Hey Folks !
We did it, last weekend Dan, Paul & Eric headed up to Taos for a little ski mountaineering! We hit the trailhead around lunch Friday. After a nice 3 hour schlog we reached the northwest end of Wheeler Basin and made camp. The snow was plentifull and rock hard. Avalanche danger was pretty much non-existant but we spent the afternoon doing beacon practice and self-arrest drills just to get in the proper frame of mind ;-)
Saturday morning dawned clear and cold. We hit the bottom slopes. After about an hour we started the real climbing with skiis on packs and kick-stepping up the couliors. It stayed cold and semi-cloudy so the Avy danger remained nill. After dropping our skiis on the shoulder we made the summit proper, 12,881 feet! Sweeeeet. We all skiied the steeps through the no-fall zones and had a blast. After a nice lunch we hit more slopes nearer to base camp.
The snow moved in and we retired to the tent. We underestimated our fuel consumption so Paul stepped up, made a fire and cooked dinner for all in the snow under a big overhang. Eric set a new record for staying in the tent with an impressive 18 hour stretch! We woke the next morning to 4 to 6 inches of fresh power for the ski out to the Taos Diner!
Here's a little clip Eric the viking put together: