CBR & Mount Stuart - W. Face, Nectar, North Ridge, Girth Pillar, GITMDate:
The further we travel out, to the mountains the further we travel within ourselves. Idle thoughts from deep in the mind eventually find their way to the front of my head; every step eventually being felt deep in the bones. The mountains so large and vast offer us a chance to glimpse what we are truley made of.
A week in "The Laboratory"
The research began early in the morning on Sunday as Chris Cox and myself put together a rack and made some coffee at my house in Der Town. We parked the car at Stuart Lake TH (and forgot to put the pass in the window) Then stomped our way up the hill. We got to the beautiful cirque below CBR just as the temps were becoming reasonable to climb this beautiful route. I climbed it with Sol earlier this season and we battled some rain and wet cracks, but this time everything was PERFECT!
Chris and I fired up the first few pitches and got to the goods.
We both sent our hardest trad leads that day; Chris styled the Long corner and I cried and howled my way across the traverse. Unfortunately I ran the pump clock out on the crux pitch, but we had a BLAST! We even threw the rope over the balanced rock and hit the sickest boulder problem in Leavenworth.
The next morning we woke up and wandered up to Nectar. I knew very little about this route other than it looking perfect from the ground. But in the name of science we observed the unknown. We approached via the first couple pitches of The Scoop. The Nectar pitch was SO GOOD, challenging 10+ splitter crack to the wildest flaring chimney thing that leads to some more fun climbing for a couple hundred feet. SUPER SICK.
As soon as i got back to my cell phone i had an urgent text message from Jens Holsten. We had prior plans to do some climbing on Shuksan; I called him, and he began to tell me about conditions lining up for one of his clever schemes. Jens seems to be a man that keeps a few tricks up his sleeve waiting to fire them off when the planets align. We talked about "running" up the North ridge to peep conditions on the Ice Cliff Glacier. I was more than down, and before I hung the phone up he was on his way to my house.
Same old thing, we wake up at 4 to make coffee and roll out. Mountaineers creek is one of the most beautiful places i have ever seen. Blueberries were ripe all over and I munched them as we quickly walked on through. (Maybe not Blueberries, but as the human lab rat, I did not die) This was the first time I had been to this side of Mount Stuart.
We noticed a party on the first pitch of The Lower North Ridge and we decided to run around the the notch to avoid getting stuck on route. The upper North ridge was beautiful. My first summit of Stuart was a great moment; such a rad partner on such a Classic mountain. It is by far my favorite mountain in the range; Its complexity and size make it a great place for alpine experimentation. We descended the Sherpa glacier colour while making a couple rappel stations. We made our way back to the car by 9 20.
Jens and I left my house at 2 pm and found ourselves geared up to enter the Mount Stuart side of the lab once again.
And this time, we had big plans.
We made our routine caffeine and crossed the talus field on the way to the Lower North Ridge. Just as we roped up to hit the 5.9 section on the LNR, the golden sunlight touched our faces. We simued to the ledges that lead down to the ICG. We crossed the glacier with ease and found ourselves crossing the vertchrum in no time.
The first bit that we simu climbed was a bit dirty but became really good (I think some of this is a Becky Route?) The crux pitches are some of the funnest climbing that I have found in the range. Better than we expected, SO GOOD! Jens sent all the pitches styling with his backpack, hanging boots and ice tool. We brought 3 #2s, and when I go back Iíll be bringing 4 of them. We simued to the top of the false summit and descended the SGC once again.
Today we slept in, meaning we woke up around 6:15. Of course we made a nalgene of Via, and then boulder hopped our way to goat pass. We had one last experiment to complete on Stuart. Gorillas In The Mist, to the summit, in one day. We blasted the route, then walked down to a ledge and dropped our gear. Bringing only one water bottle and a couple bars we aimed ourselves to the summit.
We soloed the rest of the west ridge to the summit and i will never forget this moment of my life. This was a far fetched dream i had this winter that had just manifested before my face. after down climbing the west ridge we headed back to mountaineers creek..
I think we got the results we were looking for