Monday, August 20, 2007

Nasikelt Peak 8.20.07

Nasikelt Peak is located South of the Upper Mill Creek Road and just NE of Josephine Lake. Nasikelt ranks #77 on the HC/100 list and judging by the small summit register is not visited very often. I was happy to be able to drive to around the 4200ft level on the Mill Creek Road. I could have driven farther but the risk soon outweighed the reward. I parked and was off the remainder of the road to connect with the PCT. I passed one man who was lost and I set him straight. Once on the PCT it was a short traverse to Lake Susan Jane and the Junction with the Icicle Creek Trail. I stayed on the Icicle Creek trail until it starts it descent to Josephine Lake. I left the trail and made my way to the saddle at 5200ft between Nasikelt and Pt. 5463. Once on the Nasikelt's West ridge the going became more defined. I could follow a faint climber's trail until I was forced to traverse to South side for the final push to the summit. I signed the register and made my way back. The clouds rolled in and I had a hard time with route finding I erred on the way down and ended up in the small basin to the NW of Nasikelt. I felt I was flying blind because of the cloud cover and because I had misplaced my map on the way up. The clouds lifted enough to get my bearings I could see the Mill Creek Road below me but the drop was quite steep. I thought maybe I could shorten the route out by traversing at 4600ft to connect with the PCT at lake Susan Jane. Some pesky cliff bands stopped this idea and I was forced to reclimb to the ridgeline. The going was fairly easy and soon I picked up what looked like an old trail. As I climbed the trail became easier to follow even having obvious blaze marks in the trees. I passed a couple of signs for the Forest Boundary and once I went over the top of Pt. 5463 there was a benchmark affixed to a tree. I dropped down to thankfully reconnect with the Icicle Creek trail and was off for the return to the car.




Approx 7.5 miles 2800ft of climb 5:30 car to car.

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