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StemmingDragon

Mt. Stuart north approach questions

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We attempted stuart a few weeks ago from the mountaneers creek approach. We started by heading off on the trail to Stuart lake and then going off that trail on a much smaller less traveled trail heading south noth long after the turn off to colchuck lake. But it took us quite a while to cross mountaineers creek this way and we were in fairly thick bushes and marsh. We ended up crossing to the south side of the creek on some fallen logs since that side looked much better than the stuff we were walking on the north side of the creek but I think that we crossed too early (before it forks). We eventually crossed the creek again to the north side past the fork (about a quarter mile up stream and we found the trail on that side that took us right to the base of stuart, we were glad for it too since it took us way too much time! On the way back from Stuart we stayed on that trail on the north side of the creek but found that we eventually had to cross the creek where it forks again but we lost the trail and after we crossed we found ourselves on marsh and a lot of overgrowth again before we hit the trail that takes you stuart lake. When we hit the trail we found that we were way closer to Stuart lake then where we had initially gone off trail the day before on the approach.

 

Would someone mind sharing some beta on exactly where you go off trail from the Stuart Lake trail to head over to mountaineers creek and cross it? is it just bushwacking or is there a better way?

 

Thanks!

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it took several repetitions before i got that trail right, and even then it gets fuzzy in places :)

 

sounds like you started about in the right place - past the colchuck turnoff - past the open, marshy area, the trail begins to climb uphill - at the first big switchback to the right, you head left into the woods (i recall a cairn being at the switchback)

 

it's been a few years, but the trick i recall is staying by the creek and not getting sucked uphill until it's time to make the big climb up towards stuart - you don't leave the creek until you're pretty much at it's head below argonaut

 

done properly, this is definitely the better approach for stuart's n side, but in later summer, after the sherpa descent is melted out, the deproach is a pain in the ass

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Ivan nailed it. I do this approach about once a year, and each year the trail gets easier and easier to follow. This year I found it as easy as ever to follow. More Cairns are popping up, and the trail is more trodden. My rule is if at any point you lose the trail, head towards the creek.

Edited by telemarker

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north-side approaches to Stuart are closed as of 9/4: Jack Creek fire has expanded into Eightmile drainage. Caroline Lakes and Eightmile lake were closed and evacuated 9/3, Stuart Lake, Colchuck, and Enchantments are being evacuated as of 9/4. Heavy smoke in Mountaineer Creek 9/1 - 9/3.

-Haireball

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