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Trip Report    

Basic Alpine Climb - Clark Mountain & Luahna Peak

End of July successful 2 day climb of Clark / Walrus Glacier.

  • Road recommended for high clearance only
  • Snow free but very brushy approach all way to the Boulder Pass. 4000 ft creek fording was pretty straight forward (all of us used approach shoes or sandals for crossing) and enjoyable (especially on our way out on Sunday). Boulder Pass is snow free as well -- only a few random patches of snow left. The down climb in the basin below Boulder pass could be done in multiple ways (scrambling loose terrain where you would usually face in down climb snow earlier in the season or using the trail until you are able to transition to snow for the traverse to the beginning of the gully which will take you to 6800 ft at the toe of the glacier). The climb up the gully was a mix of dirt / loose rock and short sections of hard snow scrambling. The glacier is pretty crumbled and will most likely be hard if not impossible to navigate in a week or so. The scramble (post glacier travel) was a mixture of moderate steep snow traverse and loose rock scrambling.

Party of six drove to White River TH on Friday night for a 5 AM Saturday start. The White river Road is open all way to the TH, repaired in places but I would still recommend high clearance cars only. We hiked in under the cloudy skies and had to swim through wet brush (it rained before we started our hike) until we got in the basin below Boulder Pass. Being wet during the approach kept us cool but the bugs were horrendous.  By the time we made it at the top of the Pass, Sun came out and we were able to setup the camp under the blue skies while continuing to fight with the horrendous bugs. After we did setup camp, had lunch and rest, two of us decided to scramble up to the base of the glacier to investigate its conditions -- based on what we saw from the distance, we did conclude that we would have to negotiate at least one obstacle ~ 7000 ft in order to make it up higher on the glacier and we would definitely give it a try in AM on Sunday.  In the afternoon the clouds built up and between 5-7 PM we had to hunker down in our tents while dealing with thunderstorms, rain, hail and...more horrendous bugs gathered around our tents. We woke up at 3 AM and started the climb at 4 AM under clear skies. On the Walrus glacier we had to negotiate one tricky tiny snow bridge and had to protect with pickets a steep down climb on our way down. The glacier is very crumbled and will most likely not be  climbable anymore (for the season) in a week or so. 

Strong, efficient group:

Saturday Hike in (TH - Camp) -- 5:45 h (camped in the trees at the top of Boulder Pass)

Ascent (Camp-Summit) -- 4:10 h (3:50 for the fastest climbers)

Descent (Summit-Camp) -- 3:30 h

Hike out (Camp-TH) -- 4:45 h

Being back at TH by 5:45 PM on Sunday, gave us plenty of time for dinner at South in Leavenworth. Great weekend (except horrendous bugs and Sunday afternoon heat).