Williams Lake Basin/Lake Fork Peak Conditions

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Williams Lake Basin/Lake Fork Peak Conditions

Postby Brian » Tue Mar 25, 2008 12:58 pm

Any recent observations from the Williams Lake area?

I was thinking about touring back there on 3/29.

Anyone interested?

If not there maybe the Santa Fe area.
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Postby Matt » Tue Mar 25, 2008 3:16 pm

Skied back in the Long Canyon area yesterday (3/25), full snow report yet to come. Basic synopsis - HIGHLY VARIABLE. Everything from nearly ripe corn to boiler plate ice to breakable crust and knee deep mush. Corn at the higher north elevations will take some warmer daytime temps to develop and become enjoyable.

That said, we were able to find excellent skiing, although we had to adjust our plans. Additionally Lake Fork appears to have excellent coverage despite the ravaging winds of this winter.

Go ski it and tell us how it is.

-Matt
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Postby Brian » Tue Mar 25, 2008 5:19 pm

Matt, I will probably head up to Lake Fork Peak on Saturday, so I'll follow up with some info on the conditions.

Thought not Taos related, I skied the prominent chute off of Heaven's Hill that goes into the the Basin last Saturday and it was pretty hard, though I probably hit it a little too early:

Image
But still a fun line.
Last edited by Brian on Wed Mar 26, 2008 6:21 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Brian » Wed Mar 26, 2008 6:06 am

Matt wrote:Skied back in the Long Canyon area yesterday (3/25), full snow report yet to come. Basic synopsis - HIGHLY VARIABLE. Everything from nearly ripe corn to boiler plate ice to breakable crust and knee deep mush. Corn at the higher north elevations will take some warmer daytime temps to develop and become enjoyable.

That said, we were able to find excellent skiing, although we had to adjust our plans. Additionally Lake Fork appears to have excellent coverage despite the ravaging winds of this winter.
-Matt


Saw the TR on TTips, despite the variable snow conditions it still looked like a great day. I have not been back in that area, I'll have to check it out sometime.
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Postby Bob » Wed Mar 26, 2008 6:59 am

brij0626 wrote: ... I skied the prominent chute off of Heaven's Hill that goes into the the Basin last Saturday ...

I love that line - it's my favorite of the whole Nambé,
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Postby Brian » Wed Mar 26, 2008 7:53 am

Bob wrote:I love that line - it's my favorite of the whole Nambé,


Bob, despite the less than ideal snow conditions it was a lot of fun, it's a cool line. I would like to ski it again this year and try to hit it when the snow has corned up a little. Maybe next weekend if anyone's interested.
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Postby Brian » Thu Mar 27, 2008 2:58 pm

^

Anyone skiing or interested in skiing Lake Fork Peak on Saturday?
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Postby Brian » Sat Mar 29, 2008 6:02 pm

^

Here some photos from Lake Fork Peak today:

Lake Fork Peak from the Williams Lake Trail:
Image

Sin Nombre
Image

Looking down the south side of Lake For Peak
Image

The north side:
Image

Looking back up towards the peak:
Image

Edit: Here is a picture of Wheeler Peak if anyone is interested:

Image
Last edited by Brian on Sat Mar 29, 2008 6:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Interested in Lake Fork or Nambe (line off Heaven's) 4/5?

Postby tomchepucavage » Sat Mar 29, 2008 6:11 pm

Anyone up for that line off of Heaven's or Lake Fork next Saturday April 5th?
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Postby Matt » Sun Mar 30, 2008 8:59 pm

Looks like it was a good day. Thanks for sharing the photos and snow conditions Bri.
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conditions 4/20/08

Postby scotthsu » Sun Apr 20, 2008 9:21 pm

hey all,

it was a WINDY day out in Williams Lake basin today. the hiker parking lot still has lots of snow. we started out from the parking area around 7:40am with temps around 40 F and breezy conditions. we skinned up past williams lake and headed up the SE side of Lake Fork Peak. The snow had a crusty surface layer that made skinning quite slippery at times. The headwind didn't help either. We bootpacked the last ~400 vertical ft, reaching the summit around 10:30am and then quickly dropped down onto the NE face to get out of the wind.

We dug a quick pit. Pretty wintry uniform snow about 3' deep before hitting some sugary stuff below. We were a bit nervous about potential for a slab avalanche, but there were no indications of brittleness or shooting cracks. Nevertheless, we skied it conservatively, avoiding the steepest parts and staying more skier's right where there was good anchoring from rocks poking out. Lower down, we opened it up for some nice GS turns, but conditions were still hard, slabby, and variable.

Skied all the way down to Williams Lake (with a snack break) with some pitches of nice silky corn lower down. Then skinned up the Wheeler Peak trail to about 12000' before contouring north and then down a prominent avy path for some very nice turns on silky corn around 1:10pm, back to the parking area around 1:30pm. The west-facing stuff would have been pretty good for probably at least another hour today.

Many more weeks of good skiing to be had up there! If anyone wants more beta/pix, feel free to send me a message.

-Scott
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Lake Fork trip report 4/20/08

Postby scotthsu » Mon Apr 21, 2008 9:30 pm

I posted a TR with pix over on 14ers.com, where I hang out sometimes.
Please have a look if you're interested.

http://14ers.com/php14ers/tripreport.ph ... m=tripmain

-Scott
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still good 5/9/08

Postby scotthsu » Fri May 09, 2008 5:48 pm

williams lake area still in!
still skin from bottom of chair 4.
today, partly sunny, SE slopes were soft by 10am, n-facing slopes by 11am-12pm. runnels prevalent on E and SE slopes and inbounds.

cheers,
scott
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williams lake in prime condition 5/26/08

Postby scotthsu » Tue May 27, 2008 8:29 am

hey all,

skied the williams lake basin yesterday with a crew from los alamos. Kerry from ABQ, who was camped in the parking lot, joined us for the day.

we started skinning from the bottom of chair 4 around 6:45am; the snow was firm. we skinned all the way to the base of the prominent N-facing couloir between Lake Fork and No Name. We bootpacked up the couloir and skied it around 9:45am. It was pretty nice, some mixture of heavy powder and spring snow. We then traversed over to the base of the NW facing snowfield below No Name and bootpacked up that, had lunch at the top around 11am. Since the snow was holding up pretty well, we took our time and dug a pit just for fun at the top of the NW face below No Name. We did a shovel tap (column never broke) and rutschblock (top ~6" layer failed only after several hard jumps). The snow was almost 2 meters deep where we dug. We then proceeded to tear up the NW face and bootpacked back up for another run, then skied all the way back to the bottom of chair 4, getting there around 12:45pm. The second run below No Name was perfect, the snow surface was soft and silky but not too slushy. Couple more weeks of goodness to be had!

-scott
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recent conditions, anyone?

Postby scotthsu » Wed Jun 11, 2008 7:27 am

hi, does anyone have recent conditions update for williams lake area? are there still good continuous lines up high? how much hiking is necessary before one can skin? thanks!
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