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Wheeler Peak (NM) Climber's Log

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Zachary Andrew5 peaks  Sucess!
Date Climbed: Aug 3, 2013

Zachary Andrew

Got to Williams Lake Trailhead at about midnight and hiked to the lake in the pitch black. Arrived at the lake at about 2am. Woke up to stunning scenery and summited at about noon. While you are there you might as well get in Old mike, Simpson, Walter, and Frazer peaks for a 5 peak day. Camped in the La Cal Basin 2nd night. Made the mistake of trying to bushwhack my way down a super steep (70% Grade at max) valley next to Frazer, to avoid the boring and long bull-of-woods trail. Don't do it... I fell 16 times, and with a 20kg backpack you'll be somersaulting down the mountain. Certainly a quick, but not pleasant way to get down.
Posted Aug 12, 2013 1:54 pm

Jimmy RiversBeautiful backcountry hike!  Sucess!
Date Climbed: Jul 9, 2013

Jimmy Rivers

Hiked up Bull of the Woods trail as an overnighter, camping just below tree line at the La Cal basin. We were above tree line for so long though, and it was just stunning scenery for a Florida guy like myself. The elevation didn't really mess with us, thankfully, and we made it without a problem. I absolutely loved this area, inc nearby Taos, in northern NM. Wheeler was tough, yet rewarding. STATE HP #25!! Halfway home.
Posted Jul 22, 2013 12:04 am

THalky#25  Sucess!
Date Climbed: Jul 9, 2013


Camped in la Cal Basin, summitted early am then hiked out. Rough but amazing hike.
Posted Jul 15, 2013 12:11 pm

birdheadEast Fork Red River  Sucess!
Date Climbed: Jun 15, 2013


Climbed via the trail from the East Fork of the Red River. Lighting near the summit forced a quick descent. 4:54 RT.
Posted Jun 16, 2013 9:20 pm

Brian Kalet2 Peaks  Sucess!
Date Climbed: May 26, 2013

Brian Kalet

With Mount Walter.
Posted May 28, 2013 3:58 pm

vanman798Spring Loop  Sucess!
Date Climbed: Apr 27, 2013


Strolled up the Bull of the Woods trail. The snow was solid and I didn't need my snowshoes nor ice axe. Took close to 5 hours to reach the peak (including breaks, lunch, etc). The avy danger seemed very low, so I descended via Williams Lake. That was fast, took an hour, but the only problem was my car was at the other trailhead, and so I had a long walk down the dirt road to get back to it. No one around to hitch a ride from either!
Posted Apr 30, 2013 12:35 pm

tylordthemightyBoom tallest peak in New Mexico Boom  Sucess!
Date Climbed: Dec 1, 2012
Climbed in December, didn't need skiis, great conditions minus a tid bit windy on top, but still an awesome hike and not the last time I'll be doing it.
Posted Apr 15, 2013 9:12 am

triviastevefatboy makes it!  Sucess!
Date Climbed: Jun 30, 2012
My first attempt at a 13'er. And really, my first time out hiking in quite a while. So a little out of shape, but mentally determined...

Took the trail to Williams Lake and missed the turn to take the trail to the top. So I saw Williams Lake, and ended up scrambling up the mountain with a few others that had missed the turn, until we got back on trail.

Lots of people hiking that day, some would hike with me for a while then press on, and I would do the same. I encountered an older gentleman, recently retired from the Army and recently recovered from knee replacement (both) surgery, whose doctor had given him the go-ahead to hike. Both of us were out of shape, but we became each other's encouragement, as we hiked along. Finally, he got winded and slowed down and told me to press on, which I did.

50 steps, stop, breathe. That was the mantra for the last hour of hiking to the summit, with each daunting view of the summit, you realize how difficult a 13'er is... But I finally made it, and enjoyed my accomplishment with about 50 other people at the summit. Stayed there for 1/2 hour or so enjoying the view and talking with others, taking pictures and hydrating.

On the way back down, I passed my Army friend, who still had about 1/2 hour of climbing to go. I offered him some water and some words of encouragement.

7 hours round trip to the summit and back... not bad, I thought.

Physically, the most difficult thing I've ever done. Can't wait to do more!
Posted Mar 18, 2013 7:10 am

jainman09First 13er  Sucess!
Date Climbed: Jun 14, 2005


Four feet of snow at the base made for an interesting approach. Plenty of snow to glissade back down!
Posted Feb 25, 2013 3:02 am

xbaghatnine  Sucess!
Date Climbed: Jul 14, 2003


Posted Jan 20, 2013 1:14 am

FletchW/ Smitty  Sucess!
Date Climbed: Jul 31, 2011


from Williams Lake - new trail is excellent.
Posted Dec 28, 2012 3:29 pm

TimmyTeeWheelers Peak  Sucess!
Date Climbed: Oct 27, 2012


Great day! We used the Williams Lake trail, leaving the parking lot at 0715. We found the wind icy as we went above treeline and into the periodic talus crossings. I was surprised at how good the trail is. As we worked up the switchbacks above LaCal Basin, the wind increased. Being in the shade most of the way,we had our cold weather gear on (I wish I'd brought my down mittens! Saw a group of goats moving through; one pica and little tiny vole(?). Beautiful at the summit, perfect day, blue skies horizon to horizon. On the way down we met many other hikers enjoying the day.
Posted Oct 28, 2012 10:47 am

orbitorFrom Williams Lake  Sucess!
Date Climbed: Aug 12, 2012


First group on the summit that day, which made it extra special. Bluebird skies at 9am, raging thunderstorm by 3pm. Really glad we got up and down quickly. Liked the newly constructed trail from Williams Lake. Grand views from summit - Blanca Peak in CO particularly stood out. Satisfied with adding a new state highpoint for the year!
Posted Oct 15, 2012 2:57 pm

Sarah Simon6 peak day via Bull of the Woods  Sucess!
Date Climbed: Sep 22, 2012

Sarah Simon

I love this time of year - perfect weather, sunny blue skies, autumn colors! Enjoyed the hot springs at Ojo Caliente, green chili beer and a suite with a kiva fireplace afterward. :-)
Posted Sep 23, 2012 2:12 pm

CharlieRussellGreat Climb  Sucess!
Date Climbed: Jul 22, 2012


My wife and I climbed it on our 23rd wedding anniversary. The weather was perfect. We climbed via the Williams Lake/Wheeler Peak trail. This trail was tough for us since we live just above sea level. Many locals we met recommended the Bull of the Woods trail. They said it is much easier. After seeing the other trail from the summit I would have to agree that it looks easier. The WP summit trail increases in difficulty the higher you climb. So as your wearing down it takes more. But the view is well worth the effort!
Posted Jul 27, 2012 2:17 pm

Ridgerunner755Bull of the Woods/Williams Lake  Sucess!
Date Climbed: Jun 15, 2012


Camped at Bull of the Woods trailhead, started hiking at 6am. Hit the top of Bull of the Woods Mtn., Frazer Mtn., and Mt. Walter on the way, on top in about 4 hrs. Instead of following the trail through LaCal Basin, we took the ridge directly to Mt. Walter which was a little more interesting. Saw 42 sheep (6 rams), 40 elk, and a couple mulies along the way. Only a couple patches of snow to walk through. Probably a dozen people on the summit with us. Headed down Williams Lake trail, dozens more people at the lake and headed up this trail, kind of surprising. Then walked down the road back to camp. It was a great hike with great views, weather, and lots of animals!
Posted Jun 22, 2012 7:12 pm

WalkoutnowGreat Hike  Sucess!
Date Climbed: Jun 6, 2012


We took the Williams lake trail both ways, had great sunny weather all day. Started at 630am, 3.5 hours to summit. Spent 30 minutes up top, warming behind the rock wall (strong, cold wind). Ran into many friendly marmots along the way, and hungry ground squirrels at the summit. Hike gets tougher after you get past Williams lake, including several sections of scree. Make sure you take a left on the new trail BEFORE getting to the lake, we missed it and took old route straight up, leg burner..
Down in 2 hrs 15 minutes, so back to the truck by 1245pm. Snow drifts had softened, sinking up to mid thigh.
Great experience. Beautiful views.
Posted Jun 8, 2012 7:07 pm

RuvichaSplendid Three fer  Sucess!
Date Climbed: Sep 10, 2009


Via the Bull of the Woods trail, you can bag one 12,000' peak (Fraser Mountain) and two 13ers -- Mt. Walter and Wheeler Peak, then shorten the return by descending to Williams Lake. If I did this again, I'd nail another 12,000' peak (Simpson) and 13er (Old Mike), which are within a mile of Wheeler.

Assuming, of course, that the weather holds. We got lucky on our day on the mountain -- the weather was relatively clear all day. The day before or the day after, rain and storms would have thwarted us.
Posted Apr 9, 2012 9:18 pm

Andrew RankineOne of my favorites  Sucess!
Date Climbed: Oct 16, 2009

Andrew Rankine

One of my favorite state highpoints. 16 miles, a couple feet of snow. Lots of fun.
Posted Oct 25, 2011 1:29 pm

huskertriguyBreaking into double digits!  Sucess!
Date Climbed: Oct 3, 2011


SHP #10

I cannot recommend highly enough purchasing a detailed topo map. There are numerous trail junctions, many of which are NOT marked whatsoever. Luckily my intuition prevailed.

Bull-of-the-Woods Trail.

Started at 4:30 a.m. and summited by 10:00. If I'd had a topo map, I would've considered taking the Williams Lake route on my return, but I (stupidly) did not do much research, nor did I have a map. I'd assumed the trail & summit were pretty straightforward, but I was mistaken.

I did find myself wondering whether the trail planners were on peyote at the time they designated the route. Bull-of-the-Woods is unnecessarily circuitous, particularly at La Cal Basin. Mixing it up and taking Williams Lake would've been a welcome change.

Beautiful and quite a lot of solitude. Well worthwhile even if it weren't a SHP. I saw a total of 5 people all day; 3 on their way down who summited for sunrise, and 2 on the way up later in the day.
Posted Oct 9, 2011 3:59 pm

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