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Michael Telstad

[TR] Stuart Range - Enchantment Linkup Uber-Lite 08/16/2019

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Posted (edited)

Trip: Stuart Range - Enchantment Linkup Uber-Lite

Trip Date: 08/16/2019

Trip Report:

Thursday morning came around and I still hadn't found a partner or a plan for my one day "retail weekend" on Friday. Bummed, I resolved myself to going solo and started making plans to go climb some stuff around the Kangaroo temple area at WA Pass. As they day progressed, the idea of getting off work at 8pm and driving the four hours up to the pass started to seem less appealing. 

I had remembered reading a FB post of Shane Markus rope soloing Prusik in something like 9 hours C2C and thought that sounded like good fun, though I was looking for a little more adventure. Having already climbed the W-Ridge, I started thinking of other longer routes that I hadn't already done, and Serpentine came to mind. After a little beta gathering, I was sold. Figuring I would only have to pitch out the two crux pitches I made a mental gear list and patiently waited till I got off work

After getting off my shift of slinging sleeping bags I rode home, frantically repacked my bag and started the "much shorter than Wa Pass" drive over to L-Town.

The next morning since my 92 Honda Accord doesn't seem to like washboard roads, I hitched a ride up to the Stuart Lake TH, and started hiking around 6am. My pack weighed down by a few beers and a left over breakfast smoothie which I promptly stashed in the creek.

Feeling spry, I launched up and around the lake. Having neglected to research where the cutoff up the moraine is, I found myself deep in a fistfight with some slide alder. 

Arriving at the base of the route 2.5 hours from the car I was feeling great! Racking up and repacking I started up the route. Before I knew it I turned the corner to find myself below the crux pitch. "That looked way harder in the pictures" I thought to myself and started padding and jamming my way up the slab cracks. Confident that if anything started to feel hairy I could plug a few pieces and pitch out the rest of the crux. Luckily it only got easier and more secure, and in no time I was well through the crux and weaving my way up the blocky ridge, lungs burning and psyche high.

Arriving on the summit 4.5 hours from the car I was ecstatic, soaking up the sun and giving my legs a rest. That's when I started thinking It would be a shame to waste my day off by getting back to the car at 2pm and I might as well tag Prusik while I'm up here. Unfortunately I had only brought enough fig bars for one route...

Strapping my girlfriends fancy UL crampons to my approach shoes, and whipping out my axe I scampered down the icy snow behind D-Tail and straight lined it in the direction of Prusik. Next time I'll definitely ditch the snow gear opt for the snowless witches tower roundabout.

The jog over to Prusik was beautiful as always with goats and ultra vest clad "runners" keeping me company the whole way.

The W-ridge went super fast. I brought the rope up in case I wanted to rap the slab, but never ended up pulling it out. The top chimney is indeed easier to slither down than up, and the slab didn't feel much different either.

Getting down to the base I thought to myself that I should go rope solo OS as well, I had the time and the energy to complete the triple linkup. Though looking at my dwindling food supply and my small rope + rack I thought it may be a bit more out there than I wanted, plus the day had already gone so well.

Reserving myself to the softie linkup, I started my slog back up to Aasgard pass. The trudge back was pretty average, and my stashed chocolate smoothie was a life saver as my food rations were long gone. Again I got an easy hitch down to my car and feasted on a well earned sausage in town before driving back to Seattle that evening. 

There is something much less satisfying about a double linkup over a triple. I'll be back for that some time soon.

Trailhead to Trailhead time: 12hrs

Thanks Croft and Plotz for the inspiration and psyche.


Final push up the moraine

IMG_6229.thumb.jpg.429df374ba53be12d2d07a563a96d73b.jpg

Looking down the two good pitches

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Chillin in some poor saps bivy spot

IMG_6236.thumb.jpg.bdb7d50357ca878e380b6795a94f5343.jpg

Looking over at a very sad Colchuck glacier

IMG_6237.thumb.jpg.c75313caf13562cd4ec7da3e01b51a2b.jpg

IMG_6233.thumb.jpg.bb966dd5a15abe53d418b3a3abd011fd.jpg

Time to Summit

IMG_6246.thumb.jpg.77233b4d6b9c00c81e7e772f8bffe912.jpg

Pack explosion on the summit, showing the small rack that I didn't ever use.

58767085901__9A93FE3E-5E84-420B-AE0D-A9770A63DF2E.thumb.jpg.049d8fa29f3ed52665c96a92da44cf22.jpg

Where I'm going

IMG_6254.thumb.jpg.dfc3a34ff161a4659dfe3c3151364a50.jpg

The likely better crampon free descent is visible 

IMG_6245.thumb.jpg.e67e565b16b4fd4ec7ff44bc9a146d0a.jpg

I didn't get any Pictures from Prusik since my phone was dying, but I got one on my hike back!

IMG_6258.thumb.jpg.2d80d14c274f4e9eb310d9a17d510d60.jpg

The worst part of these solo trips is the before and after when you don't have anyone to shoot the shit with.

58770015309__17F21A42-8657-4246-BCF3-D54BA2C181B2.thumb.jpg.9170bef69e198139cef56c9ee0e9ba19.jpg

 

 

Gear Notes:
Not used, but carried: 35M rope, Half rack, self belay device (Grigri), extra tat in place of cordelette, R1, Hudini Used Gear: Helmet, Rock shoes, Chalk bag, Water filter, UL axe and Crampons

Approach Notes:
Don't cut up the Moraine too early and enjoy the views.

Edited by Michael Telstad
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