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Ascent of Clark Mountain on 2013-04-26

Climber: Vic Hanson

Other People:Solo Ascent
Only Party on Mountain
Date:Friday, April 26, 2013
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Clark Mountain
    Location:USA-California
    Elevation:7907 ft / 2410 m

Ascent Trip Report

I actually started out to climb the HP of State Line Wilderness but got off the I-15 freeway at the wrong exit (should have gotten off at Primm), Yates Well Rd. and headed for the highest mountain, going through the solar thermal plant to Colosseum Rd. to where it changes to Greens Well Rd. Once there I found out that I was looking at Clark Mtn. instead of the HP for State Line Wilderness. I decided to stay and climb that as that was on my list for the following day, and rather than drive around to the south side and take the normal route I decided to climb from where I was. I tried to find the most direct route with the least amount of elevation gain and loss, followed a 4x4 road for awhile and then went up a ridge SE of the highest peak. At some point I came across an old trail that had once been well made with rock retaining walls. I followed that almost to the top of the ridge and came across the remains of an old mine, lots of wood remains and piles of rusty tin cans, and a few filled in holes or shafts. I kept going up as the ridge continued to get higher with false summit after false summit, until finally I saw another summit farther west. I checked Google maps and sure enough, that was the true summit, but I went to the top of the east summit as well, which had an antenna on it. I tried following the ridge connecting the two but it got too rocky and narrow, just a slim connector between the 2 peaks at one point. I tried to ascend that way again when I reached a wall on the other peak but it was beyond my ability so went back down and found a scramble up the wall. Here I finally found some cairns, then a faint trail and followed that up to the true summit, reaching the top in about 5.3 miles and 4:18. Coming down it appeared that the route went SE down the gully, directly to the road at the base of the mountain so I tried to follow that as I had decided to follow the road as much as possible back to my truck. After losing the trail twice I just bushwhacked down the steep slope until I was stopped just before the bottom at a vertical cliff, with no way to proceed. I started climbing back up on the right side, checking for a route but realized that was a steep cliff as well. I tried a few possibilities but finally realized that I had to go all the way back up to the top where I found the cairns I had followed on the way up. I then realized that must be the normal route when I saw a sling and biner hanging from a tree. Again I lost the trail because I was trying to get to the end of the nearest road, and only found the picnic area after a detour. It was still a faster descent, in spite of being 3 miles longer, because it was on a road rather than bushwhacking uphill 8.4 miles, 3:40 including time on top and the cliffout mistake. I never did try the State Line HP. Here is a GPS track of my route!

http://app.strava.com/activities/50875960
Summary Total Data
    Elevation Gain:4864 ft / 1482 m
    Elevation Loss:4864 ft / 1482 m
    Distance:13.7 mi / 22 km
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Unmaintained Trail, Open Country, Bushwhack, Scramble, Exposed Scramble
    Weather:Hot, Breezy, Clear
Ascent Statistics
    Elevation Gain:4049 ft / 1234 m
    Extra Loss:300 ft / 91 m
    Distance:5.3 mi / 8.5 km
    Route:From East side, old mine, E. peak
    Trailhead:Greens Well Road, near correl   4158 ft / 1267 m
    Time Up:4 Hours 18 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Elevation Loss:4564 ft / 1391 m
    Extra Gain:815 ft / 248 m
    Distance:8.4 mi / 13.5 km
    Route:Picnic area, various roads back to start
    Trailhead:Greens Well Road, near correl   4158 ft / 1267 m
    Time Down:3 Hours 40 Minutes



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