Ascent of Nicolai Mountain on 2018-11-18

Climber: Ken Russell

Others in Party:Bob Bolton
Date:Sunday, November 18, 2018
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Summit:4x4 Vehicle
Peak:Nicolai Mountain
    Elevation:3027 ft / 922 m

Ascent Trip Report

We approached Nicolai from the south, intending to arrive on the east side. Instead we wound up on the south side and weren't certain of the road connections around to the normal parking at the gate. There is a "road" on the map that switchbacks up the south side to the comm tower area. It is more of an ATV trail than a road with large rocks and is very narrow. I would not recommend it for anything larger than or closer to the ground than a side by side ATV. I drove my Outback up to the top and I'm not sure why the tires, oil pan, transmission, etc. survived. Finally at the top there was a steep berm with a good road on the other side. With tires spinning, I made it over the top and onto the road. That's when the story turned bad. We found that we were inside the comm tower enclosure with a locked gate. Of course we walked to tag the highpoint before facing the reality that we would have to drive back down the ATV track. On the way back down, two side by sides caught up to us and they had to take a video since they couldn't believe what they were seeing. After much more abuse, Subie was back on the good road and after backing up slightly to clear the disc brakes, inspecting the tires, and looking for fluid running out, we drove back out to the highway with no further problems.
Summary Total Data
    Grade/Class:Class 1
    Weather:Cool, Breezy, Clear

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