Leaders: Carleton Shay, Luella Martin
Twelve hearty souls braved the cold at Walker Pass Campground Friday night. Jack Haddad had the good sense to drive up Saturday morning.
We had frost on the inside and outside of all the vehicles. This caused much scraping in the morning. After defrosting the vehicles, we convoyed to the trailhead for Heald. The climber's guide states that the road is driveable by 4X4 to the mine. We hiked the road, since we didn't have a large number of 4X4's but I doubt the wisdom of attempting the drive to the mine since there is a small washout near the mine and a very muddy area near the spring.
We soon sorted out into three speed groups. I'm grateful to Donica Wood for standing on high points to help guide the rear guard. She made the day a lot easier for me. It's not so much a matter of navigation as keeping the groups together. I also appreciated Erich Fickle's efforts to encourage one slow hiker up the snow covered rocks on the side of Heald while I kept within voice/sight range of Donica. Everybody made Heald, but the faster group really wanted to get Nicolls and go home to a warm bed. So six signed out under the leadership of Minor White and did Nicolls Saturday afternoon. The rest of us returned back to the cars after doing Heald.
Friday night had been so cold most wanted to go home, so only four remained for the Sunday attempt of Nicolls: Molly Beathe, Erich Fickle, Carleton Shay, and myself.
Carleton made the excellent suggestion that we ignore the time change. So we started hiking at 8 AM PDT. We were on the summit in 3 1/4 hours. It was very windy, but not as cold as the day before. After a short breezy lunch we returned to the cars. All decided that we had enough. Erich Fickle got his 200 on Nicolls.
My thanks to Carleton for his leadership and to Donica and Erich with their help in keeping the group together.