Nasikelt Peak + Lumiere Ridge / 那西凱爾特峯+盧米耶脊

Nasikelt Peak and Lumiere Ridge are two peaks at the head of the Icicle Creek drainage. They were both great for avoiding the mass, especially if solitude and views were on the list of must-haves. We visited Table Mountain last Sunday.

Nasikelt Peak out of the mist
Nasikelt Peak out of the mist

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Nasikelt Peak and Lumiere Ridge at a Glance

Access: Stevens Pass Ski Resort
Round Trip: 12 miles
Elevation Range: 4040′-5863′
Gear: microspikes, snowshoes, ice ax, helmet
GPS Track: available
Dog-Friendly: no

Pacific Crest Trail (PCT)

Stevens Pass marked the northern end of section J of the PCT. So this trip allowed us to hike southbound on the trail. Then we would leave the path above Josephine Lake and head to our first goal.

The pass was cloudy this morning. We had initially missed the trailhead. But we found the trail after snowshoeing some on the hill behind the entrance. Then we continued south and went into the forest.

Cowboy Mountain in the mist
Cowboy Mountain in the mist

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Mill Creek Valley

Eventually, we came out of the trees and went up the ski slopes. It was odd that I only saw one pink diamond marking this part of the PCT. Soon, we reached the 5080′ saddle between Cowboy Mountain and Big Chief Mountain. But the clouds persisted.

Through the mist, we went down the ski hills over the powerline clearcut. At the same time, we avoided the open terrain by staying close to the trees. Soon, we crossed the steep slopes at the head of the Mill Creek Valley.

Mill Creek Valley
Mill Creek Valley

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Nasikelt Peak South Ridge

Later, we went through Lake Susan Jane above the southern shore. Then we worked our way up to the meadow overlooking Josephine Lake. From there, we moved east and made a rising traverse to reach the west saddle of Nasikelt Peak.

The ridgeline was steep from 5200′ to 5400′. Though icy, we were able to stay on the crest and go up to 5600′ without issues. Then came the crux when the tree-covered outcrops stopped us at our tracks. The northern slopes looked inconducive to sidestepping.

Showstopper below Nasikelt Peak
Showstopper below Nasikelt Peak

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Nasikelt Peak Summit

The south side was also steep. But we only had to go through a short section of snow before a gully. Then it took some mixed climbing on rocks and mud. So we all went back up to the crest safely. From there, we weaved through deep snow over boulders and trees to reach the top.

The snow was over the northern half of the narrow ridgeline. So we stayed on rocks to be safe. The valley floors were visible despite the low clouds. There also could have been an impressive view of Jim Hill Mountain and the Chiwaukums. Alas. Another time!

Josephine Lake
Josephine Lake

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Next Stop, Lumiere Ridge

Later, we got ourselves down the sketchy gully. The sun then came out at last. Back at the meadow, we then headed southwest toward the Lumiere Ridge a mile away. The distant yelling we heard must have come from Sue. She was also in the area today with two friends.

Soon, we found their snowshoe trails in the meadow. So we used them to go up the steep terrain. Then from the southeast saddle, it was another short stretch of steepness to reach the summit ridge. Voila. There sat the three ladies patiently waiting for us to scope out the sketchy ridgeline.

Lumiere Ridge up ahead
Lumiere Ridge up ahead

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Lumiere Ridge Summit

Lumiere Ridge also boasted a narrow ridgeline with snow over the northern slopes. So Sue followed us up to the false summit but then turned around to meet up with Nina and Randy. Then the pups and I continued in the mist and reached the top at another 300′ away.

It was difficult to see how much snow was on top of the rocks. So we stayed close to the dry ground. Views would have been impressive on a clear day also. Later the sky cleared up some just as we made our way down. At last, I was able to see Nasikelt Peak and Lux Peak.

Big Chief Mountain
Big Chief Mountain

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Outro

By the time we went back down the ridge, the clouds had lifted. But the mist continued to obscure the taller peaks. The pups caught up to the ladies in the meadow, but they came back to join me shortly. Then we took a shortcut north to bypass Lake Susan Jane.

Later we waited for the ladies to come around the lake before continuing. Then together, the six of us made our way back over to the Steven Pass side. It was great catching up with Mountaineers friends. We had several exciting chats, including one about the paleo diet.

Outro
Outro

See more trip photos here.

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