Rachael and I started from Bull-of-the-Woods trailhead, summited Walter, Wheeler, Simpson, Old Mike, "Fairchild", Lake Fork and Kachina and then descended the ski area back to the car. Some fun scrambly sections between Simpson and "Fairchild" and again to get up Lake Fork. Long loop, not sure the mileage of vert but we took about 9 hours to complete it.
Came from Kachina and skirted around the fasle summit to the west and over to Lake Fork. This approach was probably like class 2. Wonderful day.
Overnight at the lake. Skinned up SE face x2. Skiied SE face and then NE face. Down by 11am, getting pretty soft by then.
Hike the ridge from Pt 12819. Nice views, perfect weather. Saw no other hikers all days except for the ones I could see on Wheeler.
Ascended the north ridge from Kachina as a part of Kachina-Wheeler traverse. Climbed directly from the saddle to the Point 12,535 on a reasonably solid Class 3+ rock and hiked to the summit of Lake Fork. Took a short break to enjoy the view from the summit (one of my NM favorites) and continued on the ridge to UN 12,819, UN 12,728, Simpson and Wheeler. Fun scramble, good weather, great views!
12/05/2010: Traversed from Kachina and continued to Vallecito Mountain. Returned the same way.
I think I've summitted this peak around 10 times in the past 5 years, all but once with skis, and I never tire of it. Routes have included the east ridge (after snowclimbing up one of the north-facing couloirs), the SE slope, the NE face, and the N ridge from Kachina. I think my favorite view of it is from the top of Kachina in winter.
Crossed over from Kachina Peak on the north ridge. Route finding is essential on the loose slopes, mostly because the main trails end in 5th class climbs due to the fact that most climbers up here are Big Horn Sheep. The wind shelter wasnt needed because of the clear skies, in fact we summitted at 2pm. Lots of black flies, and of course the classic parade line could be seen marching all the way up Wheeler Peak.
Watch the moon set at around 4 am. Freaky seeing a red moon get squished against the horizon before finally dropping.
Dan, Paul and I took advantage of the great conditions and skied/climbed up the South (East) couloir. It was cloudy and windy so the snow was hard...good for climbing, but not great for skiing. Nevertheless, we summited then sped down on the hard snow. The top few turns were sketchy, but things got better and wider the lower we got. Lake Fork is a great peak!
Climbed the east ridge and it was pretty fun. I stayed almost all the way left at the start, and it turned out to be kind of like 4th class grass. Hmm. Higher up there was a wall that seemed like pretty hard 4th class too, but maybe it was just loose. I wasn't doing any route-finding, just heading straight up, so I'm sure I missed some easier variations. I linked up Point 12,819 as well. The ridge continuing to Wheeler looks very reasonable.
Quite a challenging scramble up Kachna and Lake Fork, but well worth it. Beautiful day.