Forum Index > Trip Reports > Clark & Luahna, 8/31 – 9/1/08
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Matt
Tea, Earl Grey, Hot



Joined: 30 Jan 2007
Posts: 4046 | TRs
Location: Shoreline
Matt
Tea, Earl Grey, Hot
PostThu Sep 04, 2008 11:31 pm 
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Dates:  8/31/08 – 9/1/08
Peaks:  Clark 8602, Luahna 8400
Party:  Matt, Dicey, Schmidt Alti-babe, Schmidt Alti-dude, Yukon222


What do the following items have in common?  (See end of report for answer)
  • Ivory Soap
  • Aurora Avenue North
  • Luftballons
  • Bottles of Beer on the Wall
  • Barbara Feldon
  • Einsteinium
  • Sum of divisors of first 11 positive integers
  • Luahna
Itinerary & Weather

I had figured that Clark & Luahna would be a three-day trip.  Due to weather and schedule constraints, we decided to try it in two.  Well, technically it was three days anyway.
Day 1:  Hike White River trail, Boulder Creek trail, and Boulder Basin sheep trail to high camp.
Day 2:  Scramble Clark & Luahna via south side scramble routes, return to camp, and hike out.
Day 3:  Arrive back in Seattle around 1am.

Clark/Luahna Route Map (red line)
Clark/Luahna Route Map (red line)
Clark/Luahna Wider Area Map (yellow line is approach, red line is summits)
Clark/Luahna Wider Area Map (yellow line is approach, red line is summits)
3D map Clark/Luahna route map (yellow line is approach, red line is summits)
3D map Clark/Luahna route map (yellow line is approach, red line is summits)

The weather forecast warned that hikers should beware of winter-like weather conditions.  It promised unseasonably cold weather and clouds, but mostly sunny on Monday.  Well, the first parts of the forecast were correct.

Approach Hike

The White River trail gained only 200 feet in 4 miles, but added a couple hundred feet of ups and downs.  Right at the start, there were some interesting rapids where the water had carved curving scoops out of the soft rock.  The Boulder Creek trail climbed in woods lower down then brush in the upper valley till it reached the beautiful green meadows of Boulder Basin around 5000 feet.

Water-carved White River rocks
Water-carved White River rocks
Hiking in Boulder Basin
Hiking in Boulder Basin
Fat Flat Marmot
Fat Flat Marmot

We found the sheep trail and followed it up westward till it crossed the ridge line around 6200 feet, then traversed north and up to find a flat meadow about 6450 for camp.  The high peaks were hidden, but occasional sun breaks made the meadows glow brilliant green under the diffuse cloudy cover.  Brief snow flurries swept past as we set up camp.

Hiking up the sheep trail
Hiking up the sheep trail
Looking back down into Boulder Basin
Looking back down into Boulder Basin
Looking down at White River & Saul Peak
Looking down at White River & Saul Peak
Looking up the White River Valley
Looking up the White River Valley
Campsite (photo taken next day)
Campsite (photo taken next day)

Day’s End

Above our camp was the ridge stretching south from Clark’s SE summit.   Straight up were the two dead-end notches, and higher up to the right was the shallow notch that’s the gateway to this side of Clark.  After dinner I hiked up to the notch – to check out the route and weather west of us, to watch the sunset, and mostly just to be there for the transition from day to night.

There’s something special about watching the day’s end or day’s beginning from a high place – just being there for an hour as the shifting light highlights everything in different colors and relief, and then settles down into the quiet shadows of night, or rouses up into the brightness and energy of the day.

For this evening, the route was clear up to Clark, the further summits were cloud-wrapped, the late light made the meadows glow bright golden green, the setting sun briefly cast orange highlights beyond the gray clouds, and then everything faded to deeper gray.

Looking up to notch from camp
Looking up to notch from camp
Evening light on Clark Peak route
Evening light on Clark Peak route
Pink clouds east of Boulder Pass
Pink clouds east of Boulder Pass
Sunset over Saul Peak
Sunset over Saul Peak
Sunset looking east
Sunset looking east

When I arrived back at camp, I figured everyone would go to bed, since it was both dark and cold. Instead everyone gathered to recline against the convenient rock benches and socialize long after dark.

After dark in camp
After dark in camp

Day’s Beginning

I got up before dawn, put some boiling water in my bottle, and hurried back up to the notch to watch the day begin.  The night had been cold.  The damp dirt on the slopes was frozen hard.  The clouds had thickened.  Clark’s summit was hidden.  I made oatmeal and tea from my boiled water while the day began.

Colors shifted downward from the sky to the peaks before fading to gray behind the mask of clouds.  I watched pink light slide downward toward the peaks and then disappear behind clouds.  I watched the rising sun burn orange at the horizon and disappear upward into more clouds.  After light briefly illuminated the camp far below, I watched the others hiking across the shadowy slopes to join me.

Pink clouds over Old Gib
Pink clouds over Old Gib
Sun rising in clouds near Buck Mtn
Sun rising in clouds near Buck Mtn
Early light on the ridge
Early light on the ridge
Morning view of camp below
Morning view of camp below
Hikers heading upward from camp
Hikers heading upward from camp

Clark

Clark had become completely hidden by clouds.  But Dicey had been there before, and we had seen enough to find the route.  Down two hundred feet of steep dirt-and-rock gully.  (Some tiny rock fragment attacked Dicey’s eye and hurt “like being poked with a needle” for the rest of the day.)  Up the higher ramp ahead, first on rock, then cramponing on hard snow.  Working our way up very steep snow to the ridge crest.  Then up more rock to the summit.

Group at the notch, looking down the gully
Group at the notch, looking down the gully
Really cold Tisha with Jeremy
Really cold Tisha with Jeremy
Ascending Clark, or Everest, or Capitol Hill, who can tell in the fog?
Ascending Clark, or Everest, or Capitol Hill, who can tell in the fog?
Steep top edge of the snow
Steep top edge of the snow
Brief view down to Walrus Glacier from the crest
Brief view down to Walrus Glacier from the crest

Up inside the cloud level, the freezing mist had made icicles on the rocks and turned grass clumps to ghost plants.

Icicles and fog
Icicles and fog
Ghost grass 1
Ghost grass 1
Ghost grass 2
Ghost grass 2
Ghost grass approaching summit
Ghost grass approaching summit

Around 9:40am we arrived on top, 8602 feet. The USGS marker said so.  Views showed nothing.

Clark summit marker
Clark summit marker
Matt conquers Clark
Matt conquers Clark
Huddled near Clark summit
Huddled near Clark summit

Luahna

Now we had to get down the other side of Clark and traverse new ground to Luahna, with no visibility.  We worked our way down 2nd/3rd class rock mostly just east of the Clark’s SW ridge till about 7600 feet,  where we crossed the ridge and a broad snowy ramp led westward toward Point 7970.  Hated to lose so much elevation, but we had to get lower than the 7700-foot col of Point 7970 anyway.  We traversed around the point kicking steps in easy soft dirt, then around an outcrop of Luahna and up to about 8000 feet.   The final section on the SW face of Luahna was steeper 3rd class rock again.

7600-foot ramp leading NW from Clark toward Point 7970
7600-foot ramp leading NW from Clark toward Point 7970
Ghost grass and rocks below Luahna summit
Ghost grass and rocks below Luahna summit

Along the way, frosted plants and icicles again decorated the slopes.  Different plants must hold their temperatures differently.  High narrow grasses were completely frosted, lower flowers and broader leaves partly, and very low dense plants like stonecrop were bare.

Ghost plant
Ghost plant
Icicles & ghost plants
Icicles & ghost plants
Bare plants and frosted
Bare plants and frosted
Ghost flowers
Ghost flowers

Lucky we were on the west side of Luahna.  Rocks on our side were mostly bare or a little damp, rocks on the other side were plastered with rime.  We arrived at the somewhat frosty summit register at 1pm, 8400 feet.

Rime on back side of summit
Rime on back side of summit
Frosty summit register
Frosty summit register
Group at Luahna summit
Group at Luahna summit

Now the weather finally began to break.  First the clouds cleared partially below, framing selected snapshots of the vicinity.

Looking down at the Pilz Glacier
Looking down at the Pilz Glacier
Walrus & Richardson Glaciers
Walrus & Richardson Glaciers
Napeequa valley, Louis Creek, & Buck
Napeequa valley, Louis Creek, & Buck

Then bigger breaks gave clear views of the local area, though further peaks stayed hidden.  First Clark came out, then a few of the peaks further north.  Clark sure looked dramatic, with all the edges of its glaciers glowing fierce blue.

Clark
Clark
Matt & Clark
Matt & Clark
Kololo & Westpeak
Kololo & Westpeak
Tenpeak, and a bit of Glacier Peak
Tenpeak, and a bit of Glacier Peak
Napeequa Valley
Napeequa Valley

The Return Traverse

Now the question was, could we find a faster traverse back to the original notch, without ascending back up over most of Clark?  Gladly, the answer was yes.  We retraced our traverse around 7970 to Clark’s SW ridge circa 7600 feet.  Then we worked across the steep section between the SW and S ridges, staying  about +/- 50 feet of 7500 feet.  Despite average steepness of the slope, there was a convenient bench or ledge around every outcrop or gully.  We reached the S ridge at 7550, right on line to follow the lower ramp back to the gully and up to our starting notch.  There I found that a critter had chewed up the empty water bag and tea bag that I left behind.  A quick descent brought us back to camp.

Looking back at the traverse from Luahna to Point 7970
Looking back at the traverse from Luahna to Point 7970
Looking back at the traverse around Point 7970
Looking back at the traverse around Point 7970
Looking ahead at the bench to Clark’s SW Ridge
Looking ahead at the bench to Clark’s SW Ridge

Darn it, forgot to take a photo of the steep part of the traverse from the SW to S ridge.

The gully up to the notch above camp
The gully up to the notch above camp
Tea bag at notch, looking back at ramps east of Clark’s S ridge
Tea bag at notch, looking back at ramps east of Clark’s S ridge

Ramens & Exit Hike

We reached camp at 4:45 and departed at 5:30.  While packing, my stove somehow turned on and cooked an extra package of ramens that I had.  That bit of ramen sure tasted good for refueling before the hike out.  Then we raced darkness down the trail, reaching the White River trail junction with the last bit of glimmer of light before headlamps.  I reached the trailhead itself at 10:15pm, 16hours after starting the day.

Back at camp
Back at camp
Descending sheep trail in flowes
Descending sheep trail in flowes
Descending sheep trail in fireweed and asters
Descending sheep trail in fireweed and asters
Boulder basin on the way out
Boulder basin on the way out
Darkness at White River trail junction
Darkness at White River trail junction

What the following items have in common:
  • Ivory Soap = 99 percent pure (and 44/100)
  • Aurora Avenue North = SR 99 in Seattle
  • Luftballons = 99 Red Ballons (song)
  • Bottles of Beer on the Wall = 99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall (song)
  • Barbara Feldon = Agent 99, Get Smart
  • Einsteinium = Element #99 on Periodic Table
  • Sum of divisors of first 11 positive integers = 1+1+2+1+3+1+2+4+1+5+1+2+3+6+1+7+1+2+4+8+1+3+9+1+2+5+10+1+11 = 99
  • Luahna = 99th of Washington Top 100 Peaks for Matt Burton
99th Summit
99th Summit

My heartfelt thanks to Carla, Tisha, Jeremy, & Steve for squeezing in this trip on a cold cloudy weekend, so I could get to my 99th summit this year.

#100 will be Colchuck Peak next summer.  I’m saving it so I can plan ahead and schedule a party on the summit for whomever wants to celebrate the 100th peak with me.

--------------
“As beacons mountains burned at evening.” J.R.R. Tolkien
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Schmidt Alti-Babe
The Ice Queen



Joined: 11 Mar 2008
Posts: 606 | TRs
Location: Buried by backlogged pictures
Schmidt Alti-Babe
The Ice Queen
PostThu Sep 04, 2008 11:33 pm 
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A huge thank you to Matt for letting us join in on his #98,99 peak bagging trip!  We have finally gotten to hike with you another NW Hikers legend!  dance.gif  While I was a tad cold the whole trip (which was very unexpected considering it was only the end of August!  eek.gif), I still enjoyed the company.  What a fun group!  agree.gif

DAY 1:

Matt leads the way up the Boulder Creek Valley
Matt leads the way up the Boulder Creek Valley
Yukon at the start of the sheep trail
Yukon at the start of the sheep trail
Dicey on the sheep trail
Dicey on the sheep trail
Mt David through the trees
Mt David through the trees
Dude couldn't wait to put his booties on
Dude couldn't wait to put his booties on
Matt and Dicey set up their tent while it snows
Matt and Dicey set up their tent while it snows
Snowing in August!!!!
Snowing in August!!!!
Now the snow is gone, will it make up its mind!
Now the snow is gone, will it make up its mind!
Looking back at camp from the ridge above
Looking back at camp from the ridge above
Thinking of New Zealand
Thinking of New Zealand

Full set on flickr here.

DAY 2:

The boys on the snow
The boys on the snow
Yukon touches the top
Yukon touches the top
Rime ice on the rocks
Rime ice on the rocks
Dude on Clark Mountain
Dude on Clark Mountain
Yukon and Dicey head down the ridge
Yukon and Dicey head down the ridge
Dude's behind again
Dude's behind again
What's this, the clouds dissapate around Clark after we leave?!?!
What's this, the clouds dissapate around Clark after we leave?!?!
A small class 3 section
A small class 3 section
Napeequa Valley from Luahna
Napeequa Valley from Luahna
Matt waits for the views of Clark Mountain to appear
Matt waits for the views of Clark Mountain to appear
Yukon's thinking about more summits
Yukon's thinking about more summits
10 Peak and a little bit of Glacier
10 Peak and a little bit of Glacier
Back at our a gear stash below Luahna
Back at our a gear stash below Luahna
Dude and Clark
Dude and Clark
Last view of Luahna
Last view of Luahna
A little more of Glacier visible
A little more of Glacier visible
Dude and Saul's Peak
Dude and Saul's Peak
Yukon's still in high spirits
Yukon's still in high spirits
Still traversing around the big mountain
Still traversing around the big mountain
Come on guys, we're almost there!
Come on guys, we're almost there!
Dude takes in the last views of Clark
Dude takes in the last views of Clark
Views down into the Boulder Creek Valley
Views down into the Boulder Creek Valley
Baaaa-ck on the sheep trail
Baaaa-ck on the sheep trail
What's up with Dude's hair!?!?
What's up with Dude's hair!?!?

Full set on flickr here.

Stats:

Day 1: 4764' gain, 577' loss
Matt, Dicey and Babe's sidetrip up the ridge: 512' gain
Total hiking time: 6:22

Day 2: To Clark/Luahna - 4905' gain, 4984' loss
Out - 377' gain, 4606' loss
Total hiking time: 14:25

Trip total:

10,558' gain (only 10,046' for Dude and Yukon  wink.gif )
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Schmidt Alti-Dude
4th class poster



Joined: 06 Jul 2007
Posts: 1362 | TRs
Location: Looking for Adventure 201!
Schmidt Alti-Dude
4th class poster
PostThu Sep 04, 2008 11:34 pm 
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Not that I'm saying we're now peakbaggers or anything but it kind of cool to climb two top 100 peaks on the same day.  That puts Dude at 7 and Babe at 6 so we have a long way to go* (Dude climbed Mount Saint Helens years before he met Babe).

*according to the Bulger list - 6 and 5 if you don't count Little Annapurna*

Day 1:

Babe's ready to go!
Babe's ready to go!
Matt checks out the White River
Matt checks out the White River
Destructive power of nature
Destructive power of nature
Yukon222 at the creek crossing
Yukon222 at the creek crossing
Boulder Creek crossing
Boulder Creek crossing
Babe and Dicey take a break
Babe and Dicey take a break
More creek crossings
More creek crossings
Matt tackles a steep and muddy section of the trail
Matt tackles a steep and muddy section of the trail
Arrival at Sheep Trail Pass
Arrival at Sheep Trail Pass
Boulder Creek Valley from Sheep Trail Pass
Boulder Creek Valley from Sheep Trail Pass
Dicey tries to stay warm at camp
Dicey tries to stay warm at camp

Day 2:

Descending from the ridge above camp
Descending from the ridge above camp
Heading off to Clark
Heading off to Clark
Matt does his pika impression
Matt does his pika impression
Babe tries to stay warm during a break
Babe tries to stay warm during a break
Babe's still not warm
Babe's still not warm
Clark Mountain summit photo
Clark Mountain summit photo
Hiking in rime ice and fog
Hiking in rime ice and fog
On the ledges, checking out the route
On the ledges, checking out the route
Sidehill traverse under Point 7970'
Sidehill traverse under Point 7970'
Looking at Luahna from just below point 7970'
Looking at Luahna from just below point 7970'
Luahna scrambling
Luahna scrambling
Can anyone identify this flower? ;^)
Can anyone identify this flower? ;^)
Frozen waterfall on Luahna
Frozen waterfall on Luahna
Almost to the top of Luahna
Almost to the top of Luahna
A frosty register
A frosty register
Koholo and 10 Peak from Luahna
Koholo and 10 Peak from Luahna
Babe's still trying to warm up
Babe's still trying to warm up
Luahna summit photo
Luahna summit photo
Matt has his picture taken in front of Clark and the Napeequa Valley
Matt has his picture taken in front of Clark and the Napeequa Valley
A clear picture of Koholo, no way!
A clear picture of Koholo, no way!
Climbing back down Luahna
Climbing back down Luahna
We can't leave without a few more pictues
We can't leave without a few more pictues
Back around Clark
Back around Clark
Taking another break
Taking another break
A little exposure as we traverse around Clark
A little exposure as we traverse around Clark
The tents are still here
The tents are still here
Taking the cross-country route down to the sheep trail
Taking the cross-country route down to the sheep trail
Babe's ready to be back at the truck
Babe's ready to be back at the truck
Late night log crossing
Late night log crossing

--------------
Anything stated by me in no way reflects the attitudes or opinions of my wife
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yukon222
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Joined: 12 Mar 2007
Posts: 1808 | TRs

yukon222
Member
PostThu Sep 04, 2008 11:41 pm 
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First time visiting this area and I had high hopes of some spectacular views of Glacier Peak and the glaciers of Clark Mountain.  Unfortunately, the weather had other ideas and Glacier Peak remained almost completely hidden during our brief visit.  There’s always next time!

I liked the views from the 6600’ high camp although could have omitted the bone-chilling wind and temps Sunday night!  Sure, it was late August but still.  Yikes.  Not quite ready to give up on pleasant summer temperatures.

Great fun seeing Matt accomplish # 98 and # 99 of the Top 100 Peaks.  I imagine it has been an amazing journey filled with quite a variety of peaks.  Congratulations!  Oh, and you do have one more left.   lol.gif

pano - mt david at far left
pano - mt david at far left
pano5 - clark mtn slopes
pano5 - clark mtn slopes
pano4 - 6600' basin camp
pano4 - 6600' basin camp
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Ingunn
Hiking Viking



Joined: 01 Feb 2008
Posts: 1754 | TRs
Location: Redmond
Ingunn
Hiking Viking
PostFri Sep 05, 2008 12:06 am 
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Wow, fantastic scenery (and effort!)...but man it looks cold. Congratulations and huzzahs to everyone for the summits!

Someone mentioned in another trip report that Babe is scared of heights, I'm assuming this is very very not true? Even just looking at some of those photos makes me dizzy!
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Justus S.
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Joined: 17 Nov 2004
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Location: WA
Justus S.
Member
PostFri Sep 05, 2008 12:11 am 
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Congrats Matt, new you would make it. up.gif  up.gif  I did want to join but that weather forecast... Glad it wasn't completely cloudy for you.
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Magellan
Brutally Handsome



Joined: 26 Jul 2006
Posts: 13107 | TRs
Location: Inexorable descent
Magellan
Brutally Handsome
PostFri Sep 05, 2008 6:31 am 
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Very nice trip.  I like your guys synchronized posting.  Conference call or AIM?

Matt wrote:
#100 will be Colchuck Peak next summer.  I’m saving it so I can plan ahead and schedule a party on the summit for whomever wants to celebrate the 100th peak with me.

That is a nice sentiment Matt.  I hope I can make it.
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wamtngal
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Member


Joined: 13 Jun 2004
Posts: 2374 | TRs
Location: Seattle, WA
wamtngal
Member
PostFri Sep 05, 2008 8:22 am 
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Nice trip folks! Looking over atcha from the Maude/7FJ area I knew you guys had to be cold (especially since we were cold all weekend and had mostly sunny skies)...there was a bank of colds that stemmed from north of Glacier to Clark all weekend...it didn't look too pleasant. Way to get out there anyway, despite the chilly temps.  up.gif  up.gif

Congrats on #99, Matt!!!

--------------
Opinions expressed here are my own.
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Don
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Joined: 25 Apr 2005
Posts: 2015 | TRs
Location: Fairwood, WA
Don
Member
PostFri Sep 05, 2008 8:42 am 
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That's excellent Matt!  I didn't realize these would be your 98th & 99th of the top 100 summits - good for you!  Sorry the weather wasn't better for you, but it sounds like things all worked out in the end.  Thanks for the report - I've been waiting!  up.gif
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don b
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Joined: 22 Feb 2006
Posts: 369 | TRs

don b
Member
PostFri Sep 05, 2008 9:10 am 
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Looking forward to next year on Colchuck.

Congrats.
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wildernessed
viewbagger



Joined: 31 Oct 2004
Posts: 8852 | TRs
Location: Wenatchee
wildernessed
viewbagger
PostFri Sep 05, 2008 9:22 am 
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up.gif  up.gif Very nice TR and pics, great beta. Congrat's Matt.

--------------
Living in the Anthropocene
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loper
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Location: seeking the sun
loper
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PostFri Sep 05, 2008 9:40 am 
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Nicely done!   up.gif  up.gif  up.gif
I didn't realize that both peaks could be done sans glacier travel.
Great trip report and pictures.
L
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yukon222
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yukon222
Member
PostFri Sep 05, 2008 9:46 am 
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We only used crampons to ascend the very steep snow slope leading up to the final ridge at Clark.  Could have avoided that section by going to climbers' left either on the lower snow ramp or on the rocks.  The snow was incredibly hard, not quite ice density but close.

No snow travel at all from Clark, down over to Luahna nor up Luahna.  As long as you stay on the West side away from the glaciers on the North/East sides.   lol.gif
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Backpacker Joe
NWH Joe-Bob



Joined: 16 Dec 2001
Posts: 22728 | TRs
Location: Cle Elum
Backpacker Joe
NWH Joe-Bob
PostFri Sep 05, 2008 10:11 am 
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Great pics and report you krazie klimbers.  Nice work.

Is it me, somehow half the pictures arent coming through.  Getting an "X" instead of a pic.

--------------
"If destruction be our lot we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen we must live through all time or die by suicide."

— Abraham Lincoln
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dicey
custom title



Joined: 11 May 2004
Posts: 2858 | TRs
Location: giving cornices a wider berth
dicey
custom title
PostFri Sep 05, 2008 11:35 am 
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This would have been a GREAT trip IF:

I hadn't already been on the summit of Clark in the fog..
It wasn't freeeezing all weekend...
I hadn't gotten a painful scratch on my eyeball one hour into a 16 hour day...

Oh well, it was still nice to be out in the mountains with my friends.  They are great for huddling together with to keep hypothermia at bay winksmile.gif
Luahna was a new summit for me, Yay!

I think I took one picture before I was struck partially blind, so enjoy the pics Matt, Dude, Babe, and Yukon posted above.

--------------
I'm not always sure I like being older but being less stupid has advantages.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/32121172@N00/sets/
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Forum Index > Trip Reports > Clark & Luahna, 8/31 – 9/1/08
  Happy Birthday mtnrider, PetDrAndrea, Quest for Adrenaline, hikejon!
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