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Mt. Stuart beta?


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Hey Chris...we took snowshoes up to Colchuck lake this weekend just to be safe, and highly regreted it...totaly unescesary. From Colchuck we could see some no on longs pass, but I wouldn't worry about it. Get an easrly start for the CC, cause south facing snow was slopping up pretty quick. Have fun!

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that was some snow...not some no...


Under 6,00ft the snow was patchy, but consistant coverage above 6,000. It was mostly firm enough to walk on, except for those few time that I dropped in to my waist.


Stuart looks awsome right now, it's definately the best time to climb the Cascadian Couloir. I can't imagine who in their right mind would climb up it once the snow is gone...


We couldn't see the Ice Cliff glacier, but the crevases on the Stuart Glacier looked pretty well buried.


Have fun!

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Mt. Stuart is in great shape right now. I did Ice Cliff glacier this past weekend and conditions remained stable throughout the day. The approach via Mountaineer creek was O.K. We where postholing in lots of spots below about 5700'. Descent of the Sherpa Glacier was great and straightforward with some crampon balling. We heard some rockfall and small avalanches in the afternoon in the Ice Cliff Glacier area so get an early start. Have fun and good luck.




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  • 2 weeks later...

Went up and retrieved my two tri-cams from the North ridge of Stuart yesterday. I was surprised at how little melting had taken place, given the recent high temperatures. Most astonishing of all was that the huge cornice still looms over the NW face. If you want to do the route soon, then definitely do the gendarme rather than the bypass. If you want to do the bypass, I would wait atleast two weeks.


The Stuart Glacier Couloir and Ice Cliff Glacier still look to be "in," but are melting fast. If you do either, I would not reccomend trying them in a day, as you should get a ridiculously early start on the climb itself (camp on the moraine below the Ice Cliff Glacier).

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I can speak to the Ice Cliff as of last weekend. We had cold temps on Sat. and didn't leave the car until 8:45 as we wanted to get an idea of what the weather would do. Our hunch was completely wrong, but in any event, we climbed the Ice Cliff on Sat., and topped out at 6:00 for a planned bivi. However, we were stuck in a horrible storm on the S. facing slope at 8,700'. The route was made much more demanding than we expected by the high winds (30-40 mph?), heavy snowfall, and near continuous spindrift. The snow was very hard; mostly front pointing and double tooling all the way up the couloir. The cliff itself is no big deal right now (ascend on the left). The schrund below the couloir is also passed on the left right now.


I don't agree that you need to leave so early for the route, but then again we had cold temps. It might be less safe in the kind of heat we had this past week.


Good luck and be safe.


John Sharp

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We did the standard North Ridge route on Saturday from a camp near Ingalls Lake. Colin had come by the lake very shortly ahead of our departure. We never saw him, but we had his tracks to follow all the way from Stuart Pass. We were also impressed by the amount of snow still on the route. Very climbable, but we stayed in boots all the way to the gendarme. I was with a relative beginner to alpine climbing, so we belayed the whole way. The snow slowed us a bit, since we couldn't use our rock shoes, and most of the route is simply faster on bare rock, and some leads had to be cut short to avoid ending up in the middle of a snow slab. Be prepared for that if you go soon, and try to hit it early before the snow softens. We finished on the gendarme, which was snow free. That Camalot on the off width looks fixed for life, unless the second wants to hang for a while and work a bit (or at least resling it!). We could use rock shoes for 5 leads from the base of the gendarme, enough to get us through all of the tougher pitches, then back to boots for the last 3 or 4 leads, which were pretty much completely snow. Saw Colin's impressive finish through some water ice just left of the normal bypass. Gutsy solo. Damn, we just missed scoring those tricams!


I'd agree that the bypass will be tough for another couple weeks. I've been on the summit as early as mid-May, and there is more snow at the top right now than I've seen before. And that cornice hanging off the NW side of the summit is inimidating - should come down any time now. The only pitch that gave us any hesitation was the nice long slab, split by a low-5th crack when bare, that sits a few leads before the gendarme. Almost completely snow covered but melting fast. By the time we got there, Colin's first few steps had already slid off, and the rest of the slab looked primed to slide off soon. We ran up it as fast as we could.


Ice Cliff looked excellent up high and tougher down low. Stuart Glacier Couloir looked to have a short bare section where it bottlenecks about a fourth of the way up (might have been dark water ice - couldn't tell for sure), otherwise still looked in good shape.


Lots of tracks on top from folks who came up Cascadian. A really beautiful day to be up there.

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I'm taking two newbies up the so. side of Stuart this weekend. I was planning ulrichs couloir but it seems cascadian couloir has become the popular non technical so. side route. I've always felt ulrichs was more straight forward under good snow conditions. Anyone have any thoughts/recomendations for me for this weekend ? Thanks

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