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Raoul Duke

[TR] Mt. Stuart - Stuart Glacier Couloir 6/3/2012

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Trip: Mt. Stuart - Stuart Glacier Couloir

 

Date: 6/3/2012

 

Trip Report:

Among those flocking to the Enchantments for the promise of a window were myself and partner JR, who climbed the SGC from the car in a 16 hour round trip, with about 4.5 hours on route from bergschrund to summit.

 

Found this to be an excellent and pretty consistent mixed route for the modern weekend warrior-- don't let that 1944 first ascent fool you! The schrund required some rope and gear, and we stayed roped until we were over the constriction, which provides a few moves of real swing-the-tools ice work on rotten stuff. The upper section of the couloir is steep but straightforward. We reached the West Ridge notch with fears of route finding issues, but the rock section went uneventfully in two long simul blocks. The traverse on the north side of the ridge still has substantial sections of feet-on-snow-ledge-with-gloved-hand-jams that makes you feel very Mark Twightish.

 

We shared the summit and the descent with two guys who had come up the Ice Cliff, and seemed to have found good conditions there too.

 

Descent down the Sherpa Glacier Couloir was easy in a pay attention sort of way.

 

Enough blab, here are the pictures:

 

 

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Gear Notes:

No real need for screws, although we did place one below the ice bulge. We were very happy with a 30m rope. 30m rope = only 30m worth of gear = light packs. Makes sense to me!

 

Approach Notes:

The talus leading up Mountaineer's Creek drainage is snow free, and travel conditions are good above the basin.

Edited by Raoul Duke

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Nice! We were up there over Memorial to look at stuff, eyed this route, but didn't feel we could move fast enough. The approach was a bit fun--yet we couldn't figure out if the proper way was the cairns over the God-forsaken talus or the bushwhack near the creek?

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Nice! We were up there over Memorial to look at stuff, eyed this route, but didn't feel we could move fast enough. The approach was a bit fun--yet we couldn't figure out if the proper way was the cairns over the God-forsaken talus or the bushwhack near the creek?

 

YMMV. We took the talus in to the Ice Cliff Glacier last year, and the creek out, and found the latter much preferable.

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Yeah I would take the god-forsaken talus over the dead-fall extravaganza of the creek anytime.

 

I just remember heavy pack, baking sun, seemingly endless hopping, jumping, scrambling. But I think our positive memories of the way out was largely due to snow covered dead-fall. Ah well, good on ya.

 

YMMV. We took the talus in to the Ice Cliff Glacier last year, and the creek out, and found the latter much preferable.

 

We did the same, ventured into talus on the way out once, realized our mistake, dropped lower and picked up speed (and more post holes).

 

The talus seems to be the preferred route. Perhaps next time i'll bring trail runners...

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I thought the exact opposite, having gone both ways. I like the low route, though I can imagine with perfectly bad snow conditions it could be terrible.

 

Regardless, that is a great effort! I remember being tired after bivying...

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That was a really fun day and it was good to meet you guys on the summit. Hey thanks a lot for taking our picture. Nice photos and how about the sunset that night? Too bad we were in the woods, haha. We got sucked into the deadfall on the walk out this time and it's like doing high steps while crouched low. I guess anybody that's a veteran WA schwacker knows the moves... Good climb!

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