History of Clark's arrow

Have an interesting or epic climbing story? Post it here.
User avatar
Posts: 188
Joined: 9/4/2009
14er Checklist (58)
14ers in Winter (3)
13er Checklist (1)

History of Clark's arrow

Postby LoveThisSite » Tue Sep 13, 2011 9:48 am

Hi all, I'm looking for the history behind Clark's arrow - how it came about, what the significance is etc. Google/MSN didn't provide any links that provided any details... anyone have good links?
Posts: 3852
Joined: 7/2/2008
14er Checklist Not Entered

Re: History of Clark's arrow

Postby tmathews » Tue Sep 13, 2011 10:08 am

This is from Alan Arnette's website: "You see, way back in the early days of Rocky Mountain National Park, an enterprising ranger named John Clark decided to help out his fellow climbers by painting an arrow directing climbers to the saddle between Longs Peak and Mt Meeker. The area is a rock filled gully and can be very confusing so some type of semi-permanent sign would have been useful."

User avatar
Posts: 1065
Joined: 10/17/2006
14er Checklist (58)
14ers in Winter (58)
13er Checklist (712)

Re: History of Clark's arrow

Postby sgladbach » Tue Sep 13, 2011 10:26 am

This link give's you an inkling: http://www.mountainproject.com/v/the-ramp-to-clarks-arrow-to-skyscraper/105999728

CLARK’S ARROW (4th class): The initial goal is to find the correct access point to Clark’s Arrow, which is the route connecting the Loft to the Homestretch (on the Keyhole). It runs beneath the Palisades, a dramatic, west-facing cliff band between the Loft and the Notch. The trick I’ve been using for many years: angle to the right (north) side of the flat expanse that is the Loft as you cross to its west side. When the ground starts to rise (on the right), don’t go any higher. Just pick a contour and follow it (that is, follow the juncture of the flat plain and the rising slope on the right). As you reach the far corner of the Loft, and begin turning to the north, slowly descend along a cairned path through boulders. Turn a rib, and arrive at the top of a (roughly west or NW-facing) gully. Descend (3rd class) to a brief 4th class step. Continue down another 3rd class section to a little drop off where a large boulder is wedged into the gully. This section is the crux (4th class), a steep slot along the underside of the boulder. It can be avoided on the right (facing down) with a neat little face (easier 4th class) that begins ten feet higher, and eventually leads to the same spot. Scoot down one more short, loose section (3rd class) and then cross a rib to the right (exiting the gully). It is here where John Clark, a Longs Peak ranger in the early days of the Park, painted a white arrow on the rock buttress overhead to mark the way. Don’t worry if you can’t find it – it is very easy to miss when traversing from the Loft to the Homestretch, and there’s no guarantee you’ll see it on the return trip. Once the rib is crossed, the rest of the route is very straightforward: traverse beneath the Palisades to the backside of the Notch (mostly 2nd class), cross left over the head of Keplinger’s Couloir (exposed 3rd class, and often some snow), and join the Keyhole route at the base of the Homestretch. 700 feet of polished rock leads to the summit.

This link reveals a bit of his personality (see especially pages 2-7.)
"We knocked the bastard off." Hillary, 1953
"It is not the mountain we conquer but ourselves." Hillary, 2003
Couldn't we all use 50 years of humble growth?

Return to “Mountaineering Tales”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 5 guests