Leaders: Frank Goodykoontz, Patty Kline
The Heald and Nicolls combination is one of my favorite HPS hikes. 26 people met at 6:30 am at the Walker Pass Campground in the Southern Sierra. We all drove on Hwy. 178 to the Kelso Valley Rd where we consolidated cars for the dirt driving for Heald and Nicolls, leaving cars at the roadhead for each peak. We did the hike one way from Heald to Nicolls. We had lunch on Heald. It was about 4:30 in the afternoon when we got to the saddle between Nicolls and Heald. It was very hot going up the boulders to Nicolls. The bouldering was a lot of fun though. I hid in the shade on top of Nicolls while eating my snack for 15 minutes before we descended. We went via the saddle and down the sandy scree run to the stream bed which took us to our cars at 6:30 pm. All in all, it was 10 hours, having started at 8:30 am with 10 miles and 4000' gain.
We had a nice community happy hour and 2 big garbage bag salads at Bruce and Paula Peterson's camp at Tillie Creek Campground. One of the big attractions for me at this campground is a free solar shower. The party at the Peterson's lasted quite a while because of the excellent lighting provided by the 4 foot high Coleman lantern hanger which Bruce got the day before from REI.
Sunday morning, we met at the entrance to Tillie Creek at 7:00 am. We did 4 "drive-ups" starting with Lightner and working our way south to Bald Eagle, Piute and Sorrell. It was a long day, finishing at 6:30 pm. Lightner was the longest hike with 3 miles round trip and about 800' gain. The trees and grass were very green and lush this time of year. Bald Eagle is a big granite dome sticking up out of dense brush. We took the back side through minimal rock and brush on a use trail. Piute Lookout is a virtual drive-up and we appreciated the coolness at 8326'. Sorrell Peak was 0.6 miles round trip and 400' gain in a beautifully forested area. From here, we drove the entire length of Jawbone Cyn. Rd., exiting on Hwy. 14, about 20 miles above Mojave.
This was another great weekend. Many thanks to Frank Goodykoontz for his excellent lead and route finding.
The participants were Peter Doggett, Joy McKinney, Howard Gross, Mirna Roach, Martha Flores, Fred Johnson, Pete Yamagata, Mike Kelley, Asher Waxman, Dan Richter, Devra Wasserman, Erik Siering, Greg Roach, Jack Haddad, Carleton Shay, Tom Sakowych, Paula Peterson, Bruce Peterson, Wayne Norman, David Jensen, Jennifer Lambelet, Basil Anton, Roy Stewart, and Charlie Knapke.