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ozzy
The hard way



Joined: 30 Jul 2015
Posts: 275 | TRs
Location: University place, wa
ozzy
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The hard way
PostWed Jul 29, 2020 8:00 pm 
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I talked to fellow peak bagger bros, Hans and Bryan, a few days prior to link up and hit Mt Clark in the Royal basin area! It was definitely a peak I wanted ever since hittin Deception last year. Bryan was on that trip too, and we were excited to get back into the area. The plan was to combine it with a climb of Johnson as well, but peak bagger laziness set in and we had a sweeeet long day meandering in the high country! Lol.  rocker.gif   So with the general theme of most of our trips this year we set out to get a nice alpine start to maybe catch a sunrise somewhere up high, we didn't!  dizzy.gif  We made it to the Dungy river trail around 1230am and were on trail by 1am! The trail seems to wander on quite a while under headlamp, we made it to royal lake in just under 3hrs. This was where lack of sleep and laziness set in lol. We figured the cloudy skies wouldn't make for much of a sunrise so we bundled up and passed out for an hour or so! After shivering our asses off on the ground we were up and moving by 530am. After the lake, the meadows and views of the alpine were getting better and better! The stoke slowly began to wake us up minute by minute! When we arrived in the upper royal basin the lake up there was mindblowing! Wow, what a serene place!  eek.gif  By this time all the clouds had lifted and the day looked grand. The wildflowers in the area were abundant. After we soaked in these views we made our ascent to the west up to surprise basin. We picked the route of least resistance and dealt with a little scree up towards the top of the ridge. Ridge top is around 6200ft.

early views
early views
upper meadows
upper meadows
Hans and fog
Hans and fog
Deception looms
Deception looms
fog down from whence we came
fog down from whence we came
the upper lake
the upper lake
so freakin sweet, looking up at surprise basin
so freakin sweet, looking up at surprise basin
the way up to surprise basin, lookin down
the way up to surprise basin, lookin down
almost there, Bryan comin up
almost there, Bryan comin up
surprise basin, Clark right of saddle
surprise basin, Clark right of saddle
Hans scoping the route, below east face of Martin
Hans scoping the route, below east face of Martin

At the ridge we could see the route to the saddle between Johnson and Clark. Clark looks pretty burly from here and we all had a good laugh knowing there was a scramble somwhere on its flanks. Thanks to Matt(nwhikers) and his detailed Clark/Johnson tr we knew it definitely existed, lol! So we dropped a 100ft or so and made our way to the saddle that sits around 7000ft. The partly melted tarn in the basin was cool lookin. When I got close to the saddle it was obvious where the ramp was to access the route. The snow all the way up was nice and firm. We ditched pons and axes at the saddle and made our way up the ramp. We didn't need to step on snow from here to the summit. After a 100ft of gain the ramp turns into more of a gully, full of that sweet Olympic choss!! Stay to the left of the huge boulder halfway up and climb the gully to the notch in the ridge. At the notch the views are superb, now you look for a crack that drops down on the north side. It's pretty obvious too when you find it, it slants down and to the left. That was a fun downclimb, maybe class 4ish for about 30ft. After that we kinda corkscrewed around the north side of the upper reaches until we hit a lingering snow patch that ran all the way up to the summit! The snow was easily avoided by either moat-ratting or sticking to class 3-4 rock climber's left! About 40ft below the summit you follow a little class3-4 crack to the top, so badass. The scramble on Clark instantly became one of my favorites, the exposure with the fun route was awesome! When we all topped out we were in awe of course! cheers.gif  The clouds were all around except for the immediate area. Made for some moody/dramatic views. Damn! The Needles are a gnarly little group! It was on this precipitous summit we all made the decision to not go forth with climbing Johnson. The views and scenery and aura drew to us and we proceeded to dwell on said summit for almost 3hrs!! drink.gif  The early start alowed for plenty of naps and endless gazing! Wow what a place! For Hans, this was only his 2nd year of hiking and he said this was one of the hardest peaks he's done, stoked for him! We relished in the days journey. Good job boys! banana.gif

up surprise basin
up surprise basin
Bryan at the saddle between Johnson and Clark
Bryan at the saddle between Johnson and Clark
the chossy ramp
the chossy ramp
boys comin up ramp
boys comin up ramp
the boulder is just under the spire, stay left and climb to the notch in the ridge
the boulder is just under the spire, stay left and climb to the notch in the ridge
boys about ready to join me on the notch
boys about ready to join me on the notch
Hans on the notch
Hans on the notch
the steep down climb in the crack from the notch
the steep down climb in the crack from the notch
lookin back up the crack
lookin back up the crack
moat rat
moat rat
almost to the summit
almost to the summit
the reg
the reg
walkinshaw
walkinshaw
upper royal basin
upper royal basin
my perch for the next hour
my perch for the next hour
needles towards Deception
needles towards Deception
clouds moving on walkinshaw
clouds moving on walkinshaw
Johnson
Johnson
in awe
in awe

After our summit fever was quenched we looked towards Johnson and its prowess, we vowed to return and conquer that beast another day! Fletcher made it seem a little easier in his tr,   uhh.gif  ,as he always does! Needless to say we weren't disappointed to have to return to this area someday, amazing place it is! We down climbed everything with ease and made it back down to the snow pretty quick. We made it across surprise basin and down to upper royal lake while takin our time to enjoy this wonderful rocky flower filled paradise! The slog after royal lake took forever but we made it back to the car around 530pm. I'm guessing it was around 17mi roundtrip, about 5000ft gain, with a leisurely pace at 16.5hrs. Man oh man what another sweet day in the hills! Thanks boys for the trip and cheers to all yall!

comin down
comin down
sweeeet summit
sweeeet summit
Bryan walking along the void
Bryan walking along the void
climbing back up the little crack at the notch
climbing back up the little crack at the notch
Bryan follows
Bryan follows
yewwwww
yewwwww
surprise basin in awesome light
surprise basin in awesome light

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Milk is for babies. When you grow up you have to drink beer. -Arnold
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Fletcher
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PostWed Jul 29, 2020 9:43 pm 
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That’s an excellent peak. Nice!
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puzzlr
Mid Fork Rocks



Joined: 13 Feb 2007
Posts: 6690 | TRs
Location: Stuck in the middle
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Mid Fork Rocks
PostWed Jul 29, 2020 10:58 pm 
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You stirred up some fond memories. That's such a fun peak to climb.

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Mid Fork Rocksflickr
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silence
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PostThu Jul 30, 2020 7:06 am 
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Nice!

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PHOTOS: https://www.flickr.com/photos/33792231@N00/sets
FILMMAKING: http://www.crestpictures.com/

Keep a good head and always carry a light bulb. – Bob Dylan
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raising3hikers
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PostThu Jul 30, 2020 6:27 pm 
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Cool trip, Jake and I left Johnson as well. Gotta go back and get it someday.

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Eric Eames
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Geezer
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PostSat Aug 01, 2020 1:51 pm 
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Nice trip report and photos.  I am planning to do Clark and Johnson about mid August, but with these old knee's, I will do a 2 night, 3 day trip.
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Gimpilator
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PostMon Aug 03, 2020 11:01 am 
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Ozzy, man.  I'm really diggin your reports.  Keep it coming, please!  borank.gif

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https://www.youtube.com/c/Zogador
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Keep climbing mountains and don't slip!
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ozzy
The hard way



Joined: 30 Jul 2015
Posts: 275 | TRs
Location: University place, wa
ozzy
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The hard way
PostMon Aug 03, 2020 12:21 pm 
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Thanks Adam! And thanks for all of your awesome trip reports, I've used them countless times over the years! Cheers man! rocker.gif

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Milk is for babies. When you grow up you have to drink beer. -Arnold
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Forum Index > Trip Reports > Mt Clark 7528' (royal basin -onp)7/24/2020
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