Home -> About Me -> Hobbies & Organizations -> Mountaineering -> NM

I had looked forward to New Mexico's highpoint, Wheeler Peak (13,161') for quite some time. My friends and climbing buddies Rich Reister and Lee Claypool had shared stories of their visit a few years back when they were trapped by a snow storm in their tent for a few days. I was visiting in summer and wouldn't have to worry about any snow this time around.

This was another highpoint I visited on my 6 week, 12,000 mile road trip spent mostly camping out in National Parks with one of my best friends of all time Tim Marek. His father lived in Santa Fe and would be joining us on our overnight climb to the top of Wheeler Peak. The trail starts in the parking lot at Taos Ski Resort and quickly climbs passed the ski lifts that seemed so out of place during the summer scenery. It joined a mountain road that allowed access to a few residences for a while, but fortunately we weren't on it for long.

The trail was beautiful as it took us higher up the mountain valley. There was some evidence of a winter avalanche that had decimated a large section of forest off to our left. We made good time and reached our campsite by late afternoon. We had decided to camp overnight at Williams Lake (11,040'), a beautiful, crystal clear mountain lake. After setting up we hiked to the top of a tall cliff overlooking the water to have dinner. For desert we hiked to fhe far side of the lake to check out a beautiful waterfall. From here we watched some mountain sheep paying on the ridge line and mountaintops high above us. It was a great day, but we were in bed shortly after the sun passed below the horizon.

The trail the next day was very steep. It climbed almost straight up out of the valley to the summit. Wildlife abound throughout the day and soon we were standing on the summit. What a beautiful day! Taking pictures of Tim and his father, I wished my own dad was able to join me for this hike. I owe him greatly for instilling a love of nature in me and all the things he had done for the past 23 years. The hike back went quickly and we were soon on the road back to Santa Fe.

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Map of US HighPoints
KEY: States: Green - summited, Yellow - attempted, White - Not visited
Dots: Green - State Lowpoint, Red - State Highpoint

 

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©2008 Kyle E. Hoelscher. All rights reserved.

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CA - Mount Whitney AL - Cheaha Mountain AZ - Humphrey's Peak AR - Mount Magazine (Signal Hill) CO - Mount Elbert FL - Lakewood (Britton Hill) GA - Brasstown Bald ID - Borah Peak IL - Charles Mound IN - Hoosier Hill, 1,257' MO - Taum Sauk, 1,772' KS - Mount Sunflower, 4,039' KY - Black Mountain, 4,145' LA - Driskill Mountain, 535' MS - Woodall Mountain, 806' IA - Hawkeye Point, 1,670' NE - Panorama Point, 5,424' NV - Boundary Peak, 13,143' NM - Wheeler Peak, 13,161' TX - Guadalupe Peak, 8,749' NC - Mount Mitchell, 6,684' ND - White Butte, 3,506' OH - Cambell Hill, 1,550' OK - Black Mesa, 4,973' PA - Mount Davis, 3,213' SC - Sassafras Mountain, 3,560' SD - Harney Peak, 7,242' TN - Clingmans Dome, 6,643' UT - King's Peak, 13,528' VA - Mount Rogers, 5,729' WY - Gannett, 13,804' MT - Granite Peak, 12,799' WI - Timm's Hill MI - Mount Arvon MN - Eagle Mountain MD - Backbone Mountain HI - Mauna Kea AK - Denali WA - Mount Rainier OR - Mount Hood NY - Mount Marcy NJ - High Point DE - Ebright Azimuth CT - MountFrissell (South Slope) RI - Jerimoth Hill MA - Greylock VT - Mount Mansfield NH - Mount Washington MA - Katahdin (Baxter Peak) PR - Cerro de Punta Washington D.C. - Fort Reno