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John Douglass

[TR] Mount Stuart - Girth Pillar 07/31/2018

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Trip: Mount Stuart - Girth Pillar

Trip Date: 07/31/2018

Trip Report:

Updated with video 

 

 

After having a good time doing the Center Stage/Flight of the Falcons linkup in Darrington last month, I convinced my friend Kevin to climb the Girth Pillar c2c. I've got 3 little kids at home in Seattle and Kevin lives in Oregon, so we like to pack a lot of adventure into our infrequent climbs together. Turns out this adventure was heavy on the walking and scrambling, but the novelty of doing a new route (for us) on a big mountain made the effort worth it. 

 

We left the parking lot at 4am and hustled to the base of the North Ridge. Roped up and simulclimbed 6 pitches until the ridge narrows and flattens out. At this point the access ramp (easy walk down) breaks left and deposits you a few meters above the seracs on the upper Ice Cliff Glacier. We walked down, scoped the rest of the approach, and put on our crampons while watching RV-sized ice chunks tumble down.

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The upper glacier held soft snow with the only difficulty requiring a climb into and out of the massive crevasse that spans the width of the glacier. We hopped over the moat onto the rock (red) and proceeded to climb up through 500 feet of choss, death blocks, and grit. Up to 5.9X and time consuming. Pretty sure we were not on the recommended approach, but rather climbers right of it, as we had to move back left to finally access the bivy ledge.

The actual pillar pitches (green) were quite good and the overall position is incredible. Route finding is obvious because it follows a single crack system the whole way. Mostly hand jamming mixed with flake pulling, although nearly all of the pitches lean to the right so they can feel a bit strenuous. Kevin led all 3 pitches onsight. I offered moral encouragement and tried not to short rope him despite our fuzzed out workhorse and GriGri2 combo.

5b62a28f0a8c5_2018-07-3116_02_17.thumb.jpg.e91e61981bd283f95257c11f27533066.jpg

We topped out the pillar and simuled to the false summit. After taking time to eat and refill our water bottles with drips from snow patches, we started down the Cascadian Couloir for the long slog back to the car, finally arriving a few minutes before midnight. Just about 20 hours total on the move.

Gear Notes:
singles to #3, 2x #1, 3x #2 60m rope approach shoes, aluminum crampons, 1 technical tool per person

Approach Notes:
Standard southern approach via Ingalls Lake. Access upper Ice Cliff Glacier from ramp on lower north ridge.

Edited by John Douglass
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14 hours ago, pugetgold said:

What a great adventure.  Were the crampons and axes needed on the descent?

Not for our descent (typical scree down the Cascadian couloir)

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great stuff!

how's the approach from ingall's to the base of North Ridge? easy sailing, or did you need crampons or axe to negotiate the remaining snow? 

 

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42 minutes ago, mec said:

great stuff!

how's the approach from ingall's to the base of North Ridge? easy sailing, or did you need crampons or axe to negotiate the remaining snow? 

 

Approach to NR doesn't have much snow and you can just drop a bit lower if you want to stay on rock the whole time. No need for crampons or axe.

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Posted (edited)

Frickin awesome! a one day ascent of girth pillar. watching the vid was thinking how rad that would be to be on that pillar in winter!!!

Edited by Kuckuzka1
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Did you find the neutrino I left up there?  Just kidding...I didn't leave one.  One day...impressive!

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1 hour ago, olyclimber said:

Did you find the neutrino I left up there?  Just kidding...I didn't leave one.  One day...impressive!

Shit, I'm old enough to know that joke. 

@JD: Great jorb dudes. Pain is soon forgotten and new plans are made. Climb on!

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