The East Ridge

Page Type Page Type: Route
Location Lat/Lon: 35.52500°N / 115.588°W
Additional Information Route Type: Mountaineering
Seasons Season: Fall
Additional Information Time Required: Most of a day
Sign the Climber's Log

Route Description

From the picnic area, there are basically two possible routes, which can generally be referred to as the Left Route and the Right Route. Which one you choose will depend on where you start. If you start from the lower picnic area, you can pick either route. If you start from the upper picnic area, you will use the Left Route. However, no matter which route you use, your goal is the same. You want to reach this saddle on the east ridge of Clark Mountain.

If you choose the Left Route, you will climb up to this ridge, then towards the prominent cliffs. Once you reach the cliffs, you will go around to the right side of them, to this location. You will continue climbing up along the base of the cliffs until you reach a Class 3 notch. If you choose the Right Route, you will climb up to this ridge. Climb up the ridge, then start angling to the left to reach the base of the cliffs just below the saddle. The Class 3 section is just below the saddle.

Once you reach the base of the cliffs, you must climb the Class 3 section to reach the saddle. Climb up the headwall, which is about 30' high or so. This Class 3 headwall appears to be the easiest way to get through the cliffs, although other routes probably exist. Once above the Class 3 headwall, you will be in somewhat of a saddle on a ridgeline. Turn left and start climbing up the ridge towards a false summit. You may have to scramble up some ledges and over a few rock outcroppings to reach the false summit. This is mostly a Class 2 section, but there may be a few Class 3 moves here and there. Once you reach the top of the false summit, you will see Clark Mountain for the first time. Start climbing up the relatively easy slope towards Clark Mountain. You may be able to pick up some faint climbing trails here. Make the final push to the summit, where you can enjoy the desert views.

Hiking Distance: About five miles round trip.
Elevation Gain: About 570 meters.

Additions and CorrectionsPost an Addition or Correction

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Matthew Holliman

Matthew Holliman - Nov 29, 2005 2:32 am - Hasn't voted

Route Comment

As an alternative to retracing one's steps (or rappeling!) down the headwall, it's possible to instead continue following the east ridge down to where it meets the easy slopes below the cliffs. This is a short but highly enjoyable knife edge--exposed, excellent rock, and although regrettably brief, it's some of the best third class climbing I've found on a desert peak to date. Highly recommended. (Incidentally, although more exposed than the headwall, it may actually be easier to descend this way--you're traversing a mostly level ridge with only a short, easy downclimb at the end to get back to the scree slopes, rather than reversing the steep climb of the headwall.)

This ridge could obviously also be used on an ascent, but it's slightly less direct than the usual DPS weakness up to the summit, and I overlooked it. If you miss it likewise on the way up, be sure not to on the way down--you'd really be missing out.


gimpilator - Feb 10, 2015 12:11 pm - Hasn't voted

dead links

This page is full of dead links. Let me know when it's corrected and I will retract my needs updates vote.

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