I May Need A Lawyer (Mt Clark)

23 Sep 1996 - by Steve Eckert

Second-hand hearsay indicates that three people who signed up for my Mt Clark day hike could not find my business card (with the site number - 159) at the entrance to Crane Flat, so they did not team up with us the night before the hike. I stuck my card in the glass next to the campsite assignment postings about 9pm, as directed by a ranger, so mea culpa NOT.

The next morning it got even better... I told everyone to meet at

"the end of the road past the tent cabins at Curry Village. We'll walk a short way up the road to Happy Isle and head up the Mist Trail. Meet at the end of where you can drive (not the end of the pavement)"

but no one found us. First hand reports indicate that five people were somewhere near one of the many Merced River bridges, thinking they should be at the road closed sign for Mirror Lake (instead of the road closed sign for Happy Isles). Again, mea culpa NOT.

Now that I won't be sued for ditching 5 out of 7 participants, (surely some sort of record) I'll just briefly mention that Jeff West, David Harris, and I started a little bit behind schedule (forgot a camera on the car roof) and powered up to the ridge above Bunnell Point (leaving the trail near Twin Bridges). Jeff turned back worried about joints and the number of daylight hours remaining (a good choice, it turns out, since he had some discomfort on the way out).

David and I bagged Quartzite (class 3/4) and Clark (class 3/4), and while descending we saw John Wilkinson and Gary Baker (I think it was them - if my mind is working right through the stress-induced haze) who told us the stories above. The other three apparently climbed Half Dome.

David and I hit the cars around 9:30, which means we averaged about 3 mph on the way out (including cross country). I'm sure you will hear this tale told from other perspectives, but keep in mind that every event is a lesson: Next time I'll try to pick a better meeting spot even if it's NOT right where we start walking from.

Here's a map of our route. The yellow line starts near Curry Village:

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