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[TR] Mt.Stuart - Full North Ridge 7/19/2009


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Trip: Mt.Stuart - Full North Ridge


Date: 7/19/2009


Trip Report:

The original plan was to head up Girth Pillar on Mt.Stuart, but due to the warm temperatures, the disintegrating ice cliff, and the large number of avalanches coming down from high on Mt.Stuart (we watched several and heard them fall all night long), we had to come up with a plan B. I had always wanted to climb the full north ridge, why not now? Since we were not planning on doing the full north ridge, we didn’t have a topo, just the beta I could remember from talking to various friends who had done the route. Aaron had done the upper section before a couple of years before in a storm, so we at least had that. The other downside is that we did not have any “fast and light” setup; instead we had heavier boots and a large pack that we had intended on hauling up girth pillar. It was pretty warm, but the winds would be keeping us cool, so we threw in 6 liters of water, some food, jackets, ice axes, and a headlamps and set off on Sunday morning around 5:30.


The opening pitches were fairly obvious and had good climbing coupled with good gear. After the first four pitches, we started trying to simul-climb as much as possible. I just repeated the only beta I could remember from my friend, “stay on the ridge, if in question go left first, if that looks impossible, go right”. It seemed to work out fairly well, going left first inmost cases. We hit the notch at the start of the half-north ridge by about 11, took a short break, and continued on. By the time we hit the gendarme, it was in the shade, making for much needed cooler temperatures. We topped out in the sun at about 6, wolfed down some food, and headed over to descend the sherpa glacier.


There is a fairly good route taking you to the top of the sherpa glacier with only one long section of snow to down climb. The sherpa itself is a mixture of snow and scree/rock for a long ways. At this point, we had been out of water for a couple of hours and were definitely getting tired. We filled up on some snowmelt, did a rappel over one of the steeper sections, and continued down the snow. The bergschrund was fairly deep, but easily passed and we were soon on the flat portion below the upper section of the glacier. The lower section was easily bypassed on the skiers left, followed by a traverse to the skiers right, and into the final snow field to the boulders.


Overall, it was a fantastic route with a great partner. Super long day, but I can always recover at work. Next year Girth Pillar!



Hmmm... maybe we should do another route?








The start of the FNR:




Looking down on the start of Girth pillar:



Aaron coming up high on the route:





Gear Notes:

#4 is still fixed. Lots of other fun gear fixed along the way.


Approach Notes:

Mountaineers creek, trail most of the way, watch out for the mosquitos!

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Ahhh, we were wondering who put some of those nice tracks in. Thanks! It was definitely helpful coming down in the beginning before the heat caused the steps to break through. We had heard the beta about coming down the slabs on the skiers left, but since it was dark, we tried our luck getting over to the snow on skiers right. Thankfully it worked out :)

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