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Wheeler Peak, NM

Colorado 13er questions, conditions, and other info should be posted here. Also includes topics related to 13ers.com. 13er Trip Reports
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Re: Wheeler Peak, NM

Postby 3rdwoozie » Thu Mar 05, 2009 12:51 pm

last year I tried Gold Hill in Mid May, weekend before Memorial Day. When I stayed on the west/south side of slopes/valleys it was clear. The minute I crossed over to the east/north side to hike back down into town, I was stopped by post holing, 10 foot drifts, lost trail, etc. Had to turn back and come back to trail head. So I think it was a couple of weeks too early then. Red River is impossible on Memorial day weekend. The local residents dread it (although they love the money), and everything is full (hotels and campgrounds). That is why I'm waiting to the week after. This suggestion of trying Truchas has my curiousity. I've heard Wheeler can be a bit crowded on nice days.
"The way a man does one thing, is how he does everything!" Zen proverb

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Re: Wheeler Peak, NM

Postby MtHurd » Thu Mar 05, 2009 1:29 pm

3rdwoozie wrote:This suggestion of trying Truchas has my curiousity. I've heard Wheeler can be a bit crowded on nice days.


Let me know if you need any beta. Done Truchas 4 times.

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Re: Wheeler Peak, NM

Postby davebobk47 » Thu Mar 05, 2009 2:05 pm

Barry Raven wrote:Let me know if you need any beta. Done Truchas 4 times.


I'd be interested in any beta you have as far as what route is best and which of the truchas peaks you hit. I'm not sure when I'll do them but I was thinking later in summer so snow conditions shouldn't be an issue. Thanks.
"All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night, in the dusty recesses of their minds, awake in the day to find that it was vanity. But the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes to make it reality." -T.E. Lawrence

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Re: Wheeler Peak, NM

Postby MtHurd » Thu Mar 05, 2009 2:44 pm

I've climbed all 4 of the Truchas Peaks from either the Jack's Creek trailhead or the Irongate trailhead from the south. Rio Quemado is the closest trailhead (6 miles), but the safety of your vehicle is questionable there. Jack's Creek is the best. You can either backpack in and camp at East Pecos Baldy Lake (6 miles), or you can camp down below South Truchas near Trailriders Wall (10 miles). This will give you access to South, Medio, and Middle Truchas Peaks. For North, you would want to hike down past Beatty's Cabin (same trailhead, trail splits) and then work your way up towards Chimayosos (can't remember the exact trail offhand). Chimayosos and North Truchas are a good combo. You can climb South and then traverse over to North Truchas but that would be a long day, but a fun 3rd class ridge is involved. North Truchas is also accessible from the north at the Santa Barbara trailhead but it's 12 miles to the summit.

Iron Gate is a good trailhead if you want to pass by Pecos Falls and end up on the Skyline Trail. It will take you up to the headwaters of the Pecos River. From there you can climb Santa Barbara, Barbara, and Chimayosos Peak in addition to North Truchas. It's a long route that will probably require at least 2 nights out.

The advantage to climbing South Truchas from Jack's Creek is it gives you the option to throw in East Pecos Baldy and Pecos Baldy. The traverse from East Pecos to Pecos Baldy is a nice 2nd class ridge run (maybe a couple of 3rd class moves). Jack's Creek is a nice and safe place for your vehicle. The only negative is the long road to get to it.

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Re: Wheeler Peak, NM

Postby davebobk47 » Thu Mar 05, 2009 3:24 pm

Thanks for the info, I had been looking at Jack's Creek as well as possible side trips and this helps a lot. I figure if I go I'll stay up there a few nights. Really looking forward to those 3rd class ridge climbs; they are my favorite.
"All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night, in the dusty recesses of their minds, awake in the day to find that it was vanity. But the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes to make it reality." -T.E. Lawrence

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Re: Wheeler Peak, NM

Postby MtHurd » Thu Mar 05, 2009 3:26 pm

Since you like those ridge runs, one of the best if not the best in NM is Kachina Peak to Wheeler Peak.

It's also easy to get confused with South, Middle, Medio, and North. Middle Truchas is actually the furthest west and in fact is called West Truchas on a previous map. When I first climbed South Truchas, I thought Middle Truchas was North Truchas. Medio Truchas is unnamed, I got the name from Gerry Roach's website. When on South Truchas, looking from left to right is Middle, Medio, and North Truchas. Another good 3rd and 4th class traverse is from Jicarilla to North Truchas. See this trip report. Below is a pic of the ridge. The summit on the far left is a ranked 12er known by locals as Sheepshead. The peak they keep referring to in the trip report as "Middle Truchas Peak" is actually "Medio Truchas Peak".

Image

Below is a pic from their trip report showing Medio Truchas on the right and South Truchas on the left. Good view of the 3rd class ridge too.

Image

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Re: Wheeler Peak, NM

Postby davebobk47 » Thu Mar 05, 2009 4:12 pm

Very nice. I was just looking at doing the loop around Williams lake while I was in Taos this past weekend. My idea was to start up Wheeler via Bull of the Woods and camp at treeline. The next day I'd start early, go over Wheeler down to Simpson Peak then turn west along the ridge to an unnamed point then up to Lake Fork Peak and finally to Kachina and down to Taos Ski Valley. Is that the route you were refering to?
"All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night, in the dusty recesses of their minds, awake in the day to find that it was vanity. But the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes to make it reality." -T.E. Lawrence

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Re: Wheeler Peak, NM

Postby MtHurd » Thu Mar 05, 2009 8:45 pm

davebobk47 wrote:Very nice. I was just looking at doing the loop around Williams lake while I was in Taos this past weekend. My idea was to start up Wheeler via Bull of the Woods and camp at treeline. The next day I'd start early, go over Wheeler down to Simpson Peak then turn west along the ridge to an unnamed point then up to Lake Fork Peak and finally to Kachina and down to Taos Ski Valley. Is that the route you were refering to?


Yep, although I started at Taos Ski Valley and worked my way around the other way. The unnamed point you are referring to is Pt. 12,819, a ranked peak in the New Mexico top 10 list. I started at the bottom of the Kachina lift and climbed directly up Kachina Peak. There is also another 12,700+ point in between Unnamed 12,819 and Simpson Peak. Lost of nice ridge scrambling. A ridge run over to another ranked 12er Vallecito Peak is also doable, but adds considerable distance to the traverse because you have to go over and back.

See the link for a look at part of the traverse. It looks a little gnarly but it's not bad, just enough to make it fun.

From left to right: Wheeler, Simpson, Old Mike, and Lew Wallace Peak from Pt. 12,728.

Here is a look back the other direction from Unnamed 12,819. You can see that the ridge run to Vallecito is rather long and drops down below treeline a bit.

From left to right: Vallecito Peak, Lake Fork Peak, Kachina Peak, and Gold Hill.

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