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Ascent of Kloochman Rock on 2018-05-23

Climber: Fred Beavon

Date:Wednesday, May 23, 2018
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Kloochman Rock
    Location:USA-Washington
    Elevation:3356 ft / 1022 m

Ascent Trip Report

Got up at 2:30 a.m., left Edmonds at 3:30 a.m., and got to the trailhead at 8:30 a.m. I drove south to Tacoma, Olympia, west to a bypass around Aberdeen, then north, before heading east into the Olympic Mountains. I think I saw more logging trucks full of logs north of Aberdeen than I have seen since moving here! Well, not that many, but there were quite a few.

The folding community chair on the helipad was still in good shape and I put it to use. The drop off from the summit platform was so scary that I lied down on my stomach to peer over the edge in a couple of places. IMHO, the rope to help access the summit is unnecessary and I would vote to remove it, but that's just me. Did my civic duty and disposed of one can and some broken glass on the summit scramble. And I got rid of ALL the red ribbons marking the trail. They were entirely unnecessary since the trail is in good condition, but I did some trail work, too, removing some branches that had fallen over it.

The trail is in better shape than the access road. I stopped three or four times to remove debris or to make sure I could continue to drive on safely. One tree I couldn't remove, but I was able to break off the end of it enough so I could drive around it. Two trees blocked the road before the end, but it was okay. It was just a 3 minute walk from there to the end of the road where the trail begins. Surely I picked up a few more scratches on my 2008 CR-V. Oh well, peakbagging's an addiction.

The pictures make Kloochman Rock look harder than it is in reality. Still, one wouldn't want to slip. I was impressed with the long zig zagging Queets River down below. It made me wonder if anyone had ever gone down it on a stand-up paddleboard. It was nice looking out toward the Pacific Ocean from the summit, but with the typical mist, I'm not sure one can ever actually see the ocean.

Before leaving, I put a summit register inside the folding chair, but it needs a better one, if it should have one at all. Mine was just a glass jar, grabbed on the spur of the moment, on leaving the house. Unfortunately, the notebook I'd planned on bringing too, was inadvertently left on the washing machine on the way to the garage. Scrounging through my pack on the summit, all I found was just a tiny card to place inside. And I feel bad I didn't even leave a pencil. Oh well. I was kinda surprised the wind hadn't blown away the chair, but considering it was folded up, it's harder to have that happen, I guess. In that chair is about the only place to put a register, unless it's wired down, somehow, or placed under the platform near where one arrives.

It seems the road past Yahoo Lake doesn't get much maintenance.The big ROAD CLOSED sign on the continuing road had a tree stump that at first glance appeared to block access, but one can drive around it. I had my fingers crossed the whole time, hoping I could get close to the end. Eric Willhite's road directions were excellent. Most helpful since the roads have minimal, if any, signage. The big ROAD CLOSED sign, on closer inspection said it was only closed from September 1 to May 1 for elk migration.

You won't get much exercise with this peak, but it's a must do, considering its uniqueness. And the short distance didn't detract from the experience. Or the view. And it has plenty of clean prominence, 1276'.

Regarding Yahoo Lake, the Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife says, "Because of the elevation, road access to this lake is usually blocked by snow until mid-June." Well, there's no snow now and it appears to have been gone for quite awhile.

On the drive out, I stopped and jogged into Yahoo Lake. Didn't go swimming, though I felt like it. Overall, a fun day to a unique summit. Got back home before 4 p.m., after stopping at Whole Foods, Costco for gas and one restroom break.

The Kloochman Rock benchmark has some information at https://www.geocaching.com/mark/details.aspx?PID=SY1864, though I didn't think to look for it.

Washington's other Kloochman Rock by Rimrock Lake, is another unique, distinctive must do for peakbaggers. It's interesting that we have two of them.
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