Nelson Range


By: Bob Greenawalt


My tackling Nelson on Monday was really something! I got over to Lee Flat and about a mile out on the old mine road, as described in the Guide. Yep, it is some road! I found a fire circle just at dusk and parked there. Had a normal meal and good night. Rain started about 5AM and abated a while later. Drove to the hike start at your 5 mph pace and proceeded to climb Galena. Chose the mid-summit--a false alarm, then chose the south one--again no register. About then a heavy fog rolled in to almost a white-out and there were liberal snow patches on the northern slopes. Then the rain came with high velocity chilling winds. I had my new $22 poncho but the snaps kept flying apart with the wind and I got drenched. I finally turned north and made the right summit--pretty well spent. It was not an easy peak at all, with all my lost motion in not having the guide page with me--only notes. Did not get any Saline views from Galena, though I did on the first bump. Just beautiful looking over onto the Racetrack). Coming down I miscalculated, due to the heavy fog, and came down a rough rocky slope too far to the west, so had to ascend one shoulder to get the right canyon where I had left the car. Luckily, in the car I had dry long underwear and shirts and sweaters and sox and shoes, but no second pair of pants. I put on the new clothes and drove in my long underwear since I didn't want to cog it up with wet britches. I drove clear to near the Inyokern turnoff this way. It rained all the way home to Rosemead. I stopped at ghost Green Acres and put my canned gas in the car. I am a Regular guy and Stovepipe Wells had only Unleaded. I don't know the effect of Unleaded in old cars so I diluted it with my old gas. Then Mojave at Carl's Jr for dinner and Regular gas. I was a tired puppy when I got home about 9:30, but I got three peaks in for the weekend, which pleased me. I had hoped to scout Hunter Mtn but gave that up as it was all fogged in and I didn't want to repeat a bad former experience when our cars got snowed in up there and we could not retrieve them for almost two weeks)

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