyzoo » Tue Jan 02, 2007 9:50 pm

Sitting here looking out my ABQ window and seeing a solid foot, I can only echo the snow comments. One report missing from those above....Angel Fire got 58 inches. I'd say a hike of Wheeler this weekend would bear no resemblance to the one you undertook Christmas weekend.

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Postby MtHurd » Tue Jan 02, 2007 10:25 pm

If you are going to do Bull of the Woods, you should probably use cross country skis for a faster ascent.

There are some avalanche chutes coming down off of Wheeler towards the Williams Lake Trail, but if you hurry across they aren't that wide. With all of that snow though, it is possible that the west facing slopes you would used to ascend on Wheeler that usually don't have snow might have some on it with avalanche potential.

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Snow and More Snow

Postby JayMiller » Tue Jan 02, 2007 10:32 pm

Actually, Santa Fe received 25" of snow during the last storm. Taos Ski Valley received 30". But most importantly, we are expecting another storm this weekend which is supposed to produce an additional 6" to 9" in the mountains.

I think I will just run up to Sipapu and ski.
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Postby mattb19 » Tue Jan 02, 2007 11:05 pm

I am not worried about the snow level from Bull of the Woods. I figured it would be slow moving through the snow. On Christmas weekend I had deep snow until about 12,500ft then I hit frozen snow. There are some ridge lines the whole way up that get a lot of wind and are hard packed or have little snow. These make great paths to walk on.

After thinking it over I think that I will go to Williams Lake and see what things look like from there. I can get up to tree line and scout the path I took last time. I did stay out of avy danger but with a lot more snow, spots that were not a problem might be now.

If it snows heavy this weekend I will just end up skiing. I am plannig to ski Saturday and then try Wheeler on Sunday so I can get a look at what I am going to have to deal with. Plus I can see what the weather will do.

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