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Kuato

[TR] Clark Mountain (8602') - Boulder Creek Route 06/19/2021

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Trip: Clark Mountain (8602') - Boulder Creek Route

Trip Date: 06/19/2021

Trip Report:

Clark Mountain (8602') Boulder Creek  Approach Trip Report – June 19-21, 2021 (Sat-Mon)

I climbed Clark Mountain (8602') outside Lake Wenatchee, Boulder Creek  Approach.  Started the climb from the White River Falls Campground Trailhead.

The weather was looking perfect again, time for another east side climb.  Texted DanO to see if he wanted to go, he was game.  We headed out Friday night, caught some Zs at the Trailhead and headed out early Saturday morning. 

We planned for 3 days for extra time if needed or wanted.  We headed down The White River Trail (1507) to Boulder Pass Trail (1562), then to Clark Mountain Trail (1556), then cross country to Clark Mountain and back the same way.  White River Trail (1507) was a nice flat walk along the river through old growth forest, some blow downs to clear.  Boulder Pass Trail (1562) was also nice with some blow downs and was where the climbing began.  There was a ford across Boulder Creek that crosses the trail at 4000’.  The ford had three sections of creek to cross.  We crossed barefoot in the freezing ass water which actually felt quite nice on the feet after a few hours on the trail.  The last section of the ford is the deepest and fastest moving, about mid-thigh deep for about 6 feet.  I decided to slip and jam my toe into a rock on the last section just for giggles and shits.  DanO didn’t have a problem.  We started hitting snow just before the ford around 3900’.  By the time we made it to camp at 5000’ at the base of Clark Mountain Trail (1556), the snow was thick.  We only found one dry, halfway flat area to camp for Saturday night. 

Sunday.  DanO decided to stay at camp and maybe try for the South East Peak Ridge later.  I headed out for Clark at 5:30am.  The snow was somewhat soft starting out which was a bit surprising.  Once wrapping around the Clark Mountain Trail (1556) the snow firmed up for a while then went soft again above.  I headed for the 7200’ level of the South East Peak Ridge of Clark Mtn.  At that elevation there is a gully that is the easiest way down to the South side of Clark.  Had to drop down about 300’.  The gully is the easiest way down but it is not easy.  The gully is composed of steep, loose rock and snow and is the hardest part of the climb going this route.  I worked my way down by using ledges on the other side of the gully.  If I had a rope, I would have rappelled the gully.  The snow in the gully and on the South side of Clark was firm due to being in the shade, crampons and an ice axe were nice to have.  I made my way across the snow to the Clark summit.  The temp changed quite a bit once crossing the ridge.  One side was like being microwaved alive and the other side had a nice stiff cold 30-40mph wind to deal with.  I was happy that I brought a puffy coat to stay warm.  The final summit area was basic 2nd class rock.  I was thinking about bagging Luahna Peak next door, but after seeing that it would require several extra hours of side hilling on soft snow, I decided against it.  There is water at the bottom of the cross over ridge and water all along the South side of Clark to about 7500’.  There are several nice bivy locations on the cross over ridge, just no running water, only snow to melt.  I came across a long line of Wolverine tracks that went over the ridge and kept going and going.  They are amazing animals.  Made it back to camp around 4:30pm.  We packed up to move below the creek ford for the 2nd night camp.  We found a nice camp ground around 3880’.  Boulder Creek had gotten deeper the 2nd time across but the crossing went well.   

Monday.  We left the 2nd camp about 7:30am and were back to the car at 10:30am.  A nice stroll back.  Overall it was a nice climb.  All the snow remaining made the trip interesting.  I’ll take the snow over the later season loose rock any day. 

Some Tips and Notes:

1.       Bring sandals for the Boulder Cr. Ford at 4000’, I didn’t and now I have a toe that looks like a rotting banana.    

2.       Snow starts at 3900’

3.       The last running water was around 7500’

4.       A rope would be a good idea for the 7200’ gully descent and ascent.          

5.       There are decent bivy spots on the cross over ridge, bring up water with you or melt snow.

 

Travel Time for reference:

 Saturday:  Car to Camp (5000’) 8 hours. 

Sunday:  Camp to Summit  to 2nd Camp 12 hours

Monday:  2nd Camp to Car 3 hours

Gear used:   Ice Axe, Trekking Poles, Crampons & Helmet

 

60d57ad85ee26_ABOVETHEFORD.thumb.jpg.bdeb914145a34c5141f4eef45ad4c0e0.jpg

On the way to camp at 5000'

60d57b3334a9a_CAMPVIEW.thumb.jpg.7c3e584655a02758ee0567e081f935c9.jpg

View from camp at 5000'

60d57b60bcbbb_CROSSOVERRIDGE.thumb.jpg.b01bdee6b4a6a862affc8e46ccb54247.jpg

Up & Over the South East Peak Ridge of Clark Mtn.

60d57ca453d77_CAMPONRIDGE.thumb.jpg.8c3efa3b0fc4e22661e90c57ae442d71.jpg

A nice bivy spot on the cross over ridge around 7000'

60d57bbd2f508_TOPOFGULLY.thumb.jpg.256fd957cd441f6e7ecec55870de0e32.jpg

Looking down from top of 7200' Gully.

60d57beb8d66c_LEDGESTOTHEGULLY2.thumb.jpg.a39cd464c378830cd74deec93a11277b.jpg

Looking up from the bottom of the ledges I used to bypass the gully.

60d57c35d80b4_LEDGESTOTHEGULLY.thumb.jpg.2883503f657ba6bd61ccfc30c9f9131e.jpg

Looking across the upper ledges used to bypass much of the gully on the way back up and over.

60d57d11b98da_SUMMITROCK.thumb.jpg.d08fc257e70a8c65b3e3ea4bf60adccb.jpg

Summit Rock.

60d57d2f21f5b_SUMMITVIEW.thumb.jpg.cff43c54cbeb1d446f2200a302d17433.jpg

Great views from the top - Luahna Peak, Glacier Peak, Mount Baker & Shuksan.

 

Gear Notes:
Gear used:   Ice Axe, Trekking Poles, Crampons & Helmet - A rope would be a good idea for the 7200’ gully descent and ascent.

Approach Notes:
White River Falls Campground Trailhead, White River Trail (1507) to Boulder Pass Trail (1562), then to Clark Mountain Trail (1556), then cross country to Clark Mountain.
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That looks like fun, thank you for the trip report and nice photos!

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