Wheeler Mountain  
Condition Updates  
Route: South Ridge
Posted On: 2021-08-08, By: gcook33
Info: Route is well cairned. Smoke was present today, but definitely not as bad as yesterday, felt fine all the way up and down. Only tip: halfway to the summit from the saddle on the west side you'll see a loose, dirt gully. Look across the gully and uphill a bit to see the next set of cairns...this route is way more solid and direct. 
Route: South Ridge - Variation
Posted On: 2021-06-29, By: rudi32
Info: Backside of Wheeler is still holding some snow, making the suggested South Ridge route pretty sketchy. I opted to ascend the standard South Ridge route, but descend ridge proper. Personally, I believe the ridge is in much better condition right now. Definitely more technical, but all solid rock and dry. The road up to Wheeler Lake right now is essentially a small creek. Crazy amounts of runoff. 
Route: South Ridge
Posted On: 2021-06-20, By: hellmanm
Info: Taken from Clinton Peak. It looks like the upper gullies may still hold some snow. The other pic is looking up from Wheeler Lake 
Route: Traverse from North Star
Posted On: 2020-10-31, By: angry
Info: Did not use traction. The snow was significant enough to keep things interesting. Some sugar and some deeper pockets over boulders and talus. There are cairns for the descent route, but didn't notice any on ridge traverse. Pro tip: when you plan a car shuttle, make sure you actually have the keys for said car. 
5 1
Route: South Ridge
Posted On: 2020-09-30, By: MC.Ikema
Info: Snow patches hiding in the shadows but avoidable on route. Ridge to Clinton snow free. 
Route: South Ridge
Posted On: 2020-09-18, By: Snow_Dog_frassati
Info: Very, very small amounts of snow on the west face. Not enough to be concerning to me, traction would be more trouble than it's worth imo - Just take it smart and slow. Only one or two places when it's not avoidable and it wasn't a problem to just go through it. 
Route: South Ridge
Posted On: 2020-09-13, By: gluckhikes
Info: A cairned route follows just below the ridge on the west side, but it's full of snow. I took the ridge direct, which is dry but definitely class 4 with some exposure throughout. A couple brief downclimbs with good holds. 
Route: South Ridge
Posted On: 2020-06-25, By: nathansmithpiano
Info: North Star to Wheeler traverse from Montgomery Reservoir. Peaks are in great shape, tiny bit of snow when cutting around obstacles near Wheeler but nothing too notable. Wheeler Lake road is very wet, probably a dozen spots to take small paths around but easily done. Brought micro spikes but didn't use them. 
Route: South Ridge
Posted On: 2020-06-14, By: kmikwilliams
Info: The snow is holding in the basin. Crampons and ice axe are needed for the ascent/descent to the ridge. I did not take snowshoes and did posthole - from the lower lake to the upper lake, but was mostly able to walk on top of the snow. I was able to glissade down in half the time! The ridgeline is clear of snow. I added some cairns that had been knocked down over the winter. The snow runoff is making the road pools much deeper. There is one runoff without a "go-around" near the lake's waterfall runoff. On the ascent, I chose to follow an old trail up and cross the waterfall instead. I wish I had brought an extra pair of shoes to change into on the descent for the final two miles! 
Route: South Ridge
Posted On: 2020-03-07, By: cottonmountaineering
Info: In pretty good shape for late winter, not too much snow on the west side but needed crampons and one ice axe. Snow was crusty and inconsistent for skiing (from south ridge) due to clouds/lack of recent snow 
Route: South Ridge
Posted On: 2020-01-04, By: cottonmountaineering
Info: Went on a ski tour to check out Wheeler, the road has 100% snow coverage. Snow in basin is the usual for this time of year, wind blown/crust/variable. Recommend flotation. From Wheeler lake to Wheeler S ridge I found excellent snow for skiing, about 6-12" of pow over firm. This area appears to have gotten more snow than anything around it, I did see sluff avalanches coming off of Clinton today, as well as an avalanche that stepped down to a deeper layer that happened recently. After reaching the saddle I checked out the west side of Wheeler, it is really filled in with unconsolidated snow. Usually the wind scrapes the whole west face bare this time of year so that was a surprise. I skied down from the saddle instead of risking traversing the face, as the snow is very unconsolidated at the moment. 
Route: South Ridge
Posted On: 2019-09-22, By: supranihilest
Info: There's a ton of route finding on Wheeler's south ridge. I found this to be the hardest part of the route, not the climbing itself. Be aware of the route finding challenges! Sometimes I'd climb up a rib and across ledges; sometimes I'd climb down a gully and under a rib; sometimes I'd just scoot across steep and loose ledges between notches in various ribs. There are lots of cairns but they aren't always correct, so be vigilant. The route description's suggestion to just find a view of the white "Y" on the summit is probably the best idea of them all, otherwise you're just kind of climbing around in all that steep, ribby terrain. Finding the "Y" at least gives you an idea of where you're supposed to go! This route harbors TONS of loose rock so be very careful and test every hold! 
Route: South Ridge
Posted On: 2020-09-20, By: amkempf
Info: Very good conditions right now (no traction needed) and perfect weather for doing all four peak in a nice loop (clockwise). Took the ridge proper all the way and would say it mostly went (a couple small 10ft or less work-arounds). If you are comfortable with ridges, I would actually recommend this over the standard description. One thing to note: READ the description and make sure you actually summit. We thankfully took the ridge proper and went over every part, but one person in our group took the lower line towards the end and missed the actual summit. The summit is not obvious when climbing on the ridge, but the description makes it very clear where it is from the standard lower line. 
Route: South Ridge
Posted On: 2019-08-09, By: 9patrickmurphy
Info: What a sufferfest. Road is entirely free from snow, but lots of mud puddles that take some effort to get around plus a creek crossing that (as far as I can tell) you have to take your shoes off for. Not particularly fun. From Wheeler Lake, it's a marshy, muddy mess. All doable, just very annoying; make sure to wear waterproof boots. Getting to the saddle is straightforward (not much snow), then it's tedious scrambling on very loose rock to the summit, which is very difficult to find from below. I followed what cairns I saw and they led me to a false summit which required a class 4 scramble to the true summit. Rockfall potential high. Rocks fell, microwave-sized rocks slipped from under me. Not a fun scramble in my opinion. Another thing to be wary about: if it rains at all the night before, the rocks on Wheeler's West Ridge (the class 3 section of the standard route) will still be slick even until noon. That sure didn't help either. Traverse to Clinton was fine. The scenery made everything more than worth it. Wonderful type-2 fun kind of day. 
Route: Snowman couloir
Posted On: 2019-06-01, By: Trotter
Info: Hiked up road from old Monte Cristo pull-off to blue lakes TH, then followed south side of blue lakes to get to base of Wheeler. Went up the previously unnamed couloir, now called Snowman Couloir. Didn't need snowshoes before dawn, definitely needed them noonish. Couloir holding great snow. Summit very narrow, hard to see where rocks end and cornices begin. 
Route: South Ridge
Posted On: 2018-08-12, By: E_A_Marcus_949
Info: Traversed from North Star, so this is a condition report for the descent of the standard S. Ridge/class 3 route - summer conditions, good set of cairns to follow. Class 3 from saddle up - helmet is good from here on up. There are a few summits up there. There is a trail from above upper lake up to the saddle. 
Route: South Ridge
Posted On: 2018-07-11, By: cardgenius
Info: Summer conditions the whole way. Remember to stay high when traversing the gullies, specially on the way back. There's a good set of cairns to follow. 
Route: South Ridge
Posted On: 2018-06-03, By: rachel
Info: Started from Montgomery Reservoir. Patches of snow and large puddles on the 4WD road. Consistent snow line begins at the end of the road and around Wheeler Lake. Micro spikes adequate for the snow climb up to the saddle. Snow avoidable through the class 3 climbing to the summit. Glissaded several snowfields on the descent. 
Route: South Ridge
Posted On: 2018-04-28, By: mdmss
Info: Did Wheeler Mountain from Montgomery Reservoir yesterday. Great conditions early, soft later. Ridge had some snow. Much evidence of small wet snow sloughs on nearby peaks. Signs of a couple of small slab avalanches from last storm. Took, but didn't need snowshoes. Postholed maybe twenty steps during descent, reaching car about 120P. 
Route: South Ridge
Posted On: 2015-08-06, By: JasonKline
Info: My Hyundai Elantra easily made it to the trailhead. The route was clear of snow. The usual numerous puddles on the 4WD road could be avoided using the sidetrails. 

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