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Blake

first ascent [TR] Mt. Stuart - Gorillas in the Mist - IV 5.11 7/8/2009

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Hopefully I didn't inadvertently start a pointless route quality/ratting argument thread. I was just kidding because I got my ass handed to me on the last route I did. I thought we would run up it, but instead found myself scared on every pitch and struggling. So, let me make it noted now, that was not the point, but I still enjoy reading and talking all this climber philosphy.

 

I think the best routes force you to climb in one place. There is no question of wether you go here or you go there. You can only go here. And the Girth does that.

 

Routes get climbed in phases. Whats cool and inspring for the season. This climb may see an ascent or two this season because of the awsome photos posted, but after that it will long be forgotton. And remember, this is a big wall. Any other ascents may follow some of the same route, but its highly unlikly that it will be followed exactly. Plus, as stated earlier not many people hike 5.10/11 in the mountains. A few good climbers have tried and maby even climbed the wall before, but I have never seen anything on it until now. Layton (tried)? Matt Stanley (climbed)? Jeff Hashimoto (maybe?).

 

Mount Stuart is my favorite mountain in the world. It is where I first started doing bigger climbing when I was learning. Now I've done 12 routes or something on the N. Side. Sherpa Glacier, Ice Cliff Arete, Ice Cliff Glacier, Girth Pillar, NE Face, N. Ridge, NW Face Couloir, NW Face, Stuart Glacier Couloir, Razorback Ridge, and W. Ridge. I've walked by that wall many times and used to have a friend that tried to get me to try it, but I never really had the interest. After seeing those good pictures though, hopefully I can add it to my tlist to try beore summer is over. It looks like amazing climbing on a very prominent section of the mountain. I used to think I was done climbing on that mountain. But now, one more damn route that I need to throw in my bag now. :grin:

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When a 5.12 climber puts up a 5.10 pitch that max's them out I bet the world ends up with one more route doomed to obscurity. Unfortunate, considering the accessible location and how quality some of that climbing looks. You should go back and throw in a few bolts to make it sane or let someone else. Just a thought...

 

 

Just so potential climbers don't get the wrong impression about the danger or scaryness of this climb...

 

The 5.11 mantle move atop the splitter on pitch 1 has bomber gear at your knees or feet, with a vertical crack and wall below you and no ledges to hit.

 

P3, the Monkey TRaverse, will never be in the same condition for future parties as it was for Jens. He chose to climb a big "backwards #7" shaped pitch, resulting in bad rope drag as he launched out across the dirty hand traverse. HE also trundlded some loose blocks and chunks from the crack. His being runout was a function of rope drag, and dirty/mossy climbing, not the lack of available gear. The traverse is now clean and protectable very frequently.

 

Even if Jens had taken the long whipper (I was belaying and praying that he would not!) The area to the left of the traverse is all overhanging, so we are pretty sure it would just have been a wild and crazy swing out into space.

 

Overall this route is very safe and protectable with amazing rock. I think most of the people commenting on this thread would have fun on it.

 

Everyone walks by this wall but nobody has a photo! If anyone has a picture of this wall from the area, it would be great if they'd post it online or email it or something.

Edited by Blake

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having done the 1st 3 pitches, leading pitch 1 and 3, I would call the 1st pitch a soft 11 or a hard 10 depending on the location (washington 11, yosemite 10) and the 3rd pitch 10b/c albeit scary. In the fog and cold, it would indeed feel like 5.11!!! You can't have a real rating until the 2nd or 3rd ascent.

 

Where did ya'll go from those stamped bolts???? Maybe you had good luck having it foggy in the long run - using the feel of the line to get you up vs. seeing what could be ahead to make you bail like we did.

 

I bet this route gets repeated several times this year - or at least it should . It only takes two hours to start the climbing from the car!

 

This is another example of folks walking past a stellar climb because a selected classic lies past it (like the east face of burgandy's action potential, acid baby, tempest wall - more on that face!, solid gold, dragons of eden, etc etc)

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Hey Mike, Jens ended our second pitch where your third one ended, at the "1993" stamped bolts and red tat, after a leftward hand traverse. There are bolts in a few places though. From there we went up and left, through a 4" crack to a big slung flake, and the devious "monkey traverse" back right into the major corner system again, which was essentially the key routefinding tid-bit in order to keep going. I'm sure you'd see it if you went back, especially now that it is cleaner. Going straight up from the red tat and bolts that you speak of looked like overhanging mossy nailing.

 

IMG_5466.jpg

 

bigger version HERE

 

I've attached a super cheesy and lame topo here, but it should be all that's required to make it go. The first few belays are bolted, and enough horns/trees exist to make rappeling from atop the wall a pretty easy option I'd guess.

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awesome! thanks for clearing that up :)

that topo is almost as bad as my boola boola buttress topo i wrote on a dry erase board wasted

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This route tops out on the West Ridge well below LJT doesn't it? It'd be a simple affair to scoot down that route back to camp rather than rapping.

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Mark and I put bolts up there in 1994. We climbed the wall over the course of several different days durring that summer. We missed the last pitch due to darkness and rapped the route. We tried to put in 2 bolt belay stations all the way up, so one could also rap the route if needed. I rember the crux pitch being the first at about 5.11.

Geoff Scherer

 

I did a little looking around and found other locals who played on this wall in the past. This explains the bolts. I wonder where their line went in relation to yours. Sounds like they both shared some of the begining pitches. Evidently there are fixed rap anchors all the way up the wall. That would be rad to be able to climb he wall and rap back down, not worry about going down the Sherpa or anything else thats hard work.

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My wife ginnie jo and I went and repeated GITM this past week. We had a fabulous time on the route. Ginnie was crushing off the couch for her first alpine route and first multipitch of the year. We did a ton of trundling and placement mining, and I scrubbed the "Monkey Traverse" a bit.

 

As is, the route is great, but there is definetly a direct finish waiting to be done ( it would top out onto this gendarme that looks like the top of the empire state building, the KING KONG finish?). This would allow one to establish a direct rappel route down the face which, though i am usually all about the summit, i think this route would benefit from. The W Ridge just sucks too much, totally detracts from the awesome GITM experience.

 

On the other hand, if you are into it, combined with the W ridge, it's gotta be the longest route on stuart and is still awaiting a 1-day ascent. PM for any info.

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I don't quite get where this is located. Blake, you mention "Goat Pass, near the start of the West Ridge" but actually, Goat Pass is at the north side of the small rock glacier cirque, and the West Ridge is the continuation of the ridge with STUART Pass... is this route the wall above the rock glacier? As in, the NW Face of the West Ridge? Hmmm... thanks for clarifying when you can... let me see if I can find a picture around here of that wall, too...

 

EDIT: After reading the rest of the thread, I see that this is in fact the wall above the rock glacier. Still looking for a photo of the wall...

Edited by goatboy

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How do I insert an image from a Mac? With my PC, I could right click on the image and then paste that info into the image pop-up box, but not so with my new Mac ... any suggestions?

 

The URL is

 

http://cascadeclimbers.com/plab/showphoto.php?photo=50107&ppuser=295

 

and a better one is here:

 

http://cascadeclimbers.com/plab/showphoto.php?photo=50108&cat=500&ppuser=295

Edited by goatboy

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Good picture, Goatboy. Thanks for the pass clarification. I don't know the area even when i'm not in a cloud. The route and wall are between Stuart Pass and Goat Pass. If coming from Ingalls lake, go just past the start of the W. Ridge, and turn Right. I think I have it generally drawn in correctly. The first 3-4 pitches are for-sure, the rest gets a little weird and foreshortened, but once on route, you wont get lost. There is red webbing and tat on bolts, visible from the ground.

 

It's the Wall shown on page 303 of the newest Brown Beckey, and the climb is right of the "Northwest Face of Lower W. Ridge"

GITM.JPG

 

Key routefinding on P3. Work up and left to a big slung flake with 4" crack, toward the edge of expansive orange overhangs, then cut back right.

 

On the skywalk ledge, walk right until the angle relents, it may give the impression that the W. Ridge or top of the wall are very near. ->climb up and right, mostly easy, with one 5.8ish spot 25' off the ledge. You want to get into a clean, grey, v-slot, chimney/gulley/groove. From here, follow the Right-Facing corner/pillar for 60m of good cracks of all sizes. Then it's a very short pitch of splitter thin hands to the topout

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Awesome TR for an awesome climb, PROPS!!:rawk::rocken:

 

something to look foward to

 

 

This climb may see an ascent or two this season because of the awsome photos posted, but after that it will long be forgotton......

 

It looks like amazing climbing on a very prominent section of the mountain. :grin:

 

??????????????????????????

 

One of the shortest approaches on the mountain

 

a sustained multi pitch with lots of 5.10 and a short 5.11a crux, finishing on a classic alpine ridge.

 

on Stuart.... forgotten??

 

I seriously doubt it.

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It was repeated on Friday actually. Two (hairy gorilla) thumbs up.

 

Most of the route, that is. A little off-route after the Skywalk Ledge. And for the record, I'm bald and she's beautiful. Hairless apes in the rain I'd say.

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