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Winds on Wheeler Peak (NM)

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Winds on Wheeler Peak (NM)

Postby chewbachman » Mon Jun 06, 2011 7:22 am

I just hiked Humphery's Peak, Flagstaff Arizona, yesterday and while I was told by everyone a million times that it would be windy I don't know that I could have quite imagined it being as windy as it was. This was my first time at this altitude. I'm looking to hike Wheeler Peak (NM) at some point and I was wondering if I should expect similar conditions wind wise at the top. Thanks!
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Re: Winds on Wheeler Peak (NM)

Postby Bark Eater » Mon Jun 06, 2011 2:55 pm

Yes, it can be quite windy. The Bull of the Woods Trail is highly scenic but has a long exposed hike above treeline. We took the Williams Lake approach, which is better during questionable weather due to shorter approach and far less exposure.
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Re: Winds on Wheeler Peak (NM)

Postby chewbachman » Mon Jun 06, 2011 5:38 pm

Thanks! I'll def keep that in mind while planning this trip.
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Re: Winds on Wheeler Peak (NM)

Postby Bark Eater » Mon Jun 06, 2011 6:52 pm

Make sure you check out the Bavarian restaurant near the Williams Lake trailhead after the hike. Highest altitude dining in NM and also great beer!
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Re: Winds on Wheeler Peak (NM)

Postby DukeJH » Mon Jun 06, 2011 8:25 pm

The Williams Lake route can be an avalanche hazard. I've been up on Wheeler a few times from calm and clear to windy as hell.
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Re: Winds on Wheeler Peak (NM)

Postby chewbachman » Mon Jun 06, 2011 8:39 pm

High altitude dining and a nice beer sounds like a good combination after a long hike!
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Re: Winds on Wheeler Peak (NM)

Postby Bark Eater » Mon Jun 06, 2011 8:55 pm

Duke, thanks for the qualification on avy hazard. Yes, I was referring to summer conditions. There are some big chutes heading down to that lake that I wouldn't want to be underneath with a significant snowpack.
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Re: Winds on Wheeler Peak (NM)

Postby sm0421 » Tue Jun 07, 2011 5:47 pm

+1 Duke, I hiked the Williams Lake trail this May 29th. Good snow climb but in winter could be totally be avalanche hazard. I brought microspikes and hiking poles, but met local hikers on the top with no traction gear at all. It was very windy on the top. Compared to my Feb.19 Humphreys Peak climb it was windier, and overall harder. :o
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Re: Winds on Wheeler Peak (NM)

Postby chewbachman » Tue Jun 07, 2011 8:06 pm

Alright, so I'm expecting wind at this point... Is June the best month to do this hike? I assume that being in the South West I want to avoid July and August with the Monsoon season. How much snow was left at the end of May? Are we talking snow drifts or constant snow? Thanks!
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Re: Winds on Wheeler Peak (NM)

Postby aggiegeog » Tue Jun 07, 2011 8:32 pm

Most years the snow holds on below treeline into June, it has been fairly warm so the snowline is probably higher than the past few years. Mid-June through early July are usually good along with most of the Fall, early October is my preferred time for the region.
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Re: Winds on Wheeler Peak (NM)

Postby phillinley » Thu Jun 09, 2011 10:04 pm

Just went up today. Snow is still in intermitent drifts below treeline, but you can avoid snow on the climb to the saddle (and can use the snow fields to glissade on the way down). Very windy up top. A late June climb will probably get you a snow free hike below treeline given how much is still left.
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Re: Winds on Wheeler Peak (NM)

Postby ncst » Fri Jun 10, 2011 12:18 pm

Of all summits Humphreys Peak one of the windiest at top, that was an early October evening I think. It surprised me because it is not really that high a summit, but it felt like I would be blown off the mountain and really had to keep to the ground. Some weeks later Wheeler Peak can calm and sunny. Enjoy the hike!
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