Nick Peak


A McCall icon, Nick Peak is clearly visible from the highway as you enter town. It's easily identifiable by the notch in its summit.

Note: click images to see a larger version in a new window

This was going to be a long day, plus Art had hockey practice at 7:30, so we got an early start. When we left the trailhead, it wasn't dark, but it was close.

We made a point of wearing bright colors- Hunting season.

It didn't take us long to get warmed up, and then we covered the 3 miles up to Idler Creek pretty quickly. Here Art crosses the mouth of Idler Creek in search of the old trail.

Since Art and I had last been on the Idler Creek trail, someone had gone through and cut out all the deadfall. That was really nice, and it allowed us to make great time up the valley. We got to the base of the ridge ascent before the sun did.

It's a long, steep haul up to South Fitsum Summit (a saddle in the ridge) but it felt great to be in the sun, even if the wind was blowing briskly. The peak in the background is Fitsum Peak, and Art and I had done the ridge walk from there to this point in 2002. So now we were going to continue south on the same ridge.

From the pass on the ridge, it's a steady climb up to this vantage point with an excellent view of Nick. Excellent, and a little intimidating.

We traversed the lower spike, crossed the notch and were soon confronted with the final 4th-class scramble.

The scramble up the summit block would look exciting at any time, but this is a north face in October, so we had the added thrill of snow and even a little verglass streak or two (found by the braille method).

Art did an outstanding job of leading, and found a way through the blocks on the first try. Downclimbing this to get off was all the downclimbing I needed for one day.

It was great to get out of the icebox and into the sun on the summit. After the summit photo, we found a sheltered and sunny spot to enjoy the incredible views and a great lunch.

The McCall peaks are not really high, but they are really scenic and quite rugged. This is the view south from Nick's summit.

We relaxed for an hour, but then it was time to head down for Art's hockey practice.

initially, we descended the summit block by the same route as we climbed. But then, instead of backtracking to Fitsum Summit, we just dropped off the ridge. It worked, but going back to our ascent route could have been better.

When we got back down to the East Fork, we took this picture of our summit- you can see it better if you click on the picture for a larger version.

Mr. Natural Home | 2005 | Back to top of page | Questions :: e-mail to splattski