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Ascent of Wheeler Peak on 2008-07-16

Climber: Walter Blume

Others in Party:Marcel Blume
Date:Wednesday, July 16, 2008
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Wheeler Peak
    Location:USA-New Mexico
    Elevation:13161 ft / 4011 m

Ascent Trip Report

My first recorded highpoint, done with Marcel. Marcel and I camped overnight in Twining, arriving after a rainstorm. Arising at 5 a.m for breakfast and breaking camp, we were on trail at 7:15. Hike up was beautiful along a briskly moving mountain stream. Got slightly lost on a ski trail, but quickly recovered with aid of GPS. As we were nearing the ridgeline, a descending hiker who we had spoke with the previous evening told us that he had encountered an impassable snow patch and thus had turned around perhaps 10-15 minutes from the summit. Discouraged, we decided to proceed anyway and see for ourselves. Fortunately, we were able to simply hike up above and around the snow patch.
Lingered about 45 minutes at summit, but seeing a thunderstorm approaching decided to descend.

After walking back along the ridge a way, we saw hikers descending to Williams lake, and looking at map, could see that this would be a viable way back. Thus began a downwards scramble through loose rock of about 2000 feet before reaching a trail. On the way saw a beautiful big-horn ram who lingered quite close to trail. Reached the lake and soaked our feet, then mild thunderstorm rolled in, dropping silky dreamlike hail as we continued our descent, eventually reaching and walking on a road for the final 2-3 miles back to Twining.

Click here for map of hike.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:3728 ft / 1136 m
    Total Elevation Loss:3728 ft / 1136 m
    Round-Trip Distance:13.7 mi / 22 km
    Quality:8 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Maintained Trail, Snow on Ground, Scramble
    Gear Used:
Ski Poles
    Weather:Thunderstorm, Pleasant, Breezy, Clear
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:3728 ft / 1136 m
    Distance:8.4 mi / 13.5 km
    Route:Bull of the Woods
    Start Trailhead:Twining  9433 ft / 2875 m
    Time:4 Hours 22 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:3728 ft / 1136 m
    Distance:5.3 mi / 8.5 km
    Route:Williams Lake
    End Trailhead:Twining  9433 ft / 2875 m
    Time:3 Hours 18 Minutes
Ascent Part of Trip: Wheeler Peak

Complete Trip Sequence:
OrderPeak/PointDateGain
1Frazer Mountain2008-07-16 a2730 ft / 832 m
2Mount Walter2008-07-16 b3700 ft / 1128 m
3Wheeler Peak2008-07-16 c3728 ft / 1136 m
Total Trip Gain: 10158 ft / 3096 m    Total Trip Loss: 10158 ft / 3096 m



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