Clark Glacier

Named after Captain William Clark of the Corps of Discovery, the Clark Glacier is situated on the southwest side of the South Sister to the west of the Lewis Glacier, and ranges in elevation from 8300 near it’s toe to 9300 feet on it’s upper reaches.  As with nearly all of the glaciers in the Oregon cascades, the Clark has lost a significant amount of mass and volume since the mid-1800’s and is now basically a crevasse free snowfield.  The below photo, courtesy of John Scurlock, was taken on August 28, 2007, and shows the Clark Glacier, with the Lewis Glacier to the left.  Note the lake and cliffs evident to the left of the Clark, clear remainders of erosive forces from a previously much larger glacier.

Clark Glacier; photo courtesy of John Scurlock

Clark Glacier; photo courtesy of John Scurlock

The Clark is a beautiful place to make spring and early summer turns, especially when combined with a descent of the south side of South Sister.  It offers a bit spicier ride than the standard climbing route, with more variety in terrain and features, including rollovers, wind lips, cornices, etc.

Skinning above the Clark Glacier

Skinning above the Clark Glacier

If considering a trip to the South Sister and a ride from the summit, a descent via the Clark Glacier is definitely worth the time and effort.  The views alone justify the trip.

June turns on the Clark Glacier

June turns on the Clark Glacier

 

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