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Jeff Davis from Wheeler Peak?

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Jeff Davis from Wheeler Peak?

Postby Luciano136 » Wed Sep 09, 2009 6:55 pm

I read about the Wheeler Peak traverse to Jeff Davis Peak. Seems to be mostly a class 2 scramble. How much mileage does it add RT from Wheeler Peak? Approximate time needed? Might as well catch two birds with one stone, right :D
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Re: Jeff Davis from Wheeler Peak?

Postby MoapaPk » Wed Sep 09, 2009 7:05 pm

Luciano136 wrote:I read about the Wheeler Peak traverse to Jeff Davis Peak. Seems to be mostly a class 2 scramble. How much mileage does it add RT from Wheeler Peak? Approximate time needed? Might as well catch two birds with one stone, right :D


Twice I've gone from Wheeler Peak over to Jeff Davis, but I've always descended off the NE shoulder of JD to the Glacier Trail. (I don't recommend that descent route -- full of loose large quartzite blocks.)

I can probably find the times from the gps logs; I always did it at the end of the day, with 3 peaks total.

It's definitely no more than class 2. However, the descent off Wheeler is over some fairly big talus blocks that may move unexpectedly. The lowpoint gives JD about 400-450' prominence, so you'll have a stiff climb back up to Wheeler.

I'm told that it makes more sense to go up JD by the NE shoulder, then go over to Wheeler and down the trail.
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Postby Luciano136 » Wed Sep 09, 2009 7:10 pm

Thanks for the quick info! Well, I'll be hiking with a group of 4 up Wheeler Peak. Since I have a strong feeling I'm the only one interested in Jeff Davis as well, doing it from Wheeler Peak and back might be the only option. RT in an hour orso would be great, maybe 1.5h at the most.
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Postby MoapaPk » Wed Sep 09, 2009 7:31 pm

Round trip from Wheeler to JD and back is about 2.3 miles, with 1300-1400' accumulated gain. The eastern peaklet of JD is the highest.

It's not easy terrain for fast travel, especially the 1st part, when you descend off Wheeler. There are lots of big blocks, so you can't really jog, unless you have a strong desire to crack your head!

However, you can trail-run much of the way down from Wheeler. If your friends just head back down, you may not be that far behind.
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Postby cp0915 » Wed Sep 09, 2009 7:44 pm

Agree with MoapaPk. The going is slow between the two, but the extra effort for Jeff Davis is absolutely worth it. Baker Peak is another fine peak nearby that can be tossed into the mix. Bald Mountain is an easy bonus peak you can grab on the way back down from Wheeler too.

Off-topic, of course, but Pyramid Peak is a nice hike too. False Pyramid is nearby, requires only a bit more elevation gain, and sets one up for a wonderful loop back to the car. A rather pristine area.
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Postby Luciano136 » Wed Sep 09, 2009 7:46 pm

Crap, sounds like I need a map for the area as the options pile up :) . Maybe I'll try to talk them into a loop. As long as route finding isn't too much of an issue and it doesn't exceed class 2, I think they will be fine.

Does a loop start from the Wheeler Peak trailhead?
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Postby MoapaPk » Wed Sep 09, 2009 7:53 pm

Luciano136 wrote:Crap, sounds like I need a map for the area as the options pile up :) . Maybe I'll try to talk them into a loop. As long as route finding isn't too much of an issue and it doesn't exceed class 2, I think they will be fine.

Does a loop start from the Wheeler Peak trailhead?


Both the Wheeler-JD and Wheeler-Bald loops can start at the Wheeler TH, or at the camground. However, Wheeler-Bald loop is easy, whereas the JD-Wheeler loop can be a bit unnerving if you are coming DOWN over the NE shoulder of JD.

Baker from Wheeler is an out-and-back, with a fair amount of gain to get back to Wheeler.

For maps, look at the links above.
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Postby paisajeroamericano » Wed Sep 09, 2009 8:28 pm

i climbed wheeler peak last summer from the main trailhead and then traversed over to jeff davis - i descended directly towards the campground from jd and don't remember it being especially challenging (although certainly more difficult than the trail up wp) - it actually made for a nice loop hike and an opportunity to explore some of the ancient bristlecone pine forests on the way back... of course, that may not work out if traveling with others who may be less comfortable with the cross-country/talus/scree - have fun, either way - it's a real nice area... and quite unique
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Postby MoapaPk » Wed Sep 09, 2009 8:38 pm

paisajeroamericano wrote:of course, that may not work out if traveling with others who may be less comfortable with the cross-country/talus/scree


The OP should assess this carefully. I've dropped this way solo very quickly, but I've also heard other people call it among their worst experiences; a lot depends on which gully or ridge you take. It's a bad place to snap an ankle between quartzite blocks.
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Postby Dan Shorb » Wed Sep 09, 2009 8:42 pm

A fun option i've done is gone into the cirque and up one of the several lefthand chutes and up Jeff Davis, then headed around to the summit of Wheeler and down the trail. An early start either way should let you do both in a day, easily. I was down by noon and Tstorm time.
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Postby Luciano136 » Wed Sep 09, 2009 8:54 pm

I'll have to see how familiar they are with scree/talus. If not certain, I don't want to put them in any dangerous situations.
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Postby MoapaPk » Wed Sep 09, 2009 9:07 pm

Luciano136 wrote:I'll have to see how familiar they are with scree/talus. If not certain, I don't want to put them in any dangerous situations.


If you start down from Wheeler to JD, and they don't have problems there, the loop is probably fine. Here's what the talus looks like on that 1st stretch (click for larger):

Image

Depending on your descent route of the N side of JD, it may be less stable.

I have a friend who still complains about me taking her down similar talus.
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Postby Luciano136 » Wed Sep 09, 2009 9:12 pm

Thanks for the pic! I'll send them the link to it; that should give a good idea.
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Postby Luciano136 » Thu Sep 17, 2009 5:57 am

Thanks again for the links MoapaPk. The plan is to hike Wheeler and if the group is up for it, continue to Jeff Davis. If the route down is clear cut, we might get down JD back to the trailhead.
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Postby xDoogiex » Thu Oct 01, 2009 4:24 am

Does wheeler get snow covered? Thinking about attempting to go at the end of Dec if I have money.
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