Wheeler Peak (NM) Climber's Log

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Buckaroo

Buckaroo - Sep 10, 2009 1:49 pm Date Climbed: Dec 3, 1990

Bull of the Woods  Sucess!

Nice weather, not too cold, not too cloudy. While on the summit an eagle flew over from Taos Mtn.

DukeJH

DukeJH - Sep 8, 2009 6:19 pm Date Climbed: Sep 6, 2009

3rd Summit, 1st by Bull of the Woods  Sucess!

Ascended via Bull of the Woods. It rained from the TH to La Cal Basin. The summit was windy and in and out of the clouds. I had planned to descend Williams Lake but thought better of it.

Foxy Long Bottoms

Foxy Long Bottoms - Sep 6, 2009 11:32 pm Date Climbed: Sep 5, 2009

Rainy  Sucess!

Climbed Jemez Valley, Walter and Wheeler Peaks.

Moth - Sep 3, 2009 8:03 am Date Climbed: Sep 1, 2009

Signs and Maps needed  Sucess!

Climbed Wheeler Peak on a September Tuesday. Never saw another hiker. SummitPost said trails were well marked. Links to printing maps weren't working, so I took off up from Williams Trailhead (no map on the sign) without a map. Mistake.

There is parking at the trailhead but the signs say not to park overnight. I parked along the road and slept in the car since it poured in the afternoon. Didn't feel like dealing with soggy everything in the morning.

The trail is beautiful, never lost it in spite of a talent for losing the trail. The scree slope isn't as bad going up as it sounds like it would be going down.

Beautiful weather at the top, mountain sheep, lots of time to climb and read the cool placques. Brought what I thought was too heavy rain gear but ended up using all of it because...

There are three trails at the top. The sign at the intersection lost its paint decades ago. One goes from peak to peak. Bull in the Woods angles off. There is a no trespassing sign to continue in one direction but there are trails along the West side of that mountain and no sign to say where they lead.

Since there was plenty of time I took what seemed like Bull-of-the-Woods trail down. It is probably is easy to follow going up but going down well-maintained trails split off with little indication of what goes where. I'll assume the cairns marked the Bull-of-the-Woods trail but I don't know.

A sign at Horseshoe Lake would be helpful. You know you have to go down to get back to TSV, so down it was. Mistake. The cairns go up.

The woods were beautiful. The marmots weren't begging. No snakes. Trail was clear.

First sign. East Fork Red River, by a river. Hand done sign says HE, Higher Elevation? Third direction says nothing. Red River is a river and a town. I don't know the name of the river that runs along Taos Ski Valley, but the trail is well-maintained so I follow it. Mistake.

Long trail. Mostly heading North and East. Sometimes South. I don't know where the heck it's going. Historic markers. Entering Wheeler Peak Wilderness. That's right. Elizabethtown Ditch. Um. Where's Elizabethtown? Never heard of it. Rain and Hail.

East Fork Trailhead sign map has almost no correlation to the names on the roads you come to. Like it says you come to 503 but that road says 579. Hunter gives me a ride to Red River (the town, yeah). Hot Shots Firefighter gives me a ride to Questa. Artist gives me a ride back to TSV before dark, so see, it all worked out fine. But lessons learned. Always bring a map. A sign in crucial spots or even at the top, and a trail map at the Trailhead sure would have been helpful.



BadgerSummitSeeker

BadgerSummitSeeker - Sep 2, 2009 1:07 pm Date Climbed: Aug 30, 2009

State HP # 15  Sucess!

Had an unsuccessful attempt around Memorial day due to a snow/ice storm above La Cal basin and losing the trail numerous times. This time in August had no trouble though. Didn't see too many people out on the trail today. Went up BOTW trail and descended via Williams Lake trail (which I regret). The Williams Lake trail was an awful descent down a scree slope. Slow going! Maybe it wouldn't have been as bad going up as it is coming down. Overall it was a great hike with awesome scenery and was my first 13er and highest elevation so far. Loved it!

ericwillhite

ericwillhite - Aug 18, 2009 2:36 am Date Climbed: Sep 15, 1998

No map but I found the way  Sucess!

Went up on a whim in 1995 after a driving Mexico trip fell apart near Mazatlan (another story). Info at my site http://www.willhiteweb.com/state_highpoint/new_mexico/wheeler_peak_166.htm

tdawson - Aug 17, 2009 9:50 pm Date Climbed: Aug 15, 2009

We Made It!  Sucess!

My husband and I climbed to the summit last year early in August. It was our first "real" hike. It was warm and beautiful. This year we decided that our kids (7, 15) could make it. They did great, but the weather was very cold. We weren't well prepared. We should have had gloves and jackets. Youngest said at Williams Lake, looking up, I am going to catch a cloud. He did it, but catching a cloud wasn't as fun since it was so cold and windy! I was proud of my kids!

Bark Eater

Bark Eater - Aug 17, 2009 12:41 pm Date Climbed: Aug 14, 2009

Cold, rainy day  Sucess!

Round trip via Williams Lake with old TOC buddies Linda, Fernando, and Paul. The weather left a bit to be desired. Light to moderate rain in the woods turned to a wind-driven gale above tree line with wind chills in the 20s on the ridge. The trek up from the lake was easier than I expected..it's really a pretty good trail, not a scree climb. Made it to the top in 2h30m without a lot of effort.

Stuck around the next day for the Taos Mtn. Music Festival at the ski area....perfect weather for that. Hope to come back some time and enjoy the views from the top.

SDR - Aug 10, 2009 4:28 pm Date Climbed: Aug 3, 2009

First major climb  Sucess!

My plan was to wait at Williams lake with our 6 yr old son while dad went to the summit. It didn't work out that way, we decided that all three of us would give it a try. Our son and myself in our sneakers, made it to the top. A few times I wanted to quit but perseverance prevailed. It took a lot longer than it should of, but for the toughest hike I have ever done I really didn't care. My son was a real trooper and was congratulated on the way down, I am so proud of him. No regrets it was magnificent and I would do it again in a heart beat (as long as I have better footwear) We saw 4 big horn sheep and a few other critters that my son was amazed by. Bring on the next one!

truth111711

truth111711 - Aug 8, 2009 11:59 pm Date Climbed: Aug 8, 2009

1st 13K+  Sucess!

Started solo at Base of Taos Ski Area about 7:30. Funny thing is that when I got to the trail head and map there were 2 different couples analyzing what way they'd take according to the map. After listening to them a couple minutes and watching them backtrack in a lost fashion, I just started walking. Went up Bull of the Woods trail to Wheeler Peak trail and arrived at peak about 10:30. Great climb up. Met a few people on ascent. Very windy and chilly at top. Spent 15-20 at top before starting back down. Passed and talked to a lot more people on descent, but that 8 miles down about ruined the knees. Would I do it again??? Maybe. But now I'm setting my sights on some 14ers in my home state of CO. Enjoy!

395guy

395guy - Aug 6, 2009 10:57 pm Date Climbed: Jul 1, 2009

second state highpoint with my son  Sucess!

My 10yo son and I hiked the Bull of the Woods trail to the summit. He did awesome. I was very proud of him for doing his longest hike yet. I let him set the pace and I followed. He was upbeat and positive all the way up and down. Second of three state highpoints in a 6-day span (also AZ & CO).

sgb02d

sgb02d - Jul 18, 2009 9:44 pm

Unique

Straight from sea level to wheeler peak via williams lake in bad weather. Never again.

Dennis Poulin

Dennis Poulin - Jul 15, 2009 12:49 pm Date Climbed: Sep 29, 2008

Standard Route  Sucess!

Nice climb on a beautiful day. Saw a few sheep on distant ridges.

osatrik

osatrik - Jul 13, 2009 7:23 pm Date Climbed: Apr 14, 1993

My 40th SHP, in 1993  Sucess!

Daughter Vanessa and I hiked up through the ski area. We were glad that some backcountry skiiers had kicked steps up to the top of the ridge, but when we got there we found ourselves in a whiteout. Pulled out the compass and made our way out the ridge. Weather cleared a bit before we got to the top, making finding the summit marker easier.

Liba Kopeckova

Liba Kopeckova - Jul 8, 2009 9:00 pm

Nice hike

Went up via Bull of the Woods, and descended to Lake Williams. Nice snow. No people. My dog had fun.
My 3rd time up.

txhiker76

txhiker76 - Jul 6, 2009 1:57 pm Date Climbed: Jun 22, 2009

Great Hike!  Sucess!

Went up on the Bull of the Woods route, came down the Williams lake route. Lost the trail a couple of time on the way up because of the snow. Weather was great all day.

Alex Wood

Alex Wood - Jul 3, 2009 6:04 pm Date Climbed: Jul 2, 2009

9 Peak Day  Sucess!

Climbed the ridge from Kachina all the way to Wheeler. We hit Kachina Peak...An unnamed peak, Lake Fork Peak, "Bighorn Peak",Pt 12,728, Simpson, Old Mike, Wheeler, and then Walter. Started at 7:20am and then finished at 5:30. We started at the Williams Lake Trailhead. Amazing day! The weather somehow cooperated with us the whole time. Very fun traverse. Saw lots of Elk, Bighorn Sheep and Mountain Goats. SO MUCH FUN!!

Alex Wood

Alex Wood - Jun 27, 2009 9:58 pm Date Climbed: Jun 27, 2009

Awesome Day  Sucess!

Climbed via the Bull of the Woods Trail...went up to Bull of the Woods Peak, Mt. Walter, and then Wheeler...the weather started rolling in so we took the Williams Lake Trail back. Great day. Williams Lake is wayyy cool and so is the water fall behind the lake. Hiked it with Tad and Killeen, both Rangers with me at Philmont.

jeffh25

jeffh25 - Jun 22, 2009 5:11 pm Date Climbed: Jun 20, 2009

Sideways Sleet  Sucess!

Went up and back Williams Lake in 5 1/2 hours. It's tougher than I thought though and I wouldn't do it without trekking poles. It was 50-60 degree vertical wet scree near the top. That combined with temps in the mid 30's, rain and sleet blowing sideways and the summit wasn't a fun place but once I was done I appreciated it that much more.

TheRootster

TheRootster - Jun 21, 2009 1:52 pm

Bull o' Woods  Sucess!

A great hike with Carla--nice respite being up at the ski area after the holiday-weekend biker rally down in Taos (arrrgh!). Nice easy hike up and back through varied terrain. The only sour note was the guy we met coming down. He was hiking up with his dog, who had just caught and killed a marmot. Ugh. Later we enjoyed post-climb beers at that German restaurant above the resort--nice way to end the day.

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