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Climbing in northern NM in mid October?

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Climbing in northern NM in mid October?

Postby aggiegeog » Tue Sep 15, 2009 6:32 pm

I may have a chance to head up to the northern NM mountains in mid October and I was wondering what kind of conditions to expect. I would probably attempt Jicarita Peak, but Wheeler or Truchas are also possibilities.

It would be a weekend trip from TX so the altitude will definitely be a factor. I should have access to a family cabin at 9000ft that is about a 9 mile hike to Jicarita. Cold to a reasonable extent is ok as is some snow, but I do not want to put myself in a dangerous situation. It will probably be a solo attempt.

Thanks for any comments.
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Postby MoapaPk » Tue Sep 15, 2009 7:14 pm

Varies a lot. I slept on top of Wheeler in October 1982. At least, thunderstorms are unlikely.
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Postby aggiegeog » Tue Sep 15, 2009 8:11 pm

Thanks I am very tempted to try it though it would mean driving a 12 hours each way. I have only been there in the summer or winter. I have done some hiking up there the past two Mays expecting decent weather, but both times had either rain or snow.
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Postby scooter12ga » Tue Sep 15, 2009 9:47 pm

Odds are good that you'll be ok weather-wise. I would expect possible high winds in Oct, but snow should be light, if there's snow at all. Rhime ice is a possibility and cold conditions will be your enemy so crampons or some sort of traction device may be preferable, but not necessarily mandatory.

With that said, I remember in the late 90's that Wolf Creek opened their ski season on about Oct 10th with something like 48" so it can be hit and miss. This year is supposed to be an el nino year, though, so who knows at this point. If you have the gear for bad conditions you may want to be prepared to bring it, but also be prepared to not need it.
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Postby aggiegeog » Wed Sep 16, 2009 12:40 am

That sounds bearable; I will make sure to layer up. As long as I can stay dry I should be ok.
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Postby Sierra Ledge Rat » Sat Sep 19, 2009 12:35 am

Good time of year for rock climbing. Cooler.

The high peaks will be hot during the day and cold at night.
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Postby aggiegeog » Mon Sep 28, 2009 5:59 pm

I would like to do Jicarita through South Truchas one day but that will wait till I can get a group together and a good length of time set aside. It would be somewhere between 35 and 40 miles mostly above treeline.
I am trying to get one more trip in before winter really hits, though I am ready to get up there again for winter activities. Looks like they had their first snow of the season a few days ago and maybe some more with the next system.
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Postby aggiegeog » Tue Oct 06, 2009 1:15 am

I am fairly certain that I will try to make a go of it on the 17th. I am planning on temps around 20 when I head out from 9000ft and maybe 30s up high. Looks like the weather models are showing a trough in the area around then but who knows at this point. Its 18mi round trip so it will be a full day.
I am getting anxious to get Jicarita after two bad weather tries. Cannot wait till I can move out west so I can have more flexibility; I love Texas A&M but the flat land and heat get old.
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Postby jcscratch1 » Sat Oct 10, 2009 2:38 am

Just did Wheeler on Oct 3. No snow at all, but very windy and morning temps in the low 20's. Good hiking weather.
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Postby aggiegeog » Mon Oct 19, 2009 4:01 am

I did not end up climbing, just did a couple hikes and got some pics. The weather was incredible highs were around 60 at 9000ft and lows were around 30. Some snow up high mainly above treeline, but some snow could be seen below. More to come this week.
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