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Mt. Stuart - Sherpa Glacier

Josh Stuart

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Our team of 3 started from the car parked at mountaineer creek trail head at 10:30 AM.


We hiked the Stuart Lake trail for about three miles, until we reached the start of a dim climbers trail marked by several pieces of white tape or the left(south side) of the trail.


We followed a series of dim deer trails, flags, and carrons for about two miles until we reached the base of the Sherpa Glacier where we camped. The way is fairly well marked but I wouldn't suggest trying it without having a map and compass as the trail markers disappear at times. And the bug are HORRIBLE so don't leave the car without bug spray or a net.


We left camp at 4am and started climbing the Sherpa Glacier, no crampons were necessary. We rope up mid-way through the glacier due to minimal crevasses but mainly due to the steep terrain. The top of the Glacier meets the standard "walk-off" route, which is where we intercepted the ridge. We then scrambled up class 3-4 rock on the south side of the false summit so reach the real summit at about 10:30am.


Clouds started to roll in shortly after so we snapped a few pics and headed down. Snow on steep slopes gave-way under one of us and he slid about 50 ft on the way down and was able to stop himself on a rock ledge. He ended up with a dislocated finger but it could have been alot worse. He was a little weary from the slide so we rappelled and belayed him down much of the route.


Hail and lightning storms on the descend convinced us to head out and back to the car early and to opp out of spending another night on the mountain. We got back to the car at about 7pm.


Total trip time: 33.5 hours, with 6 hrs of sleep and lots of breaks :)

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That approach to/from Mtn Crk TH to North side of stuart has got me all confused (and I am not talking about the trail to Stuart Lake). I've gone in there twice now (Ice Cliff and SGC), and both times, I ended up in the terrible boulder field high above, rather then ending up on the faint trail next to the creek. By the time I realized we were too high, I didn't want to lose elevation so we just stuck with following the terrible cairns through the boulde field!


On the way out, we would drop down to the creek..and everything goes fine on the tail...until near the end, where the trail seems to disappear and you're left to bushwhack and look for the log crossings. This last time, we crossed the creek back over to find the trail and ended up in a swamp, where we got attacked by 100's of mosquitos.


Am I the only person having hard time with this approach/hike-out? Any insight is appreciated.



Edited by esugi
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There's definitely a tricky bit. I've gotten off route a few times. All I can really say is go slow and be on the lookuot for cairns, flagging and the odd cut branch. The trail is there. This was the first time I've managed to follow it 100% both in and out. Get it right and the going is pretty easy.

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I ran into Dave Bale once on the trail out after bailing on a solo attempt on the West Ridge of Argonaut and upon hearing what I'd been up to he squinted at me and opined, "A person bushwacking solo up Mountaineer Creek might never be seen or heard from again." Gave me a good laugh.

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Ya I've botched the mtnr's creek approach/de-proach a couple times too. I actually didn't mind the boulder hopping as an alternative. At least you're not in the trees constantly wondering if you're about to lose the trail, or already have.

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