Submitted By: mtnfiend on July 07, 2011
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As you drop off of the summit, you are on a large convex slope that is about 38°. This face is almost due East, so it tends to get sun pretty early. In the late spring, this slope can easily be corn by 9:30am at the top, so plan to be up there early. There are very few hazards on the top section, as there are no rocks or trees that are really poking through.
Depending on the size of the group, and your time frame, a lot of people will go back up and do multiple laps on the East Face from above the headwall, as this is where the most open terrain is. Once you get to the headwall, you need to keep a vigilant eye for the convexities and the sliding snow. These slopes measure at close to 45° and have been getting sun from the very first light. The tend to slide regularly, but as the snow gets heavier, they could probably do some damage. There are a few descent options to pick, that all wrap around the lake and back to the main gully.
There used to be an old mining cabin, that you can still see the remanants of just above the upper lake.
After the lakes, if you are done for the day, you should head to the right, so you can avoid the willows and connect back up with teh Crystal Lakes Road. You can take the road all the way back down to the trailhead if there is snow.[more]
Wheeler Mountain sits at the south west end of the blue lakes basin that is formed by Quandary, Fletcher, and Drift to the north and North Star Mountain to the east.
How to Get There
Take hwy 9 south out of Breckenridge towards Hoosier Pass. Turn west at the Quandary and Blue lakes trail head. In winter, the road closure is basically immediately off the hwy. Later in the spring, the road to blue lakes melts out and you can then park at the lake.
Submitted on: Jan 30, 2012