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David_Parker

best of cc.com [TR] Mt. Stuart: (winter ascent)- Complete North Ridge 12/24/2004

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Cool cool.gif

 

Perhaps for your next attempt you should induce Korsakov's Syndrome so you have no short term memory and hence have no idea how badly you are suffering!

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Nice effort gents! To get so high on your first shot at it is excellent. Leave it to Wayne to pick a short weather window and try to blast out a hard objective.

 

I've gone in to try that particular route in winter 6 times and only this time got above the first pitch. (Of course when you go in there with The Alpine Ropegun you're going to do at least a dozen pitches!)

 

See you up there next time...(manic cackling)

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Awesome job guys!!!

 

I thought some Canadians did the full north back in the 80's. Maybe their line did not climb the full lower buttress?

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The Canadians did a fairly continuous ice line off to the west of both starts of the lower ridge. I don't remember if they did the Gendarme or not. Don? Dru? Either of you guys remember their names?

 

I do believe Senor Serl has tried the full ridge at least once...

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The Canadians did a fairly continuous ice line off to the west of both starts of the lower ridge. I don't remember if they did the Gendarme or not. Don? Dru? Either of you guys remember their names?

 

I do believe Senor Serl has tried the full ridge at least once...

 

i can't even remember who it was. was it bruce kay? confused.gif which caj is it in?

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i can't even remember who it was.

 

Good to know that even Encylopedia Brown has an off day now and then. yellaf.gif

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I came across the CAJ article while on a rest day hanging out in the Lake Louise Hostel last summer. All I remember is they climbed it during the US military interdiction in Nicaragua in the 80's and they named the route something along those lines.

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According to CAJ v73, 1990, p 71: The upper ridge had a winter ascent prior to 1988.

 

Alex Frid and Jack Stewart climbed the FNR to the summit via an ice line apparently between the '63 Beckey start and the more common summer start (CAJ v70, 1990 p72-74). After reading their account, I give full credit to them for the first winter ascent of the Full North Ridge of Stuart.

 

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wtf, crazymofo? don't you know that fa claims on the internet trump ascents published in such lowly journals as the caj? if it's the same guy, i recall alex was pretty good with a knife too.

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if that was the FWA do you guys still want to do it?

 

if not, you should rethink why you wanted to do it in the first place.

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if that was the FWA do you guys still want to do it?

 

if not, you should rethink why you wanted to do it in the first place.

 

Shucks the climbs been done already. We should all just quit tring this route! cry.gif

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if that was the FWA do you guys still want to do it?

 

if not, you should rethink why you wanted to do it in the first place.

 

Yes. We want to do it for the suffering.

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Here's what I have to say about it: Wayne asked me to go do something I knew was going to be as serious as anything I've done before and I went because he's a fuckin' good climber and I wouldn't just go with just anyone and to some effect I was flattered he asked me. We have done other fairly serious climbs together and we know how we work together. The fact the "complete north ridge" as defined as a summer climb had not been done in winter intrigued me. I had only done the upper ridge way back in 1986 and skipped the gendarme. I had always wanted to do the "complete" and figured wtf, winter is ok with me too. Frankly, I prefer mixed ice and rock alpine climbing.

 

I also know that many very respected and quiet climbers have tried to put the whole thing together and to the best of our knowledge, nobody had even done the direct lower north ridge. I still don't know if anyone has done the upper direct north ridge where in my definition direct means you do the gendarme.

 

To me all this banter doesn't really matter much to me. I have respect for all who have gone in there in winter and tried it. If the Canadians did the whole ridge with a variation start and skipped the gendarme, then maybe they can claim the first winter ascent of the entire north ridge. What still remains to be done is the first winter ascent of the "complete" north ridge. I know have a good idea of what to expect if I go back. It will be a great prize whether I'm first or not.

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Not that it matters, but my take on the whole thing is that the complete north ridge has been mostly but not fully climbed during winter. I don't think the start really matters too much. The specific pitches at the base of the ridge don't seem that important, but I would say that the pitches on the great gendarme do matter. There is still a challenge, but it won't be a huge first.

 

Anyway you guys rockband.gif, but next time you're on a really well known route; research, research, research. wave.gif

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The complete North Ridge has NOT been climbed in winter (or atleast no one has claimed an ascent).

 

If you think that Jack Davis and George Sharrett climbed the complete North Ridge in Dec. 1989, you ought to go re-read the 1990 CAJ. They put up a new route, "Surrogate Panama" (it was during the US invasion of Panama), in a very impressive and fast climb.

 

They were able to drive up the Mountaineer Creek road with chains on, just as Wayne and David and Mark and I did. They had planned to try the Complete North Ridge, but changed plans at the bivy boulder (Mike Martin and Tim Wilson had been thwarted on a Complete North Ridge attempt two days earlier, and hadn't made it higher than the first pitch). Their climb started well to the right of both the East and West Lower North Ridge starts, in a gully that I can point out if someone posts a photo. They had planned to meet the North Ridge route at the notch, but they accidently climbed right over the notch-approach-gully and continued climbing, well west of the upper North Ridge. They finally met up with the North Ridge about 2-3 pitches below the Great Gendarme, and followed it to the base of the Great Gendarme. Here they traversed east, and finished their climb up the upper Northeast Face, hitting the summit ridge crest at dark. They summited the next morning, and then did the descent and hike out that day.

 

Surrogate Panama is an independent route, and only follows the North Ridge for about 2-3 pitches. It is an impressive feat that Sharret and Davis climbed the entire route (except the first two pitches which they fixed), in a single day, especially considering that they had four days of provisions on their backs.

 

The Complete North Ridge has not been climbed in winter, and neither has the Great Gendarme on an Upper-North-Ridge-winter-ascent.

 

Jim Nelson's highpoint from his attempts at the complete was two pitches above the notch (with Doug Klewin, I believe, but maybe it was one of the McNerthney brothers). More recently, Wayne and David made it to the notch. Mark and I made it three pitches above the notch, and then we too bailed. I wouldn't be shocked if another attempt had made it even higher.

 

By the way, the article about Surrogate Panama in the 1990 CAJ is a good one, with nice pictures and excellent writing.

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And by the way, crazyjz, it was Alex Frid and Jack Davis who had attempted the second-winter-ascent of the upper North Ridge the winter before. Alex Frid was not involved with Surrogate Panama at all.

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1) You are right about Alex Frid, I had the CAJ with me while I typed, and I fucked up.

 

2) I clearly stated that the 1989 route had a different start.

 

3) The article is not clear how tne 1989 and summer routes coincide, but on p.74 they state "follow a line similar to Fred Beckeys". Unless the FA put spray paint on the soles of their feet, we all can only follow a route " similar".

 

4) I think the main thrust of my reply was to reinforce the need to do research before making any claims. Wayne and DP did a fine climb, but unfortunatly marred their trip report with a claim which can be construed as nebulous. It was Special Ed and Ray Borbon who brought this all up, I mostly clearly referenced things.

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Thanks for clearing all that up Colin, etc. I hope my post wasn't interpreted as trying to detract from any of you guys' effort. It just seems like there was a lot of confusion about this topic and I wanted some clarification.

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Nevertheless, thanks for sharing the story and the pictures. It was a great read and the pictures are inspiring! bigdrink.gif

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I was thinking about doing the ice cliff this weekend, does anyone have any suggestions on what it looks like/ what I should be prepared for?

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