THE NIPPLE (9,340') CLASS 2
Location: 5 miles SE of Carson Pass
Drive: Take Highway 88 to Blue Lakes Road, which is 2.5 miles west of Picketts Junction or 6.3 miles east of Carson Pass. Drive 10.8 miles south to a main junction and turn left, following the signs "Tamarack Lake 1 Wet Meadows Trailhead 4". Shortly, a sign marks the PCT trailhead dirt parking area to the left (north). The peak will have been obvious, visible to the south or southwest, from the Blue Lakes approach road a couple miles back before this dirt parking lot.
Climb: Take the PCT back northwest, and follow it up to the south slopes of the peak. Leave the trail at its highest point, and head cross-country to the top over steep, loose terrain. The highpoint is the second rock formation from the south, or the first rock on the northeast.
ROUTE A ALTERNATE
Drive: Take the Blue Lakes Road 9.3 miles south from Highway 88 to a local road summit and park. The obvious peak will have been visible to the south or southwest from the approach road near here.
Climb: Contour cross-country, roughly southwest, and gain the southeast ridge of the peak, drop shortly to the PCT and join Route A, which is followed to the top.
WINTER SKI ASCENT: Drive to Red Lake Road on Highway 88 which is either 6.5 miles west from Picketts Junction or 2.3 miles east from Carson Pass. Ski the road up Forestdale Creek south, and go over the Forestdale Divide through the saddle at 8880+ feet elevation. Contour southeast to Lost Lakes. One then follows the westnorthwest ridge to the top.
TRIP STATS: Route A, 1,260 feet gain, 3 miles one way; Route A Alternate, 1,100 feet gain, 1 mile one way; winter ski ascent, 2,100 feet gain with an additional 500 feet gain on the return, 6 miles one way.
Notes: This is one of the easiest peaks in this guide. It will be recognized as the "Nipple" while driving south up the hill on the Blue Lakes Road at the head of Charity Valley.