Ascent of Wheeler Peak on 2014-06-05

Climber: John Graham

Others in Party:Dad
Date:Thursday, June 5, 2014
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Wheeler Peak
    Location:USA-New Mexico
    Elevation:13161 ft / 4011 m

Ascent Trip Report

Started at the Williams Lake Trail trailhead at Taos Ski Valley at 9:15AM. The two mile trail to Williams lake was well marked and a pretty easy hike despite having quite a bit of snow on the ground. When we got to Williams Lake we were unable to find the trail that had been described to us. We decided to bushwhack/scramble straight up the side of the mountain. That part of the trip was a gain of 2,067 feet over 1.25 miles which took us 3:23. There was a great deal of snow and scree until we broke tree line. At which point there were huge scree fields and the ascent was steep enough that at times the ground was right in front of our faces while we were standing. We finally made the summit and the view and the feeling really made the tough climb worthwhile. There was a trail going down that met up with the Williams Lake trail. There would have been no way we could have gone back the way we went up without ropes and other gear so we took the trail. Huge sections of the trail were covered in snow and we were routinely sinking knee deep or higher. Once we reconnected with the Williams Lake trail it was easier going but the snow that had been pretty solid on the way up was now much softer which slowed our return to the trailhead and the ice cold beer and greasy cheeseburger that awaited us in Taos.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:2978 ft / 907 m
    Total Elevation Loss:2978 ft / 907 m
    Round-Trip Distance:7.2 mi / 11.6 km
    Quality:9 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail, Bushwhack, Snow on Ground, Scramble, Exposed Scramble
    Gear Used:
Ski Poles
    Weather:Pleasant, Windy, Clear
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:2978 ft / 907 m
    Distance:3.3 mi / 5.3 km
    Route:Williams Lake Trail/West Face Wheeler Peak
    Start Trailhead:Williams Lake Trailhead  10183 ft / 3103 m
    Time:4 Hours 31 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:2978 ft / 907 m
    Distance:3.9 mi / 6.3 km
    Route:Wheeler Peak Trail/Williams Lake Trail
    End Trailhead:Williams Lake Trailhead  10183 ft / 3103 m
    Time:2 Hours 52 Minutes

This page has been served 858 times since 2005-01-15.

Copyright © 1987-2019 by All Rights Reserved. Questions/Comments/Corrections? See the Contact Page Terms of Service