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Pencil_Pusher

Mt. Stuart, Variation/Cascadian Conditions

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We were bivying this Sat to do an attempt on Sherpa's West Ridge and I decided to spend my free time going up Stuart, from near the basin below the Sherpa/Stuart col.

I had hiking boots, four-point crampons and my ice axe. It's mostly a hike on up some couliors, with some rock scrambling. The climbing from the false summit to the actual summit was more of some moderately exposed scrambling, nothing to rope up on, just be careful. Going down is where I really wanted full crampons. I reached the summit at 7pm and going down was difficult as the snow hardened up and it became increasingly difficult to safely descend, the boots didn't penetrate and the purchase was minimal.

My heart goes out to anyone stuck on the north ridge of Stuart (or anywhere on it)on Sunday. Perhaps it let up, but it blew in cold and fast with some balled-snow (?) coming down. When we got to Long's Pass and looked at Stuart, quite a bit of the 6200 ft and up area had a light coating of that ball-snow on it and Stuart itself was enshrouded in clouds. It had been raining pretty good ever since we left that 6200 foot mark all the way to the car, with a brief let-up at Longs.

 

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PencilDude,

Classic utterly classic that I hear of Mt Stuart storms as I have been over there to climb the north ridge so many times and been stormed out miserably on all of them. Ha! I hope everyone is safe though.

-Cpt

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Oh, and another thing, the rock on Sherpa is looser than a two-bit hooker. If you're belaying, seek cover. Serious cover. It seems the crux of the climb is not the difficulty of the actual climbing, rather not tipping off the multiple rocks that might kill/maim your belayer or freakingly cut the rope.

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