Ascent of Gray Peak on 2013-08-03

Climber: Mat Kelliher

Others in Party:Jennifer Blackie
Laurent Hoffman
Lewis Hoffman
----Only Party on Mountain
Date:Saturday, August 3, 2013
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Gray Peak
    Elevation:11573 ft / 3527 m

Ascent Trip Report

***Private Outing***

Hiked this peak along with Gray Peak as a scouting trip for my upcoming M-Rock provisional hike. Came in from Mono Meadows Trailhead and traveled on trail to near the intersection of Clark Fork and Red Creeks, then XC up the ridge between Clark Fork (called Gray Creek upstream from the confluence of the Illilouette and Clark Fork Creeks) and Red Creek. Made camp on this ridge at 7,800' on the Red Creek side.

Saturday we continued up this ridge and then worked our way over to Gray Creek, crossing it near its bend at around 8,700' and then followed the SW ridge of Clark up and around the SE side of the prominent outcrop at around 10,800' up to the saddle at the base of the SE arête. Then we climbed up on top of the SE arête and followed it as far as we could (a few hundred feet) for some exhilarating exposure on solid class 3. Where we couldn't continue on the arête, we moved over to the east face of the peak and followed a system of ledges and cracks up to a point directly below the summit block. Here we climbed high class 3 up to the "awkward step". There is a small tree up near the top of this section that would make a good belay/rappel anchor. We set an anchor to belay me across the "step", then I set an anchor on the uphill side of the "step" to belay the others. From here a few feet up low class 3 to the summit.

We came off Clark the same way we came up, and then continued along the southeast ridge connecting Clark and Gray towards Gray Peak. We traveled across talus on this section, trying not to lose too much elevation we stayed below the ridge top cliffs. Just south of the bump at about 11,200' we ascended through thick brush and pine trees to the top of the ridge, and then followed that ridge across a saddle and then up to the summit of Gray Peak. Up the final ridge to Gray, we stayed on the section with the largest talus blocks, thinking it was likely more stable than the smaller talus on the east side of the ridge.

Coming off Gray we headed due west across crumbly class 2 terrain through sometimes thick brush. We stayed to the south of Bump 10,660, dropping down and eventually getting to Gray Creek, which we then followed until we intersected with the route we took coming in.

We slept at our camp of the previous night and came out on Sunday morning.

Total time for both peaks: 16 hrs
Mileage and gain is estimated and includes the entire 3 day trip.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:5000 ft / 1524 m
    Quality:9 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Open Country, Bushwhack, Scramble
    Nights Spent:2 nights away from roads
    Weather:Hot, Calm, Clear
Poor visibility due to smoky skies
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:5000 ft / 1524 m
    Distance:27 mi / 43.5 km
    Route:From Mt Clark
    Start Trailhead:6573 ft / 2003 m
Descent Statistics
Ascent Part of Trip: Clark Scout (2 nights total away from roads)

Complete Trip Sequence:
1Mount Clark2013-08-03 a5000 ft / 1524 m
2Gray Peak2013-08-03 b5000 ft / 1524 m
Total Trip Gain: 10000 ft / 3048 m
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip

 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by Mat Kelliher
Click Here for a Full Screen Map
Note: GPS Tracks may not be accurate, and may not show the best route. Do not follow this route blindly. Conditions change frequently. Use of a GPS unit in the outdoors, even with a pre-loaded track, is no substitute for experience and good judgment. accepts NO responsibility or liability from use of this data.

Download this GPS track as a GPX file

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