Thursday, June 20, 2013

Nippletop Summit

I finally reached the summit of Nippletop (Peak 6715) in Zion National Park.  I've hiked it 5 times but this is the first time I've reached the top.  I really enjoy this hike.  I like the steep slickrock gully from the road.  I like the steep sandy hillside up to the ridge.  I really like the ridge.  But I don't like the crux getting up to the top section.

The photo above shows Nippletop from the summit of South Ariel Peak.  I'll skip repeating photos of the route.  They can be seen on a previous post which also shows a topo map.

Gene joined me on this hike.  This screenshot of Google Earth shows our track recorded by my Garmin fenix watch.  We visited Nippletop and Separation and Lost Peaks.  The fenix says the route was 7 miles and took us 7 hours (not including the road section back to the car).  

Here's a shot looking along the ridge toward the summit.  It takes me 1 hour to reach the ridge from my car.  Five more minutes to walk the ridge, then maybe 15 minutes to reach the summit if you don't waste time ascending to the top section.

On my previous hikes of Nippletop, I failed to get past the short very steep band at the south end of the ridge line.  Oddly, this time it wasn't so bad.  It was surprisingly easy compared to the last time, when I totally psyched myself out hanging there while Gene attempted to instruct me on where to put my hands and feet.  I'm positive I've gained no rock climbing skills since then.  Maybe this time I was just in the right frame of mind.

I've marked the route I took in blue.  Gene hiked the yellow route.

Looking back down (north) from above the hard part, you can see a small cairn at the edge.  That's an important landmark for finding the way back down.

The summit block is barely visible beyond the vegetation.  It's easy to get there, just go uphill.

There are some interesting rock formations on the top.  To quote Sesame Street: "One of these things is not like the other."  Someone had placed a different rock atop a broken pillar.

Here's a shot of the USGS marker on the top.

And now the obligatory shots from the summit.  First looking north with the ridge visible below, then looking east toward Separation Peak, then south toward Parunuweap Canyon, and then west looking toward The Triplets and Lost Peak.

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