Mount Senger & Mount Hooper From Bear Creek Diversion Dam

  • Updated: September 02, 2014
  • Post By: Matthew Hengst

Aug 30th to Sept 2nd,  2014
Mount Senger (12,286')
Mount Hooper (12,349')

This was the second Labor Day in a row Jeff, Kristen, and I came out this way.  Last year it was to climb Seven Gables & Gemini and I'd be incredibly impressed by the area.

And this trip was similar spectacular.  Having been back here again it just left me wanting to find some more peaks as an excuse to come back again.

It's a 4WD ish trailhead and a 13 mile hike to get back in there but it honestly it fairly gentle as far as 13 mile hikes go.

Of course anything we do far enough north on the west side we stop by everyone's favorite combination petting zoo and cheese shop Bravo Farms.  Granted they're almost always closed when I go by but still, little donkeys!

This area is one of those blessed places that allows us to pick up permits after hours so we just had to make a quick pitstop in Prather.

We settled down for the night at a campground near the trailhead.  There's no bathroom facilities at the trailhead so it's nice to stay here vs bivying near the diversion dam.

The next morning we finished the last bit of the drive 

I've been down this road before.  That time ended up in a flat tire and a bent steel jeep hitch but granted I was trying to take a shortcut.  The road isn't all that bad.

The trail in is well trodden ground by this point.  I did it twice last year once for the previously mentioned Seven Gables & Gemini trip and again for the JMT fastpack.

It's a good trail and you pound out the 13 miles and 3k -ish gain before you know it.

Camp...wasn't bad.

We set up camp at Rose Lake since it was fairly conveniently located mostly because it was someplace new.  It also came highly recommended by a crew of backcountry rangers we ran into on the way up.

We had a little trouble finding a camp spot but eventually located a number of established sites on the north east side of the lake.

And then we had cupcakes.

Also I had a rather odd occurrence.  Kristen is convinced the muscles in my back are abnormally and to Jeff's amusement was trying to make them relax.  Afterwards I got up to head for bed and had muscle cramps so strong I thought I might throw up.  Afterwards I was so weak I ended up laying on top of my sleeping bag mostly out of it while Kristen tried to prod me inside.  And then the next morning I was fine.  Wierd.

The we decided to head for Senger since it was further away.  Also the summit block was apparently the easier of the two.

From camp we had to cross the ridge separating us from Marshall Lake and then cross south of Marie Lake.  We climbed a gully and ridge which could have been done a bit more 2nd class but we had fun.

And up the chute we go

It turned into a fun 3rd class route the way we did it.  Once we reached the ridge is was a smooth stroll over to the peak

And a really nice view!

We decided to head down the ridge directly to the pass

This got a bit interesting towards the end maybe straying into low 3rd.

We were back in camp a little after dark.

The next morning it was time for Hooper.  Stats wise this was going to be an easier day and we'd even debated packing up camp after in order to get part of the way out.  But that rarely if ever seems appealing once you're back in camp.

Hooper is just right of center here

Mount Hooper summit block on approach
We found the register below the summit block but we weren't about to skip that.

Mount Hooper summit block
The move to get the summit block isn't difficult it's just a little airy.  From the section above you traverse around the left side of the block and then do a chimney move so you're standing behind the main block.  From there it's a step across and a short boost up.

Jeff had a little harder time reversing the move since you're footholds are under the block

Kristen and I had a bit longer legs and found it easier.  Just don't look down.

 We took our time, got back a little before dark, and decided we liked our camp too much to relocate.

The next morning we strolled out enjoying a few stops along the way.

This is a really nice stop along the way.  Easy to wade and you can lay out on warm granite afterwards.

Once we were out I avoided popping a tire in favor of getting to post trip mexican a little quicker.  Unlike last time.

We smelled smoke as we were reaching the end of the diversion dam road and popped around the corner to see firetrucks blocking the road.  Apparently someone had been camping right by the road and had dumped some coals by one of the trees.  This flared up and they're managed to put it out just in time.

We'd been in for 4 days so unfortunately couldn't be much help.

Typical for this area we stopped by the always reliable Velasco's in Prather before making the long drive home.

You Might Also Like