Trip Report
Mt Hooper: Truck to Truck
Sunday September 2, 2012 9:55pm
A little over a month ago I went backpacking with the intention to summit Mt Hooper. We figured that if we hiked up to Hooper Lake and Neil Lake that we'd find a way to scramble to the summit. It turned out that sheer faces and cliff bands shunted this plan. I was a little disappointed not to summit, but the area was still great to be in. Fast forward to a week ago when I hear from my brother that he, Charlie Rose, and Kenny Rose are going to Hooper. I had figured out the way not to go and had a suspicion of how to bag it.
Kenny and Charlie where backpacking in, but Jeremy wanted to day hike it due to plans on Sunday. I agreed to do it in a day as well.
Friday, we left work around three getting us up there by five after some photos on the way.
Bear Dome
Bear Dome
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Jackass Meadows
Jackass Meadows
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Then time for more beer and some fishing
Jeremy and a rainbow
Jeremy and a rainbow
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Shortly after the Roses (Team Thorn) showed up, we set up camp just below the trail head parking lot. More beers, a fire, a blue moon, great friends, and a horrid taste of ol number seven.
Blue moon rising
Blue moon rising
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Credit: this just in
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Early start was key, we left the Hooper Diversion Dam at seven and the first mile and a half is steep and slow, much harder for team Thorn with their hiking packs. The crux of the first leg of the hike for sure.
Moon setting, elevation gain beginning
Moon setting, elevation gain beginning
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When you reach the view of Infant Buttes it's pretty mellow to Gordon Lakes which was base camp for team Thorn.
An Infant Butte
An Infant Butte
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We reached Gordon Lake at 9:45. Having gained about 2500' we relaxed, ate lunch, fished, and pumped water for the push to Hooper. At 11:00 we started our trek. Jeremy and I had 3:30 as the time we needed to be off the summit and heading down, but we were hoping for earlier. So it began, as Kenny always says "walking slowly feeling poorly" and we did just this.
The view of Harvey Lake and a cool little summit that watches over it. For us it was the end of the first uphill and a place to take a short rest and loath the next hill.
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Harvey Lake
Harvey Lake
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Drop offs everywhere
Drop offs everywhere
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Infant Buttes in the background
Infant Buttes in the background
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Some pics from atop the next hill. Hooper looking way far away still.
Mt Hooper
Mt Hooper
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Hooper Lake with an unnamed peak
Hooper Lake with an unnamed peak
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Notice the green color of Hooper Lake, not the usual blue. Maybe a geologist knows why, but we were thinking some kind of mineral is the cause.
Cool arch and Neil Lake
Cool arch and Neil Lake
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Unnamed Peak and Chamberlain Lake
Unnamed Peak and Chamberlain Lake
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At this point we were on the third hill, which was the longest, steepest, and hardest. Sand, small trees or bushwacking, talus, and elevation made for slow progress and thoughts of doubt.
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Mt Shinn in the distance
Mt Shinn in the distance
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Mother Rowan (white) and her daughter Adu
Mother Rowan (white) and her daughter Adu
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This is a good shot of the hiking up the third slope. Feeling my heartbeat pound in my head with each step is a good feeling.
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Top of the last major slope was a relief, even if Hooper was still a little farther. At 12000' now.
Hooper from false summit
Hooper from false summit
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Jeremy napping and Kenny hurting I mean hiking
Jeremy napping and Kenny hurting I mean hiking
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Final approach
Final approach
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A Thunderstorm's generosity
A Thunderstorm's generosity
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Graveyard Peak in middleground and then Ritter!
Graveyard Peak in middleground and then Ritter!
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Rose Lake
Rose Lake
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Reaching a summit is a great feeling. All the doubts have faded and the beauty takes full grip. I think how small and insignificant I am, my time is limited, but I'm grateful to experience such places. The Sierra Nevada will be here long after I'm gone, but I have plenty more peaks to see and there are plenty more...
Darwin on the middle left in the distance
Darwin on the middle left in the distance
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Credit: this just in
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Missing photo ID#261764
Jeremy bouldering 1,000' high
Jeremy bouldering 1,000' high
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Credit: this just in
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Marie Lake and Seven Gables
Marie Lake and Seven Gables
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Summit Register
Summit Register
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Kenny on the 5.4 crack
Kenny on the 5.4 crack
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Kenny back on top of Hooper 35 years later
Kenny back on top of Hooper 35 years later
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All seven of us
All seven of us
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This was only Jeremy and my halfway point, it was a little after three and we had 5,000' to descend. The way up is hard on your heart, head, and lungs. The way down is hard on everything else. By the time we reached my truck it was seven and we were both exhausted. My legs, knees, and feet were all cursing me, but I was overjoyed to be in a chair cooking some Mountain House.
12 hours truck to truck, about 12 total miles, and 10,000' total elevation. I highly recommend Mt Hooper and hope you guys add to the register, because there weren't too many names in there. The oldest was from 2010, don't know what happened to the old one. A party from Germany was in there twice, with a year in between. Laters.




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About the Author
this just in is a climber from north fork.

Comments
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Jeremy Ross

Gym climber
  Sep 2, 2012 - 10:14pm PT
Hey I've been there! Nice TR, bro. Lots of fun.



-JR
Dirka

Trad climber
Hustle City
  Sep 2, 2012 - 10:15pm PT
Great trip!
David D.

Trad climber
California
  Sep 2, 2012 - 10:49pm PT
Nice TR! Always love adventures in the Sierras.
tiki-jer

Trad climber
fresno/clovis
  Sep 3, 2012 - 03:04am PT
Nice TR! Good to see you out Justin!!

ADU!!!!
Mungeclimber

Trad climber
Nothing creative to say
  Sep 3, 2012 - 05:15am PT
enjoyed
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
  Sep 3, 2012 - 06:10am PT
That was perfect for "Labor" Day!

this just in

climber
north fork
Author's Reply  Sep 3, 2012 - 11:04am PT
Thanks guys. Adu didn't even get out of her bed till 5:00 pm yesterday. One tired dog and me too. I'll add some more pics later.
phylp

Trad climber
Millbrae, CA
  Sep 3, 2012 - 01:30pm PT
What a great day! Those doggies deserve some extra treats.

It's funny, as hard as the "up" feels to me on long days, it's really my knees and the "down" that's ultimately more limiting.

Phyl
hairyapeman

Trad climber
Fres-yes
  Sep 3, 2012 - 06:17pm PT
Awesome! Funny thing I just did Shinn this year and could spot Hooper from the summit! Great trip report!
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climber
north fork
Author's Reply  Sep 3, 2012 - 09:51pm PT
Here's a couple more of Shinn, I want to get this one soon. Hairyape did you have any photos of Hooper from there?
Credit: this just in
Credit: this just in
And Mount Humphreys
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klk

Trad climber
cali
  Sep 3, 2012 - 10:15pm PT
killer
micronut

Trad climber
Fresno/Clovis, ca
  Sep 3, 2012 - 11:59pm PT
Nice work fellas! I'm heading in there for three days in early October with some old buddies for an annual "Get away from it all" weekend. I have some questions about where to make a basecamp and which ridge to get on if we feel kinda class 3/fourish instead of slogging the class 2-3. I might hit you up on e-mail. We'd like to get to one of those high lakes from the diversion dam on day one, then climb day 2. Head back to camp that night for happy hour, then hike out day three with bellies full of fish and a summit under our belts. If we stayed at Hooper or Neil lake, how does that west or "north" ridge look?
(the left hand skyline. Or could we head up and through that sandy notch on the right side....which would be cooler?)

Credit: this just in

Again, way to get after it. Thanks for the report.
See yall around. You coming to the Tollhouse Face-Off?

-Scott
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climber
north fork
Author's Reply  Sep 4, 2012 - 11:33am PT
Micro- the best place to base camp would probably be Harvey lake. The fishing is best there and there's a cool campsite. Hooper and Neil are right next to each other which is weird cause Neil didn't have fish and Hooper did. Or maybe they were just hiding in neil:-) As far as the North approach I do think it's possible and would be cooler, but you guys would know if you were up for it. I turned around on the sandy part you mentioned when my dog was sending boulders at me from above. Surely either is more challenging, but it sucks not getting to summit. It's a great area and you guys are going to love it. Have fun and yes I'll see you at the faceoff.
survival

Big Wall climber
Terrapin Station
  Sep 4, 2012 - 01:26am PT
Nice work TJI!!

Great trip report and photos. Soooo good to bag something that you want like that eh?

Thanks for putting this up and CONGRATULATIONS!
Darwin

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
  Sep 4, 2012 - 01:34am PT
Good effin TR. Thanks!
this just in

climber
north fork
Author's Reply  Sep 4, 2012 - 09:08am PT
Thanks survival and Darwin. Bruce it is a great feeling to get this peak, especially after not getting it last time. I'm gunna take a page outta your book and add some more pics later
Ezra Ellis

Trad climber
North wet, and Da souf
  Sep 4, 2012 - 10:45am PT
Sweet, doesn't get any better then the mountains, fishing and beer!
RP3

Big Wall climber
Twain Harte
  Sep 4, 2012 - 11:58am PT
Good fun!
Banquo

climber
Amerricka
  Sep 4, 2012 - 12:04pm PT
Twenty years ago or so a friend and I camped at Hooper Lake then circled the cirque by ascending the north ridge and descending your route. I recall the descent being a bit of a bushwhack. I once camped at Chamberlain Lake with the intent of ascending the arete in you photos but a very cold day with freakishly strong winds caused me to abandon the idea. This is a really cool area.

Chamberlain Lake
Chamberlain Lake
Credit: Banquo

Mount Hooper Summit from west <br/>
7 Gables beyond
Mount Hooper Summit from west
7 Gables beyond
Credit: Banquo

Mt Hooper from north
Mt Hooper from north
Credit: Banquo
survival

Big Wall climber
Terrapin Station
  Sep 4, 2012 - 12:06pm PT
I'm gunna take a page outta your book and add some more pics later


You got that sh#t right buddy! It's a semi-skillfull way to bump your own thread and keep others coming back.

I'M SO PROUD!
Banquo

climber
Amerricka
  Sep 4, 2012 - 12:12pm PT
Micronut-

The north ridge is probably 4th class. We had a rope since we didn't know what we would encounter. I remember reaching a point where my partner thought it was time to get the rope out so I did.

Summiting from the north ridge.
Summiting from the north ridge.
Credit: Banquo
nutjob

Sport climber
Almost to Hollywood, Baby!
  Sep 4, 2012 - 01:06pm PT
I got tired reading this! Looks like a monster day, thanks for sharing.
hairyapeman

Trad climber
Fres-yes
  Sep 4, 2012 - 01:11pm PT
Sadly I do not have that pic. I am still kicking myself in the butt for not grabbing a summit 360 photo. THe views up in that country are unbelievable!
Auntie A

Social climber
North Fork CA
  Sep 4, 2012 - 06:34pm PT
That was a fabulous read, Justin.
"Cool arch and Neil Lake" was a glorious shot, as was the one with Jeremy on top of that very strange formation - totally photoshopped, right?
8)
As a strictly vicarious climber, I think reading your trip reports will be the way to go for me.
I look forward to being dazzled by your heights.
AA
this just in

climber
north fork
Author's Reply  Sep 4, 2012 - 07:35pm PT
Thanks Anne and welcome to Supertopo.

Banquo- really like that shot of the north ridge, was there a register at that time?

Here's some pics from my July backpacking trip up there.
Harvey Lake
Harvey Lake
Credit: this just in
Hooper from Camp Harvey
Hooper from Camp Harvey
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Golden from Harvey
Golden from Harvey
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Credit: this just in
Hooper Lake
Hooper Lake
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Credit: this just in
Banquo

climber
Amerricka
  Sep 5, 2012 - 12:28pm PT
I don't recall a register but I don't always sign them.
Slater

Trad climber
Central Coast
  Sep 17, 2012 - 10:39pm PT
Nice TR!
Sweet golden trout!
And man how was Bear Dome!?

Hope you didn't have to drive backwards to get out of there.
And where is the pic of the woodpecker!?
doughnutnational

Gym climber
its nice here in the spring
  Sep 17, 2012 - 10:52pm PT
I missed this first time around nice pictures and hard hike. When I dayhiked it we went past Chamberlain lake. I hope you made sure the register was on the summit block! When I did it with my daughter I refused to let her sign it without making it to the top. Heres a picture of some bouldering near Chamberlain Lake.
The reason I backpack
The reason I backpack
Credit: Megan the camera tilter
this just in

climber
north fork
Author's Reply  Sep 17, 2012 - 10:54pm PT
Haha slater. No driving backwards on that rd. Jeremy saw the woodpecker, I just acted like I did to seem like I was cool. Maybe if I had one them fancy bird call recorder thingamajiggers I could of taken a picture. RBBC out.

Yeah Ludwig, wish you coulda gone. Wanna do Shinn soon?
doughnutnational

Gym climber
its nice here in the spring
  Sep 18, 2012 - 09:23am PT
I sure do, but family issues are taking most of my time lately.
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climber
north fork
Author's Reply  Sep 18, 2012 - 11:48am PT
Damn hope the best for you Kevin. Call me two87 five813
micronut

Trad climber
Fresno/Clovis, ca
  Oct 2, 2012 - 02:10am PT
Sup guys?

We did Hooper this weekend. over three days. Got on the ridge at Harvey Lake by taking a steep chute just off the East side of the lake. Summited around noon on our second day. Great place. My buddy Eric had always wanted to sit on top of Hooper so we made a fun trip out of it. Not many folks get back in there these days from the look of things. I was the only one to sit on the summit, since the other dudes were sketched, so we were at least successful as a team. I didn't blame em. Those last moves were super exposed eh?

Anyways, here's a couple shots from our day on that ridge. What a fun long place to hang out for the day.

Brie, crackers and caviar on the summit.  Yup, caviar. Eric surprised ...
Brie, crackers and caviar on the summit. Yup, caviar. Eric surprised us. A first for me. Tasted like salty Powerbait.
Credit: micronut
Credit: micronut
Credit: micronut
Credit: micronut
How bout that for clear water!
How bout that for clear water!
Credit: micronut
Credit: micronut
Credit: micronut
Credit: micronut
Credit: micronut
By the way. I never found the summit register. Bummer. Where was it?

newnamnevi

Sport climber
The five Street NewYork NewYork USA 10001
  Oct 2, 2012 - 10:08am PT
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climber
north fork
Author's Reply  Oct 2, 2012 - 11:09am PT
What a cool place, glad guys made it. The register is under the summit block, wedged in a crack. On the backside of your picture. You guys get any fishing in? That arch is pretty damn cool.
JEleazarian

Trad climber
Fresno CA
  Oct 2, 2012 - 01:50pm PT
I'd always wondered what Hooper's summit looked like, given the existence of the "ladder . . . placed for the climber's convenience" that existed in former days.

Thanks for the fine report and superb pictures.

John
doughnutnational

Gym climber
its nice here in the spring
  Oct 2, 2012 - 03:04pm PT
I hope the register ends up on top. I refused to let my kid and my friend sign it until they made it to the top.
crazy horse

Trad climber
fresno, ca
  Oct 4, 2012 - 02:21am PT
nice TR bro!!! super cool!!
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