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!!!
Summited with Caleb and Kunz while returning to exile in Dallas. Great way to end a great trip!
Went up Bull of the Woods with my brother, but after the heavy snowfall, we were breaking tral and postholing past the knees with snowshoes. We soon realized that despite an Alpine start, we would never make it to the top. Had a fun day, will be for another time. Made it to 12,000' something.
Great trip. We were the only ones on the mountain...probably because everyone else was skiing at Taos.
This was the first backpacking trip for my wife and I together. At the time we were just dating, and we both had a great time on the backpack. We even ventured down to one of the nearby lakes and at one point were surrounded by 50 bighorn sheep as we climbed out of the lake basin. Wonderful place!
tried a solo winter climb of the easy route, but white conditions slowed the progress. maybe another time.
This was a very long drive for us to get all the way to New Mexico's highest point, but it turned out to be well worth it. Fun steep route, great exercise and great vistas, not to mention all the wildlife we saw and many interesting wildflowers back down in the forest.
We made it down just before a massive thunderstorm developed.
I hear this route to Wheeler does not usually get very crowded compared to the standard route. Indeed, we met only two other hikers by the lake.
Our slideshow from this adventure is here, enjoy:
Wheeler Peak via Williams Lake Trail
Climbed during a backpacking trip in the wilderness area. A very scenic area--excellent alpenglow at camp the night before. With nearby Mt. Walter.
bagged Wheeler in early april... lots of snow, lots of fun
Hiked with my brother, using the BOTW trail. Camped in the meadow near the creek. Had to avoid monumental thunderstorms each day, but made the top at about 7 a.m. on day 2, then the hike out.