Ascent of Clipper Mountain on 2012-02-20

Climber: Daryn Dodge

Date:Monday, February 20, 2012
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Clipper Mountain
    Elevation:4593 ft / 1399 m

Ascent Trip Report

A northern approach works pretty well for this peak. From Highway 40, take the Essex Rd turnoff north 2.3 miles to Hidden Hill Rd. This dirt road is indeed hidden, as there is no signage for it and we missed it the first time through. Turn left onto this dirt road (HC necessary; 4WD recommended, just in case)and go 0.75 miles to a junction with another, but better, unsigned dirt road. Turn left here and go 1.2 miles under a narrow undercrossing of Highway 40. Past this "tunnel" go another 0.9 mile south to a wash and park. Ignore the dirt road leading out of the wash on the other side; it does not go to the peak.

It is possible to drive another 0.2 miles SW in the wash itself to the Wilderness Area marker. 4WD is necessary to do this. An old mine road starts to the right of the Wilderness marker. We hiked this road, nearly washed out in places, to the 875 meter elevation on the map, where it pretty much disappeared. We then followed a wash SW to a saddle at about 1070 meters. From here we followed a large gully south to the Clipper Mtns ridgeline. The summit is only 5 min walk up the SW slope.

Class 1-2 terrain, but quite rocky. It helps to stay on the old mining road due to the heavy load of volcanic rocks and boulders all around.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:2265 ft / 690 m
    Round-Trip Distance:6 mi / 9.7 km
    Route:North approach from Goldhammer Mine
    Trailhead:Goldhammer mine wash  2328 ft / 709 m
    Grade/Class:Class 2
    Route Conditions:
Unmaintained Trail, Scramble

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