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Ade

[TR] Mount Stuart - Full North Ridge 6/28/2009

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Trip: Mount Stuart - Full North Ridge

 

Date: 6/28/2009

 

Trip Report:

Robert and I decided to have another go at the Full North Ridge of Mount Stuart on Sunday. We'd failed a few years back due to bad weather but this time that didn't seem like it was going to happen.

 

I'll post some pictures later but the short story is that the route is in fine condition as is the descent. We bivvied at the base of the Sherpa Gl. and simulclimbed large sections of the route making it very doable in a day. There's still snow at the notch for anyone planning a bivvi there.

 

A couple of parties were also on the Ice Cliff Gl / Girth Pillar on Sunday. Some big chunks fell off the ICG first thing in the morning. Probably worth avoiding, or if you do then try and minimize time spent underneith the right side.

 

Gear Notes:

Rack to 4". Or climb with Robert who's too lazy to carry a #4 Costalot and so gets to lead the offwidth without. Take earplugs to drown out the sound of any whining from above.

 

Ice axe and crampons definitely recommended for the Sherpa Gl. descent.

 

Approach Notes:

Turn off the main trail and the vague path before the switchbacks. Stay low and avoid the talus field until you hit the river. Follow the obvious trail along the river until the path turns up hill and follows the abother stream on the left. Avoid the final swamp by sticking to the talus on the right.

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I have always descended the Cascadian. Thinking about Sherpa this time. How steep are the slopes going down? Are you able to descend facing out? Interested in seeing your pics!

Edited by newdawnfades

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I've done both a couple of times. The Cascadian is longer and potentially a lot of talus to grind down as more of the snow melts. It's depressing watching Longs Pass gradually get higher.

The Sherpa is much shorter but reasonably steep near the top. Later in the day the snow is hard. We faced in until we crossed the schrund, from there you can walk down and the going is much quicker.

 

For the upper North Ridge the Cascadian is more attractive but for the full ridge I'd use the Sherpa unless the schrund had gotten to be impassable. I suspect the Sherpa works out much shorter in terms of height gained/lost and miles walked.

 

Ade

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One thing to consider, if you wait until later in the summer when more snow has melted, it's easy to do the whole ridge from the Cle Elum (South) side without crampons or ice axe, then descend the cascadian quickly back to your car. Makes for a very light backpack.

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One thing to consider, if you wait until later in the summer when more snow has melted, it's easy to do the whole ridge from the Cle Elum (South) side without crampons or ice axe, then descend the cascadian quickly back to your car. Makes for a very light backpack.

 

right now, the cascadian is snow free. Couple snow patches below the notch where one first sees Sherpa peak from the south side. Sherpa is steep, and scary the first time I did it but definitely shorter!

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You're trading a couple of pounds for a light axe and aluminium crampons for an ascent of Longs Pass. Someone should do the math and figure out which is longer and how much more ascent it involves. The Mountaineers' Creek approach is pretty easy when you've got it sussed out.

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Well done Ade.

 

I'd second the Sherpa descent. Just a bit of steep downclimbing at the top and then smooth sailing. Much better than the Cascadian.

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Well done Ade.

 

I'd second the Sherpa descent. Just a bit of steep downclimbing at the top and then smooth sailing. Much better than the Cascadian.

 

True, but only for a few more weeks or so until it melts out...

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There's still snow at the notch for anyone planning a bivvi there.

 

penoyar and i bivied on the west side of the notch 6/26/09, lots of snow in the notch proper but there were 2-3 snow free bivy spots there and a nice one a couple hundred feet past the notch on the east side. The bivy spots above this were partly or completely snowed over but if anyone's considering a bivy at the notch its definately possible now. definatly second the recomendation for axes/crampons on the sherpa

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Or climb with Robert who's too lazy to carry a #4 Costalot and so gets to lead the offwidth without.

 

Is the fixed #4 not there any more on the second pitch of the gendarme?

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That baby's fixed solid, clipped a draw to her not 8 days ago. But the sling that's tied to her eyelet? Someone ought to just cut out the tattered sling and allow leaders to feed their own dyneema as they pass by. Our knife was tucked deep away or I would have done it myself.

 

In short: Fixed #4 remains fixed.

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