Fun hike. We descendend the standard route finding an airplane wreck along the way . Slideshow is here: Clark Mountain Traverse
The drive to the picnic area went well, though as of Jan 3rd I would say the end of the road(after you leave the wash) is too rough for a LC 2WD, unless you want to scrape the crap out of your car.
Followed the wash til the end, then took a straight line up to the cliffs, this route was loose and brushy, not recommended. Accidentally climbed a chute in the middle of the knife-edge E ridge, then scrambled along for a hundred feet or so. Straight forward after that, took the easy C3 gulley down. Car-car in just over 2h, a nice break during the drive from Cali->Colorado.
Climbed from the South Side with D Mantle before heading off for New York. The limestone cliffs are amazing! Class 3 headwall felt more like class 2. Very little brush, wind, and overall very pleasant. Fantastic 100 sq mi views across the desert.
This was a nice climb even though it was only 25 degrees on top and the wind was blowing about 30 MPH. It took me about 4 hours round trip.
Headed up here on my way back to the Bay Area from Las Vegas, the final peak on a thoroughly enjoyable ten day tour of southern NV/UT. This was a spur-of-the-moment decision, so I had only the DPS guide with me for beta. The crux is finding the TH, as the DPS directions are rather outdated now. (I posted updated directions, including GPS waypoints, on the main page: link).
After thoroughly exploring the labyrinth of dirt roads around the mountain, I eventually went up via the standard DPS route, and was rather amused to find a rappel sling above the third class section (?!). On the descent, rather than returning via the headwall, I continued following the east ridge down to a very short, very easy downclimb to the easy slopes below the cliffs, then headed right to rejoin my ascent route. I highly recommend this variation--it's a great, airy little knife edge, with some of the best 3rd class I've found on a desert peak yet. Very enjoyable. Might even be easier than downclimbing the headwall, too.
Stopped at the Mad Greek cafe in Baker for dinner (presumably the best Greek food you'll find in the Mojave desert, but they don't really have the best gyros in the USA as they claim), and ended up stopping and sleeping in my car before Kramer Junction rather than continue fighting the relentless stream of holiday traffic. The drive back from Las Vegas on a Thanksgiving weekend Sunday was pretty brutal... The remainder of the drive on Monday morning was much less stressful.
What can I say? The mountain was completely socked in. I couldn't find my way to the picnic area through the maze of dirt roads all over the place - I set off on foot, a couple miles away from the mountain, and just explored my way to the base of the mountain. Never seeing the picnic area (in an entirely different drainage), I started up a steep, loose gully. From there, I found myself in a winter wonderland at the base of the prominent cliffs on the mountain's south side. There was some decent snow on the ground, the trees were frozen over with huge clumps of ice dangling from the branches - visibility was 50 feet or less. I was leaving cairns all over the place just to find my way back down later. I navigated by compass, intuition, and a rudimentary understanding of the route. I came to the base of the headwall and recognized it from pictures I'd seen. Just to be sure, I continued eastward along the cliffs for awhile and scrambled up to the ridge crest (rather knife-like toward the east). Back at the headwall, I found it to be rather icy (and dangerous). It was steeper than I'd expected. The exposure wasn't too bad - but enough to hurt you. Once at the top of the headwall, then above the class 3 ramps and ledges above that, I wandered up to the apparent summit, which was marked by a cairn. The visibility was non-existent, but I knew from researching the net that the actual summit was still 1/4 mile or so away westward along the ridge. I continued on and bagged the true summit, signed the register with a bogus name, and left. Rather snowy, very icy - no views the entire day. Short hike - but pretty cool in wintry conditions.
A big and impressive Mojave Desert peak.