Disclaimer: we didn't actually summit....
Given the slave driver I am, my girlfriend insisted on doing an overnight trip to Mt John Clarke. When she mentioned this, while I was excited, I wasn't sure she had done her homework on just how steep it was... Nevertheless, Saturday morning we left town, had a leisurely breakfast at Big D's in Squamish (which was awesome), and headed up the Squamish Valley Road.
Driving to the TH was fun... with alders closing in on the road, the tacoma got quite the beating. I cranked up the music so as not to hear the screeching branches scraping off the paint.
A recent debris flow (maybe a couple years old) prevented access a few hundred meters shy of Outrigger Creek, so we started from here at 12.45. I insisted on seeing Sims Creek, given everything I'd read about it, but I was blown away at just how awesome it actually was at the bridge.
Once we got going on the trail, I was impressed at how well maintained and marked it is. Kudos to whoever does the trail maintenance here, not an easy task I imagine. We took 4 hours to reach Bug Lake, which never lived up to it's name, happily enough. The packs were trying to pull us back down the hill
We had a nice evening soaking everything in, and packed it in with intentions for a 5am wake up.
6.30 rolled around before we got up.... Which set the stage for the rest of the day. After a few hours from Bug Lake we reached the alpine. What incredible granite there is up there, perfect for scrambling and bouldering, although I can't say I would be rushing to bring a crash mat up there. We had a fun time scrambling and rambling up to the ridge top, where we were treated with impressive views of the Sims Valley, the Elaho Valley, and Mt John Clarke.
As we kept ambling along, the minutes were lost in our fun, and soon it was noon. We made it to the subsummit, and decided to turn around. It was taking way to long too get anywhere, and the summit would mean a very late night indeed. So, much to my disappointment, we turn around. I think that while we didn't make the summit, the experience itself more than made up for it. We'd been on a trail built by John Clarke, on a mountain named after John Clarke, saw an incredible wilderness, with no roads and cities between us and Bella Coola to the north (I think....). I'll definitely be back for a summit attempt, and maybe spend more time scrambling these awesome broad ridges.
The descent was fun. Kelsey had more fun than me I think. We got home at 11pm after dinner in Squamish. Besides the heavy packs tiring us out, seriously, how the hell do some people do this on in a day from Vancouver?!