Climbed Heald Peak and Nicholls Peaks on Saturday, March 12, 2016 with the Sierra Club.  We met in Sylmar,, and drove to Mojave where a few more people joined the group.  From there it was on to the trail head south of the 178.  A six vehicle caravan drove on the dirt road part to the actual start of the trail  We started hiking around 10:20AM, immediately going up a steep slope to the saddle between Heald and Nicholls gaining 800 feet in half a mile.  After a short break, it was on to Heald, going up and over several "bumps" to the actual start of the climb to Heald.  Hiking up the north side of the peak, we quickly encountered snow, which made it slow going up and around the rocks.  At about 6,500 foot elevation Peter made the decision to turn around, mainly because we were running out of time if we wanted to summit Nicholls.  After a slow descent, we were back at the saddle to Nicholls, where we took a short break before the climb to the summit.  On the way up, we hiked around and through beautiful fields of wild flowers.  At the top, there was a cold wind and after signing a new register we quickly hiked down in order to get back to the cars before dark.  By the time we all got into the vehicles it was completely dark, and navigation became very hard on the dirt roads.  After taking a wrong turn, we turned around and took another incorrect road, which quickly became impassible.  Again we had to turn the vehicles around, but this time one of the trucks, which only had 2-wheel drive got stuck.  After digging out some of the dirt around the wheels and several people getting into the back of the truck to increase the weight on the wheels we  managed to push the truck out of the hole it had dug itself into to.  From there it was "smooth" sailing, back to the main road and to Mojave where we took a quick break at McDonalds before driving back to Sylmar.


All and all it was a great adventure, with many thanks to Peter and Ignacia who got us safe up and down the mountains and back home!