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Kyle M

[TR] Mt. Stuart - Ice Cliff Glacier 04/20/2019

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Trip: Mt. Stuart - Ice Cliff Glacier

Trip Date: 04/20/2019

Trip Report:

Jacob Krantz and I climbed the Ice Cliff Glacier (AI2, 60-70 degree snice) on Stuart on April 20th in 21+ hours car to car. We climbed three pitches of mostly steep snice and a little AI2 on the left side of the lower ice cliffs. The upper couloir was sustained and exposed at 50+ degree snice with a short bit of true WI2, but very secure climbing. The right hand exit had no cornice issues, although massive cornices still loom over the majority of the couloir. We chose not to go to the true summit since it was in the clouds and we were tired. The descent down the couloir to the Sherpa Glacier was extremely icy and grabby on skis and we actually chose to downclimb some of it. Lower glacier was awful breakable crust. All in all, about 24 miles, 8000-9000 ft gain, and one wild day of suffering and adventure in the mountains. For a more detailed, TR, see https://climberkyle.com/2019/04/20/mt-stuart-ice-cliff-glacier-ai2-60-70-degree-snice/.DSC03311_stitch.thumb.jpg.a54770c91d6ebf19ca5cc4fc8a41af56.jpg

Entering the broad basin at 5400 ft.


Looking up at the Ice Cliff Glacier.DSC03344.thumb.JPG.e85bd5f2636b2d24706f901cc977762e.JPG

Starting up steep snow to the base of the cliffs.


Leading up through steep snice and easy ice.


An incredible setting!


Looking up the exit couloir. We took the notch on the right.


Soloing a nice AI2 bulge in the constriction in the couloir.


Topping out on the route!


Our little "summit" for the day.


Sherpa Peak.


First few turns into the couloir. It only got steeper and icier...


Spooky loose wet slide that took out our skintrack through the woods, on a NW aspect in the basin around 5400 ft. Must have happened during the late afternoon at some point.

Gear Notes:
Used 2 pickets, 5 screws. One might want more pickets if you want to protect all the steep snice.

Approach Notes:
Road was skinnable a little before the Eightmile trailhead, but melting fast. We kept skis on all the way to Stuart, although just barely in places. Creek crossings were generally easy to find. The section after you leave the Stuart Lake trail is brushy. Be prepared.
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That glacier keeps looking sadder and sadder every year..... damn.  nice work!

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