Dicks Peak and Mt Tallac

21 Oct 2001 - by Arun Mahajan

On Sunday morning, 8.05 am, Stephan Meier and I, Arun Mahajan, started hiking from the trailhead at the end of the Fallen Leaf Lake, at the Lily Lake trailhead. We were on unpaved road for a short while and after 1.7 miles, reached the first junction where we turned right and walked on trail for 1.6 miles to the next junction where we turned right again for 0.3 miles till yet another junction, this time, with the PCT. We stayed on the PCT for 0.6 miles and here the PCT turns left (the right branch goes to Gilmour Lake). We stayed on the PCT which climbs a little sharply and in 2.9 miles, were at the top of Dick's Pass (7.1 miles, total). Dicks Peak is to the left (south-west) and a use trail traverses a dark peaklet till a saddle and then rises quite steeply towards the summit and there is some loose stuff here. We were at the top of Dicks Peak at 11.40 am. We spent a long time at the windy summit. There was nobody else there and we looked at Jack's Peak but based on Ron Karpel's report of the weekend prior and his description of the scree, decided to punt and went back to the pass. Here we took a look at the map once again and Tallac seemed to be only a 3.8 mile round-trip, side jaunt from the point on the trail where there was a turn-off to Lake Gilmour, so we made a speedy descent on the trail and near Lake Gilmour, took off towards Tallac. It was 2 pm then. We were on the top of Tallac, where we met several parties, at 2.50pm. Back to Lake Gilmour after a short summit halt, at 4 pm and after a break and the seemingly endless hike back, at the cars at 5.35pm.

Distances: RT to Dicks Pass: 14.2 miles. Tallac side trip: 3.8 miles. RT to Dicks Peak from Dicks Pass, approximately 2 miles, making this a 20 mile day with maybe about 4500ft of gain. We were hiking for 9.5 hours. These distances are based on the excellent 'Tom Harrison' map of the Desolation Wilderness.

Both the peaks are fairly straight forward with a little bit of loose and steep stuff near the summit of Dicks Peak and make for an enjoyable excursion. Stephan had been turned around from Tallac in previous winter ski-ascents due to avalanche danger and as he put it, he nailed the peak this time when it was at it's weakest.

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