Placeholder Routes & Places

Trip Report    

Clark Mountain/Walrus Glacier

Tough trip in poor conditions despite a decent forecast; PNW weather strikes again! But, we were glad to be safe and successful.

  • Road impassable/closed
  • Road to the White River TH was closed due to washouts at the Tall Trees Christian camp around 4m from the end.  We used mountain bikes for this portion - saved 1.5h on the return and 1h on the approach.  The white river trail has lots of blow downs and plenty to be brushed out, yet most annoying were the bugs.  Fortunately, they were gone on the Boulder Pass trail.

    Snow patches around 5000 and continuous snow from just below Boulder pass.  The descent from the pass to the basin below was efficient and there was a straightforward couloir to the 6700' notch in the NE ridge.  Tried the 'traverse at 6300' on the descent, and found it wasn't worth it - too much traversing.

From the 6700 point on the ridge, the gradual traverse onto the shoulder of the glacier at 6900 was easy. The route finding in good weather should be pretty simple - we had a whiteout and spent most of the day being snowed on. But, this early in the season, the crevasses were easy to navigate - wands would have been helpful for the descent, since our crampon tracks were not really visible after the snowfall.

The summit ridge we found good to scramble - the descent on the south side to the gully between the false summit and true summit looked pretty scary with steep snow and poor runout conditions.  Scrambling the summit ridge just required a couple traverses with axes and good steps kicked.

One interesting point: we had 4 GPS apps in our group, and all of them failed to give readings on the summit block!  Back at camp, they all mysteriously came back to life... could have been a combination of snow/damp and cold; or a bermuda triangle of GPS?

At any rate, we made good use of an analog device (compass), since the fall line on the glacier is not a good decent route.