Jump to content
  • Announcements

    • olyclimber

      WELCOME TO THE CASCADECLIMBERS.COM FORUMS   02/03/18

      We have upgraded to new forum software as of late last year, and it makes everything here so much better!  It is now much easier to do pretty much anything, including write Trip Reports, sell gear, schedule climbing related events, and more. There is a new reputation system that allows for positive contributors to be recognized,  it is possible to tag content with identifiers, drag and drop in images, and it is much easier to embed multimedia content from Youtube, Vimeo, and more.  In all, the site is much more user friendly, bug free, and feature rich!   Whether you're a new user or a grizzled cascadeclimbers.com veteran, we think you'll love the new forums. Enjoy!
Sign in to follow this  
telemarker

[TR] Mt. Stuart - Ice Cliff Glacier ski- 2/1/2011

Recommended Posts

Trip: Mt. Stuart - Ice Cliff Glacier ski

 

Date: 2/1/2011

 

Trip Report:

Incredibly stoked to see Dan's ski descent of Shuksan, I felt compelled to take the day off Tuesday for a ski trip of my own, though on a much, much smaller scale!

 

I haven't been up to Stuart this year, so my feeble memory sufficiently blocked out the miserable slog up to it. The skin was tedious from the trailhead, as the snow was steely ice pockmarked with postholing divots from the walkers. Several times it was necessary to sidestep up small, insignificant rises in the trail because the skins would not hold.

 

Despite, the trail from the Colchuck junction was great. The coverage up mountaineer's creek is adequate to good, and the snow being so frozen solid, I made quick time (for me) up to mountaineer's basin in three hours from the road.

 

I kept my options open to ascend/descent the Sherpa should the ICG not look good. I got a good look at it, and it appeared okay, though since I've never been on the ICG, it was hard for me to judge unless I just started climbing and assess as I went up.

 

In short, the coverage is bony. I used Dan's beta and hugged the east side of the couloir, next to Ice Cliff Arete for my ascent. This should have avoided most of the crevasses. However, I encountered my first one low down when the thin snowbridge collapsed. From then on, I was careful to probe a few paces in front of me with my ski pole, which helped me find two more cracks with just the thinnest veneer of snow coverage, but enough to completely hide the opening.

 

I got through these, and came to within a few hundred feet of the top, when my pole found another hole, this one being the final schrund, again with a 3 inch covering of sugar snow. I knocked the snow away, and noticed I couldn't see the bottom to this one, and it was overhung with sugar snow about 3 feet deep on the opposite side. No way in hell was I going to try to step across to that without a belay, and I was too tired to descend and end-run it to the east. So, reluctantly I called it good and would ski from there.

 

The descent was good for the first 500 feet, but then after a sketchy short traverse over iced-up snow, I gingerly tied into my axe and threw the skis on the pack and downclimbed the rest, again on icy snow with narrow channels of powder. In my fatigued mind, with fading light, I thought it would be more efficient to jump over the ridge and traverse over to Stuart Lake for my deproach. This proved more troublesome as the entire slope was a sheet of icy snow too, forcing me to boot all the way over to the exit gully leading down to the lake.

 

In short, we need more snow...But as a climb, the ICG is in good shape.

 

The area looking very thin indeed.

icg9.jpg

 

From mountaineer's basin.

icg3.jpg

 

Ice Cliff Glacier.

icg4.jpg

 

Final Schrund.

icg5.jpg

 

So close! Damn.

icg6.jpg

 

Precious little quality skiing.

icg7.jpg

 

Fading light puts an period on the day.

icg10.jpg

 

There are no fixed draws on the route.

 

 

 

 

Edited by telemarker

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"boney" wasn't supposed to be the word for Feb 2011 :cry:

 

Nice pics & TR, the closing line was icing on the cake.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nice try. That's actually pretty good to have the Ice Cliff skiable this time of year to the b-schrund, if you ask me! I tried that damn thing four or five times before I finally got it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Nice try. That's actually pretty good to have the Ice Cliff skiable this time of year to the b-schrund, if you ask me! I tried that damn thing four or five times before I finally got it.

 

I'll be back on it in march then, if we get more snow in the meantime.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

nice!

you know what had too much snow on it for good time this weekend? colfax. you should look into skiing that :)

Edited by spionin

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
nice!

you know what had too much snow on it for good time this weekend? colfax. you should look into skiing that :)

 

Got any pics?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey John, nice work up there. I've been jonsing to get up there. Thanks for letting me live vicariously through you!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

nothing worthwhile as far as beta - they turned out really crappy. but the snow was really nice, light, a few groups were out skiing coleman.

 

IMG_6425.JPG

IMG_6431.JPG

IMG_6435.JPG

IMG_6437.JPG

 

compare this picture (not mine) from last feb:

colfax_street.JPG

 

you should totally ski the polish route.

d.c. would have! :)

biglines_56400.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hey John, nice work up there. I've been jonsing to get up there. Thanks for letting me live vicariously through you!

 

You bet! Looks like Aaron Scott had better conditions on Colchuck's north buttress couloir yesterday.

 

You climbing saturday? Vantage could be warm.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hey John, nice work up there. I've been jonsing to get up there. Thanks for letting me live vicariously through you!

 

You bet! Looks like Aaron Scott had better conditions on Colchuck's north buttress couloir yesterday.

 

You climbing saturday? Vantage could be warm.

 

Not this weekend, I'm on my stretch of six nights on at work. Hopefully by next week it'll be snowing, if not then I might head out there. We shall see...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
whoa scary!! good job managing that terrain. sounds like more rain is on the way?! yuck.

 

I was thinking of AJ's helmet cam footage last spring of his crevasse fall. Freaky!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

Sign in to follow this  

×