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outdoorsman567

Mt. Stuart in Winter

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Hey everyone, been a while since I've logged on, but I thought there might be some input here on this. I am considering climbing Mt. Stuart the beginning of february. Does anyone have input, ie. recommendations for gear, routes etc... I can't find anything on reports for this time of year, and any input would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance,

Justin

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February can be a great time to climb routes on the north side of stuart if you can find a good weather window which can be hard especially if you have only weekends to climb

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Possibly the "cascadian couloir? but from the little I know so far about the mountain there could be a lot of avalanch danger in the gully?....sounds like a good summer climb, but I'm having trouble finding advice on a winter climb that takes into account the obstacles the season presents...so it's still definitely up in the air.

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Well, not knowing your experience with the mighty Stutgart or how much time you have to spend up there...

 

Skiing into the north side is great until you leave the trail, then snowshoes are easier (for my ski skills anyway). I've usually used showshoes and have even walked in a couple times in good conditions. From the meadow below the north side you can easily access the Sherpa Glacier route (nontechnical steep snow or neve) or the Stuart Glacier Couloir (somewhat technical especially once on the W Ridge) or the upper N Ridge (similar to SGC but more rock) or stuff like Girth Pillar and the lower N Ridge (rather technical). The NW Face route would be pretty cool I bet.

 

To access the south side you can ski up Ingalls Creek and then ski up the SE route, or snowmobile and/or ski the road past Salmon la Sac and then cruise up the endless avi slopes to Ingalls Pass. I gotta say though that the north side is one amazing place in winter, go there man. But not after a big dump, it's friggin' heartbreaking.

 

Gearwise; let's say 1 axe and a short tool (or 2 tools I suppose) for the first 2 routes, add a couple screws and a small rock rack for the SGC. A medium rock rack for the upper N Ridge, no pins or screws. Lots of aluminum and a bit of steel for the other routes, and a couple screws for getting up on the Ice Cliff Glacier. And crampons all around of course.

 

Have a blast!

-M

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What is your level of skill and experience?

 

Stuart is hard to get to in the winter, especially from the South, which is the side one might normally approach the Cascadian Couloir from.

 

A snowmobile helps....

 

Approaching from the North is easier, though a snowmobile can be helpful there too for the eightmile road slog...not needed by any means, though

 

I wouldn't go there in winter just to climb the Cascadian, honestly. Lotsa work for a LONG snow walk....

 

Though I imagine standing on the summit of Stuart in any season makes it all worthwhile!

 

Tell us more about your experience and your goals for the trip so that people can tailor their advice to your situation.

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Winter access from the North is really easy only extra 2.5 miles road walking to get Colchuck Lake TH. Couple of years ago I was able to climb Ice Cliff Gl. in one long day in Feb. Also, I don't think the Sherpa Gl. route is any harder then the Cascadian.

 

Ice Cliff Gl. 02/26/2005 TR

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How many miles of road skiing are required to get to the long's pass trailhead? I think this is the road past salmon la sac that Marko mentioned. I've always thought this would make a nice ski tour; probably the most enjoyable route to stuart if you're on skis.

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My experience: Took a 30 day NOLS course and climbed Dome Peak, Monte Cristo, and Glacier Peak. Also climbed Rainier vie Kautz glacier, soloed Adams last summer, and am a decent rock climber (can do 11's). Although I'm an experienced skier and know avalanche terrain etc... very well, my experience in winter mountaineering is pretty limited.

Thanks all, I appreciate the help.

cheers,

Justin

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The sherpa glacier is a good ski. Enjoyed it after backing off skiing the ice cliff glacier several years ago. Obviously much more reasonable in may, but winter could be fun, just may take several tries to find in good condition.

 

I took this picture after skiing a very fun couloir opposite the ice cliff and sherpa (after backing off skiing the ice cliff glacier once again).

 

stuart2-copy.jpg

Sherpa to the left and the ice cliff in the center. This was taken in jan or feb of 2006.

Edited by AllYouCanEat

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If you aren't comfortable on steep, exposed and mixed terrain I'd avoid the north side and west ridge in winter and opt for Cascadian or Ulrich's if the snow pack is stable. If you are experienced on technical, mixed terrain I'd look at Stuart Glacier Couloir.

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