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JasonG

[TR] Royally Smooting - North Ridge of Clark, Deception, from Royal Basin 06/15/2019

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Trip: Royally Smooting - North Ridge of Clark, Deception, from Royal Basin

Trip Date: 06/15/2019

Trip Report:

 

Who else out there is working through the Smoot book?  C'mon, it's OK to admit it, Jeff came up with a great list of peaks that will get you to the corners of the Cacades and the Olympics.  Take Royal Basin, for example.  I wouldn't have thought of dealing with the hassle of ferries, permits, and bear cans if it weren't for that long out of print tome. 
And, I would have missed out on a great adventure with @ZakG.  I'm continually reminded that there is a lot to recommend in that book.

 

If you do go Royally Smooting though, you may not want to haul all the gear necessary to climb the North Ridge of Clark (as recommended by Smoot).  While supposedly the "best" climb in the Needles, Zak and I thought that it wasn't THAT classic.  The regular scramble route is interesting enough and easily passable with no rope, harness, or pro.  On Deception, you'll want enough snow to cover the amazing amount of loose rock that this peak is known for.  Shoot for when Royal Lake is snow free but the upper basin is still snowed in....like we did.  It was just about as good of conditions as you could ask for.

Captions refer to the photos below......

 

You know you're hiking in the Olympics in the spring when you see rhododendrons on the trail:

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Shelter Rock is aptly named:

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First look at the Needles, Johnson and the Sundial (L-R):

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Hiking up to Clark with Deception behind:

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Clark.  The North Ridge is the right skyline:

2019RoyalBasinSmoots60435.thumb.JPG.c2c03ac99e9cd457475b3c32e13d7ab4.JPG

Mount Johnson:

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Leading up the North ridge of Clark.  Lots of lichen and mediocre rock.  Good, I guess, for the Olympics:

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Summit views from Clark looking across Royal Basin to Warrior, Constance, Inner Constance, Stone(?), Mystery, and Deception (L-R):

2019RoyalBasinSmoots60467.thumb.JPG.e087bd3e361a2e72968c57654b1478e4.JPG

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Descending Clark, don't go this way.  Up and right from where the photographer is instead:

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The regular route on Clark is impressive and actually pretty pleasant, despite appearances:

2019RoyalBasinSmoots60516.thumb.JPG.89157d6b8e1094387f0d91b0255c4d09.JPG

Mount Mystery:

2019RoyalBasinSmoots60539.thumb.JPG.f79e955c642d40550d51ae2f290fd9ed.JPG

2019RoyalBasinSmoots60553.thumb.JPG.4618db362ed385d8fb6908251208922e.JPG

2019RoyalBasinSmoots60645.thumb.JPG.592fca660927e3fa779895e6d71568a8.JPG2019RoyalBasinSmoots60707.thumb.JPG.f35c67d587bb14407a9b9d0cec07ebea.JPG

Gray crested rosy finch, lord of the high alpine:

2019RoyalBasinSmoots60712.thumb.JPG.8bdf7e888dac47ab8ab44c62839e58e9.JPG

Heading up the regular route on Deception with Johnson behind:

2019RoyalBasinSmoots60721.thumb.JPG.51a08c414de3cf87774143bdbbac2f61.JPG

Gilhooley Tower:

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Last look at Deception leaving upper Royal Basin:

2019RoyalBasinSmoots60840.thumb.JPG.4628ff5a1cc6dad95ac8a5876e263a9b.JPG

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The classic finish to an Olympics trip.  Waiting for the ferry at Kingston:

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Gear Notes:
Light 40m rope, small rack of nuts and tri cams, helmet, crampons, ice axe.

Approach Notes:
Royal Basin, the permit is key. Go early in the season before they allow for advance reservations. We had no problems securing one, although we started on a Thursday and finished on a Saturday.

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Wow! Looks like a great trip - I look forward to the captions for more context, but dang the routes really do like fun. And it's so nice that you were able to enlist a NatGeo photographer to tie in with you guys :wink:

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Good stuff!  That area is my favorite in the Olympics.  I agree, the standard scramble up Clark is quite nice.  Heather and Deception basins (Mt Mystery!) are well worth a return trip.

I'm working my way through the Smoot book too.  To copy the Bulger lingo, I'm at 90/100.  I need to start signing non-Bulger summit registers that way to confuse folks...

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5 hours ago, bellows said:

Good stuff!  That area is my favorite in the Olympics.  I agree, the standard scramble up Clark is quite nice.  Heather and Deception basins (Mt Mystery!) are well worth a return trip.

I'm working my way through the Smoot book too.  To copy the Bulger lingo, I'm at 90/100.  I need to start signing non-Bulger summit registers that way to confuse folks...

I climbed 50 peaks the year I was 50 years old, and a couple of times I just went ahead and signed registers 33/50 because why not?

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 I hope you got some rad bouldering in at Shelter Rock.  You must be getting close to 100 with the Smoots by now; how many do you have left?

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On ‎6‎/‎26‎/‎2019 at 3:59 PM, tanstaafl said:

I climbed 50 peaks the year I was 50 years old, and a couple of times I just went ahead and signed registers 33/50 because why not?

You don't look 50. 

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On 7/5/2019 at 1:17 PM, DPS said:

You don't look 50. 

Thanks; but I sure do feel it!  You might think differently if you'd seen me gimping around camp after a couple of days at Tieton this weekend. wtf, body?  You used to work so much better.

After an enforced six-plus months of sedentary life last year when I tore my rotator cuff, this year's birthday challenge is the 4x52:  52 days each of climbing, skiing, and biking, and 52 yoga classes.  Even if I fail to achieve my goal, I should at least be fit again by the time I turn 53.  I hope.

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On 7/3/2019 at 1:53 PM, tanstaafl said:

You must be getting close to 100 with the Smoots by now; how many do you have left?

92 as of this weekend!  I won't finish this year I don't think, but I'm getting closer.  And no, we didn't do any bouldering on Shelter Rock, but I can see how that would be a thing.  It is pretty impressive!

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That's a lot of Smoots!  I look forward to the pics of this weekend's installment.  

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