Over a few days last week (Aug. 1-3), we hiked up to Mt. Rexford to climb the West Ridge and a route on S. Nesakwatch called Dairyland. I thought I'd give a road update and some other general comments.
The last time I was up the Nesakwatch Creek fsr was in 2015. The road is somewhat worse this year and hc 4wd is recommended, especially if you drive past the Slesse parking to get to Rexford and park in the sandy pullout before the big washout.
The Pocket Glacier on Slesse had partially slid. While we were up on Rexford, a big chunk fell off, which was pretty cool. Assuming this heat continues, reaching the NE Buttress should shortly be a stroll in approach shoes once again.
The smoke was obviously quite bad. On our second day up there, Slesse was visible only in silhouette. Like everywhere else right now, don't go up there if you are expecting great views across the valley.
The bugs were mostly a non-issue despite the lack of wind.
Finally, there is plenty of snow around for water but not enough to impede travel in any way. Therefore, this is a great time to head up there if you intend to stay awhile.
For those interested, the West Ridge was a lot of fun. Dairyland was okay with a couple of good pitches and some dirt and choss on others. S. Nesakwatch badly needs proper detailed topos because I'm sure there are a lot of great routes there that never see any action. I know about the whole "maintain the adventure" thing for this area and it's legit only if you believe adventure = confused irritation.