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(Southwest) Street & (North) Nye Peaks - May 21, 2020

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  • (Southwest) Street & (North) Nye Peaks - May 21, 2020

    I met up with my buddy TBPDPTI at the northern terminus of the Northville Placid Trail right around 7AM. My car’s thermometer said it was 39F. Our goal for the day was to visit “The Other Street and Nye”….namely, the sub-peaks rising barely above 3K feet rather than the well-known high peaks.

    I was expecting the NPT to be a well-worn highway that one could easily hike on auto-pilot mode, and for the most part this was the case. However, there are several major blowdowns across the trail and a few swampy areas where you really have to search around for where the trail goes. We made short work of the 4 mile approach to the base of North Nye Peak.

    We left the NPT at the point of closest approach to North Nye. This was a mistake. The open and steep woods quickly transitioned into cliff bands with thicker woods. On the plus side, we found a ledge with an awesome view of the Sawtooths, Ampersand, McKenzie & others. On top of the cliffs we found very scratchy woods riddled with blowdown. The bushwhack from trail to summit was barely a half mile but it took us an hour. For reference, that’s equivalent to our (TBPDPTI and I) average pace in the Sawtooth Range! And it felt like it! We took a different course down, aiming south and then picking up the major drainage that flows down from Nye proper. This was much easier. Found another nice ledge with an unobstructed view of the Sawtooth Range.

    Back on the NPT, we continued past Wanika Falls and took a quick break at Moose Pond. We spotted a loon, heard the loon’s call, and then watched a bald eagle circling high above the lake. Awesome!

    We followed the NPT past Moose Pond until the point of closest approach to Southwest Street Mountain. This bushwhack was a piece of cake: nice, steady grade with open woods the whole way. Nice screened views through the trees along the way. Up and down took less than 90 minutes. It felt hotter than hell, though.

    On our way back we took one last break at Moose Pond to enjoy the scenery before our long slog out. And what a slog it was. We noticed the partial remains of a crashed plane just off the trail before Wanika Falls….anyone have more info on this? We dunked our heads in the ice cold water at every single major stream crossing on the hike out. I had 4 liters of fluid (and a summit beer!) and I drank every last drop.

    Car-to-car took about 10 hours. The temperature at the trailhead has risen to 81F by 5PM….a 40+ degree swing from earlier in the morning.
    From every mountainside, let freedom ring.
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