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Matthew

Stuart / Colchuck approach - route conditions?

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Anybody have beta on conditions on Icicle Creek Road and the approaches to the Stuart Couloir? Headed there this weekend and I’m trying to figure whether I need snow shoes or skis or just boots. Leavenworth rangers don’t know diddly except that the road is plowed to mile 8 (which I think leaves about 6 miles of approach for me to get to the climber’s trail…) Would be nice to just bring boots if there’s a packed trail or snowmobile tracks.

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From Saturday March 11th: Icicle Creek Road is drivable to the turn-off for Bridge Creek Campground. The Eightmile Road (the one that goes up to the Stuart Lake Trailhead) is gated at the bridge. The road is well-packed from snowmobile tracks. Some skiers had set a nice track to about 500m beyond the first bridge over Mountaineer Creek. Beyond that, we had to break trail to the south side of Colchuck Lake, which might be covered by now. Floatation was essential (for us), to be able to get to Colchuck Lake. I didn't see any tracks down the Stuart Lake trail after the split from the Colchuck Lake trail.

 

Snow conditions on north-facing aspects above treeline (e.g., the snow slope up to Aasgard Pass) were 6-12" of powder snow on top of hard crust. Crampons were very useful for sections where the powder snow had blown off the crust.

 

Hope that helps.

Edited by Stephen_Ramsey

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Hi Wazzumountaineer,

 

OK, I'll send you the pics (should I send by email?) after I get home from the Steve House slideshow tonight.

 

Cheers,

Steve

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Thanks for the Beta Steve. You won’t remember it but I unsuccessfully *tried* to hook up with you for some ice climbing on the lower Coleman like 3 yrs ago! Never found you and hooked up with some other guys on the glacier instead. Heh heh… one of these days I’ll catch up with you. So snowshoes are essential, huh? Looks like I’ll head out to rent a pair. Thanks again… nice pics.

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