Did the whole Wheeler/Old Mike/Simpson/Walter circuit. Great day & great companions.
Drove straight up there after returning from a business trip. Spent the night at TSV campground, summited the next day via Bull of the Woods. Beautiful summit day!
SOLOED WILLIAMS LK TRAIL AND NEARLY PASSED BY SUMMIT ON FINE TRAIL ON E FLANKS HEADED FOR DISTANT GOOD LOOKING PEAK FREEZING WIND CHILL WHILE TRYING TO SIGN REGISTER
Beautiful hike up Wheeler Peak, highly recommended.
We got a late start and trudged through knee deep snow to Williams Lake. I cut my break there short, which made all the difference. I was able to summit and glissade back down to the tree line before an approaching storm arrived. My climbing partner lingered too long at Williams Lake and was turned back by a blizzard just shy of the summit. We both enjoyed the beer and food at The Bavarian before returning to camp.
Bushwhacked up to approach to Mt. Walters from Lake Fork Creek. Followed ridge to Mt. Wheeler. Lots of snow made it lots of fun. Played all the way there. Bright sunshine all day. Cold sometimes, very warm at other times. Great trip even though I was miserably out of shape.
The first peak I went up in New Mexico. Wildflower blooming.
Woke up at 7:30am to 32F at the hiker parking lot. Started up at 8:10am. A local dog followed me all the way to the summit which we reached just before 10am. Stayed at the summit for 1/2 hr. Windy & cold along the summit ridge. Tagged Mount Walter on the way down. Back at the trailhead by 11:40am (3.5 hrs car-to-car).
Bright sun and spectacular views. After a short bushwack, we rose above treeline and picked up the bull of the woods trail, and made the summit around 11:30am. We completed the climb in recognition of those lost on 09-11, on behalf of Cops on Top.
Starting in the early morning, there were beautiful weather conditions... *until* I climbed halfway up the saddle-slope between Wheeler Peak & Mount Walter. Then, suddenly, a solid cloud blanket covered over both peaks. The wind picked up, and it quickly felt like the temperature dropped to below freezing. When I reached Wheeler Peak's summit, the cloud/fog was so thick that I couldn't see 2-3 feet in front of me, so I jogged over to Mount Walter's summit to hopefully find more suitable conditions... only to find much of the same thick cloud cover there. It was too bad, as I bet that the views from the summits would have been spectacular. Thank goodness for my GPS & general pathfinding skills. The Williams Lake Trail is very nice!!!
Thunderstorm above the treeline, at 13000ft. In retrospect, not so smart. Camping on top in a lightning storm, well, stupid. We made it though, I think I'll wait for a clear day to do it again.
A bighorn sheep was there to welcome us near the summit. Didn't see much of the view due to clouds that put down a couple inches of snow.
Hiked via Williams Lake and the steep slog to the saddle. Bagged Walter en route down and fought off marmots trying to make off with everything not tied down. Saw 15 or 20 bighorn on the way down and got some decent photos but headed for the hills quick as thunderheads started building (and this was 1000am) It started to rain and hail by the time I got back to the trailhead. Start early in summer for sure.
Via Williams Lake - STEEP!
HP #31. Hiked with Paul. Steep!!! Enjoyable hike and TONS of marmots! So cute! Glissaded for the first time on a short snowfield--fun stuff! : )
Ascended Bull-of-the-Woods Trail, which was beautiful, though obscured by large snowfields in several places. Descended by the Williams Lake trail...which seems just plain destroyed along much of its length and extends down into probably one of the saddest-looking spruce forests I've ever seen.
My 2nd attempt successful as my first attempt was turned back by myself because of threatening looking clouds. Well worth the effort as this was a beautiful climb.
I've climbed Wheeler 5 or 6 times since my first time in 1997, once from the Taos Ski Valley and every other time via the Middle Fork TH near Red River. Had fun every time. I love camping near Lost Lake...caught a couple nice trout in there a couple years ago with Elk Hair Caddis flies. Tried it once in winter and had to turn back (mostly because my partner had a 30 degree bag and froze his ass off the night before near the TH). I plan on climbing it many more times, one of my favorite trails in NM.
We barely got this climb in before a big storm hit. It was cold and windy at high camp. Very cold. There was a good base of snow above tree line. On the drive back, we got nailed by a huge snowstorm as we were driving west on I-40 through AZ.
The very next day that I was on Elbert... here I was on the top of Wheeler... I guess I was acclimitized...
Only nine to go!!!