Mt. Clark in the Daylight

6 Sep 2003 - by Hal Tompkins

To celebrate my 50th birthday (actually 16 days prior) this year, I chose to day hike Mt. Clark. This is a page from Warren Storkman's book, although it should be pointed out that his day hiking book has many more pages than mine. I had done this in 2002 with a small group of Day Hikers but we had not gotten out until 1:30am the next morning and I considered such a late return to stretch the limits of what should be called a day hike.

I set out alone from the Curry Village parking lot at 6:20am and joined the crowds who were setting off for Half Dome. Their route diverged from mine in Little Yosemite Valley and I made good progress to the slabs above the Merced Gorge which is where the route leaves the trail, hitting this point at 9:30am. My strategy for moving quickly is simple: don't stop. If you have to stop and rest, then you're working too hard. This means eating and drinking while moving. Having done the route the previous year helped greatly since I didn't need to stop and consult the map. Being an experienced climber, the summit blocks were quickly dispatched and my watch read 12:22pm on the summit. I was quite tired at this point, but the remainder of the trip was downhill. Hiking cross country is really much easier in daylight! 3:02pm found me intersecting the trail down the Illilouette Creek drainage and 6:00pm found me back at the car.

To emulate Warren, I just have to repeat this (albeit more slowly) for another 20 years.


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