Ascent of Clark Mountain on 2017-07-15
|Others in Party:||Mtnr trip--Kevin H|
|Date:||Saturday, July 15, 2017|
|Ascent Type:||Successful Summit Attained|
| Elevation:||8602 ft / 2621 m|
Ascent Trip ReportClark Mountain and Luahna Peak July 14-16, 2017
Day 1—9:30 a.m. departure from the cars (1.8 miles from the normal TH). From the trailhead we took the trail along the east side of the White River for 4 miles to the Boulder Creek/Pass trail. The mosquitos were horrific. Once we started up the switchbacks they dissipated. The creek crossing at 4,000’ was uneventful and refreshing. We reached the lower camp basin at 5:00 p.m. We were all beat from the mosquitos, distance, and heat, but decided to forge ahead to Boulder Pass. It was mostly covered in snow but we were able to locate a camp site that we squeezed all four of our tents into…not perfect, but they worked! This was just a hundred feet below the pass and water was nearby. We scoped our route for the morning ahead. From the snow covered pass we walked up to the steep rock to the NW where we could get behind the snow and descend onto benches that were exposed but snow free and traverse to more moderate snow we could descend. Across the basin we could see what appeared to be a moderate snow covered slope we could ascend to reach the 6700’ point on the ridge we could see to our north and eventually access the Walrus Glacier.
Day 2—Up at 2 a.m. and out of camp by 3:10 a.m. Reaching the glacier went as planned and took approximately 1.5 hours from camp. The dawn light was just coming up. We identified what appeared to be the best path up the glacier, roped up and headed out. Traversing the crevasses was fairly easy; some areas were steep but snow conditions made the trip quite comfortable. When we reached the top of the glacier and a decision point to do Clark or Luahna first we decided Luahna was going to be more difficult and therefore decided to tackle it first. We continued at approximately 8000’ and traversed counter clockwise around the east shoulder and north face of Clark to the notch between Clark and Point 7970. It looked as though there were tracks going up and down low spot just SE of point 7970. We checked it out—game tracks. It was very steep and hard to tell if it had opened up or was thin below. Earlier in the season with more snow would have been a good option. Instead we did a gradual rising traverse (snow-free) to get to the NW side of Point 7970 to access the Richardson Glacier. The lowest point would have required a rappel, but checking 50 yards south we located a nice place to walk onto the snow. We roped up again and did a rising traverse to reach the east ridge. Our plan was to go around to the north side and located the “fracture” gulley. There was a thin snow bridge making it difficult so we just gained the rock on the east ridge and went followed it up steep snow and loose rock to the summit. We summited at 12:00 p.m. We figured any way down would be better than what we came up so we decided to scramble down the south ridge, staying on the west side until we could access the glacier again at approximately 8100’. This required a 30’ rappel. We could see the SE of point 7970 was solid snow so decided to make our way over there. The slope is 50-55 degrees with good runout. We set 4 pickets going up 150’. This cut what seemed like a lot of time from traversing around 7970.
We retraced our steps around Clark. It was almost 6 p.m. I did not ever want to come back. We were all out or low on water, but agreed we had to give it a try. It was super easy compared to Luahana. We crossed the minor ridge and into the big open snow field. We traversed over to the next ridge and followed a boot path to the summit. We were back down to the top of the Walrus by 7:30 p.m. and to camp by 9:30 p.m.
Day 3—left camp at 8:30 p.m. and back to the cars by 2:30-3:00.
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