addressalign-toparrow-leftarrow-rightbackbellblockcalendarcameraccwcheckchevron-downchevron-leftchevron-rightchevron-small-downchevron-small-leftchevron-small-rightchevron-small-upchevron-upcircle-with-checkcircle-with-crosscircle-with-pluscontroller-playcrossdots-three-verticaleditemptyheartexporteye-with-lineeyefacebookfolderfullheartglobegmailgooglegroupshelp-with-circleimageimagesinstagramFill 1light-bulblinklocation-pinm-swarmSearchmailmessagesminusmoremuplabelShape 3 + Rectangle 1ShapeoutlookpersonJoin Group on CardStartprice-ribbonprintShapeShapeShapeShapeImported LayersImported LayersImported Layersshieldstartickettrashtriangle-downtriangle-uptwitteruserwarningyahoo

Mt. Clark NW Arete Ridge Traverse

  • Jul 25, 2014 · 8:00 AM
  • This location is shown only to members

Mt. Clark NW Arete / Ridge Traverse

You’ve seen it from afar - it deserves every bit of attention it gets.  That knife-like ridge with a twist seen in the distance in the Yosemite High Country. Here’s your chance to climb it all in one swift shot. 

TO FEDERAL AND STATE LAND USE AGENCIES, OUR MEMBERS AND THE GENERAL PUBLIC: Sierra Mountaineering Club is a 501(c)7 not-for-profit social and recreational club.  Our mission to be a community where people connect, learn and climb together. This is an official club-sponsored outing which is open to the public and free of charge, and is within all federal and state land agency policies for non-commercial use. If you have questions about our mission or operations please read all provided information in this posting. If you would like to contact the club, call the SMC Executive Director at (916)[masked] or [masked].



• HOW TO REGISTER: Please read all the content of this posting, then if you are interested in attending, see below

• COST: Free. 

• DATES: July 25 - 27th

• ROUTES: NW Arete, Class 4 and SE Arete, Class 4

• LOCATION: Yosemite National Park - via Glacier Point Road.  Driving directions:  if you’re coming from the North entering YNP from 120 or 140, you will head toward the Village and turn right onto 41 toward Wawona just before reaching the village.  You will then make a left on Glacier Point Road.  If you’re coming from the south entering YNP on 41, turn onto Glacier Point Road about 10 miles before you reach the Valley.  We will park at the Mono Meadow Trailhead on the right side of the road

• OUTING LEADERS: Rob Ritchey, Mike

• MINIMUM AND MAXIMUM GROUP SIZE: Minimum 3, maximum 8

• CLIMBING SKILLS REQUIREMENTS: In order to be best prepared to climb safely and effectively, participants should be able to climb and descend mid-5th class rock, know how to belay, tie-in and climb on a fixed line. RCK 1 and RCK 2 proficiency levels are recommended.

• FITNESS AND DIFFICULTY LEVEL: Overall this outing best fits in the "Difficult" category



Friday, July 25:  We will meet at the Mono Meadow Trailhead at 10am.  From there, we will begin our approach to Mt Clark which is just under 10 miles to the Northeast. We will set up basecamp somewhere on the Southwestern side of Mt Clark. 

Saturday, July 26 : Saturday morning, we will get an early start and plan to climb the 4th/5th class route of the NW Arete with a complete ridge traverse, descent via the SE Arete and then return to base camp.

Sunday, July 27:  We will return to the cars at Mono Meadow and return home.




• Wicking, breathable base layers, top and bottom

• Insulating, weather-resistant mid layer, top and bottom

• Wind and waterproof shell layer, top and bottom

• Socks, liners

• Sunglasses* or goggles 

• Sun hat


• 2 or 3 person 3+ season tent, to share with the group

• 30-65 liter backpack 

• Sleeping bag and pad

• Trekking poles if preferred

• Food 

• Water bottles or containers

• Mug / bowl and spoon 

• Headlamp and extra batteries

• Map and compass

• Small knife

• Sunscreen

• Camera

• Personal items, medications, etc.


• Hiking / Approach shoes, Rock shoes if preferred

• Harness

• Hard shell climbing helmet

• Locking and non-locking carabiners

• Two 48" sewn slings 

• Loop of 5mm cord / prussik 

• Belay device 

*If you are without some of this important safety gear, it may be available for loan upon prior request, first-come, first serve.

For help in selecting the appropriate item, please refer to the SMC Detailed Clothing, Equipment and Gear List



• This event is free of charge and available to the public. In order to attend, you must register for free with the Sierra Mountaineering Club so that you can place your name on the interest list.

• Outing leaders are board-approved volunteers who are not compensated for their time and effort. All SMC Outing Leaders are volunteers and accordingly, our leaders do not accept gratuities.

• The club receives no financial gain for organizing and supporting this club outing. Donations are not solicited on club outings, nor is any exchange of money a requirement for participation. The outing is truly free to all qualified persons.

• Non-commercial wilderness, camping and /or backcountry permits have been acquired within the posted group size limits for this area, and will be carried with our party in the backcountry. Should you wish to inquire about such permits, please contact the SMC Executive Director at (916)[masked] or [masked]

• Any fees associated with this outing are those that individuals would have incurred had they done this event themselves, or are legitimate group costs such as housing and pre-arranged transportation. Any excess funds will be returned to trip participants.

• All SMC outings practice established Leave No Trace principles to be good stewards of our public lands and wilderness areas.

• Participant safety is our top priority. The itinerary described reflects the planned route, however circumstances beyond the leader's control, including weather, may necessitate changes.

• The outing begins and ends at the trailhead. SMC does not have insurance for ridesharing arrangements and assumes no liability for them; carpooling, ride sharing, or anything similar is strictly a private arrangement among the drivers and riders.

• SMC carries radios, adequate medical kits, and requires all leaders to have current first aid and CPR training as well as specific technical climbing, leadership and SMC policy training



Club climbing outings are open to all and free of charge. After a conservative self-assessment, if you believe you can contribute to the safety and success of this outing and would like to be considered, please indicate your interest on the official outing posting on

If you do not have an SMC membership, you can get one that allows you to join outings only. Visit the official SMC website and complete a member profile for free. This will then allow you to indicate your interest on the official outing posting on

1. Visit the official SMC website, or if you already are a member, go to step 3.

2. Complete all the portions of the member profile

3. Place your name on the interest list: www.sierramountaineeringgroup/events

HOW SELECTIONS WORK: A few weeks prior to the outing, the leaders will select team members based on relevant experience, skill level, fitness, and teamwork, while keeping an eye toward achieving a balanced mix of individuals. Those that are selected will be notified via email. Out of courtesy, if you are unable to attend, please notify the outing leader as soon as possible. You can check the status of your attendance on the event posting on Meetup.



Sierra Mountaineering Club endorses the principles of LEAVE NO TRACE and expects all participants to follows the following procedures on public lands.

We Plan Ahead and Prepare By:

·  Checking with local public land agencies

·  Conducting research to know the area and what to expect

·  Encouraging ride sharing to the trailhead

·  Planning travel distances and activities

·  Being prepared for emergencies and changing conditions

·  Selecting the proper equipment for our activities and know how to use them

·  Conducting trainings to increase the safety of our teams

We Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces By:

·  Concentrating trail use in popular areas

·  Hiking on existing trails to minimize impacts to soils and wildlife

·  Selecting an appropriate campsite 200 feet from water and trails

·  When selecting a backcountry campsite, choosing one with a durable surface

·  When going off-trail, spreading our use to avoid trampling vegetation

We Pack It In and Pack It Out By:

·  Reducing litter at the source by minimizing packaging

·  Carrying out all trash, no matter how small

We Properly Dispose of What We Can't Pack Out By:

·  Disposing of urine properly on rocks or durable surfaces

·  Burying human feces in a cathole 6 inches deep at least 200 feet from water, trails and campsites.

·  Carrying out solid waste in areas where required

·  Carrying out all used toilet paper and personal sanitary products

·  Keeping cooking and waste away from water sources

·  Understanding and following all regulations for bear country

We Minimize Use and Impact of Fires By:

·  Using portable camp stoves for cooking

·  If fires are permissible and necessary for warmth or safety, using a mound fire

We Leave What We Find By:

·  Respecting wildlife

·  Minimizing campsite alterations - we believe good campsites are found, not made

·  Avoiding damaging live trees and plants

·  Leaving natural and cultural artifacts

We Are Considerate of Others By:

·  Choose secluded camps and less popular areas to climb

·  Taking rests in areas not visible from the trail

·  Traveling in the smallest groups possible



Unlike SMC, the following are certified guide services. Our partners in climbing offer amazing adventures in the Sierra and beyond:

Shasta Mountain Guides -

Sierra Mountain Center -

Mountain Adventure Seminars -

Alpine Skills International -

 Sierra Mountaineering International -

Sierra Mountaineering Club is a 501(c)7 not-for-profit social and recreational mountaineering club. We partner with the USDA Forest Service, National Parks, State Parks, The Bureau of Land Management or private land owners to provide this opportunity.  Our mission to be a community where people connect, learn and climb together.


For more information or questions, please contact the listed event leaders.

Join or login to comment.

  • Mike

    A great time on a really fun route that would certainly be busy if it were any easier to approach. Thanks Tom and Rob for being great partners!

    July 29, 2014

  • Tom W.

    Mike and Rob ... thanks so much for putting this together all the work you guys put into planning paid off. It was simply perfect. 3 was the perfect number.

    July 28, 2014

  • Rob R.

    We had a fantastic climb. Thanks Mike and Tom. Clark was everything I expected and more.

    July 27, 2014

  • Rick S.

    crazy only 3 people?

    July 25, 2014

  • Rob R.

    Another email to come out tonight with further organization - even though we're down to only 5. :)

    July 23, 2014

  • Rob R.

    How about we meet at Mono Meadow TH at 10am. Any opposed ?

    July 22, 2014

    • Wayne

      Works for me. Warm forecast.. early is better :)

      July 23, 2014

    • Rob R.

      I'm okay for earlier - want to push it to 9?

      July 23, 2014

  • Wayne

    Mikey embracing the horror of the highly exposed step across.

    3 · July 22, 2014

    • Mike

      Can't wait to do it again!

      1 · July 23, 2014

  • Wayne

    Hey if Mono Meadows is anything like Leavitt Meadows last week I'd bring along a ball cap, head net, and bug repellant. It just might save you from running off into the night.

    1 · July 22, 2014

  • Rob R.

    I'm working on an email as we speak. A couple questions:
    1. Tents - we have 8 people - anyone want to volunteer
    2. Stove - We need at least 2.
    3. Water Filtration - we will have a water source nearby. Mike and I should have most of the rock pro/ropes covered (Tom is also bringing a rope). Rob

    July 21, 2014

    • Mike

      Hi Sharon, thanks for the feedback. We possibly may be thinking of different routes however. The route we plan to follow will climb the gulley below the west face before traversing left onto the NW ridge. From there we'll ascend the ridge to the summit, then downclimb the SE ridge back to the gentle slopes above basecamp. We'll plan to stay on the ridge more or less the entire time. Retreating from the NW ridge will involve reversing our steps along the ridge to the point where we gained the ridge, which we'll rappel. This section is less than 50ft, and shouldn't need more than a single 30m rope to complete, though we will have 2 with us. From the SE ridge, a retreat will involve a short rappel onto the eastern slopes. I've done this with a single 30m rope from just after the step over, which is about the highest point, save the summit itself. One must climb a gulley to avoid cliffs and regain the ridge near its terminus. All of this is easy 3rd class without much exposure.

      July 22, 2014

    • A former member
      A former member

      Yes, perhaps a different route than I was anticipating. I'll defer on this trip, however if anyone is an experienced trad climber and would like to rope up sometime, drop me a note.

      July 22, 2014

  • Darryl

    I just scored a new Job as a Paramedic in Amador County an they have enlightened me an orientation is required prior to starting work which will be Friday. My apologies and I hope someone can filmy spot. I even had my pack set up all ready to go.

    July 22, 2014

    • Rob R.

      No problem Darryl, good luck on the new job and hope to climb with you soon

      July 22, 2014

    • Darryl

      when I joined the group I had lots of free time. I should have held off a few months because I just get jealous looking at the trip reports from people who could get out to these trips. on the plus side though, I'm heading to the Andes in October so that'll make up for some of it :)

      1 · July 22, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Hello everyone -- since I'm new to the group, is it okay to ask if all of you have simul-climbed before? Or does everyone plan to solo the ridge? I've been up there and it's exposed 4th class. Cheers, Sharon

    July 21, 2014

    • A former member
      A former member

      I'll prefer to simul. Any one else out there game and experienced?

      July 22, 2014

    • Mike

      For a group this size, we'll plan to provide a belay using fixed lines. For steeper terrain, we'll have you friction hitch onto the line and pass protection by clipping through the pieces. Each member will climb one at a time for the entire section. For easier but exposed terrain, we'll fix each piece of protection and you'll simply clip to the line with a locker with a safety line you'll use to pass protection. This will allow the entire team to move simultaneously, though never more than a single climber between pieces of protection. If our group ends up being small to the point that a running belay makes sense, then we'll go that route.

      1 · July 22, 2014

  • Daniel

    A work thing came up for me and I will no longer be able to go :( So sorry. I hope one of the waitlisted people can take my place.

    July 22, 2014

  • Rob R.

    Hey guys - going to work on logistics this weekend. Expect an email by Sunday.

    July 17, 2014

  • Darren S.

    If you are interested, you must put your name on the interest list on the official posting here:

    July 11, 2014

  • Frederick

    I would love to join if there is room

    July 11, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Hi Darren -- check your inbox, would love to nab that spot. Did the West Face two years ago.


    July 11, 2014

  • Rob R.

    Ruth, I sent you an email. Please respond ASAP. Thank you.

    July 4, 2014

    • Rob R.

      Sorry Ruth...I meant Cindy. My fault.

      July 7, 2014

    • Ruth H.

      No problem.

      July 9, 2014

  • Daniel

    When is this going to appear on the real calendar? That thing is starting to look pretty empty. Hard to plan things with less than a month lead time.

    June 27, 2014

    • Daniel

      Cool. I did Mt Starr King a few weeks ago, and Mt Clark was calling me from there...

      June 27, 2014

    • Rob R.

      I was at Starr King last year - that in addition to the comments of others led to the interest in this climb.

      June 27, 2014

3 went

  • Rob R.
    Event Host
  • Mike
    SMC MEMBER, Co-Organizer,
    Event Host

Our Sponsors

People in this
Meetup are also in:

Sign up

Meetup members, Log in

By clicking "Sign up" or "Sign up using Facebook", you confirm that you accept our Terms of Service & Privacy Policy