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khu

Mount Stuart

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Looking at the Cascadian Couloir route. I have not been able to find much in the way of guides online for Stuart. Just have a couple questions.

 

- Is there a need for crampons this time of year, or ever?

- I know this route is just a scramble, but is there any climbing gear needed for the route or descent? Do people take rope if it's snowed? Does it snow this early?

 

 

 

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Looking at the Cascadian Couloir route. I have not been able to find much in the way of guides online for Stuart. Just have a couple questions.

 

- Is there a need for crampons this time of year, or ever?

- I know this route is just a scramble, but is there any climbing gear needed for the route or descent? Do people take rope if it's snowed? Does it snow this early?

 

 

 

I have descended this route three times. Twice we put our crampons on and walked down the small snow field. The other time we rapped around it. When rapping we left webbing.

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Alright, so maybe I'm missing something about the route? Is it iffy this time of year? I was reading that others may be unstable without freezing conditions, but there was no mention of issues on this route.

 

 

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It was snowing down to 3000 feet the last couple of days, did you notice that? I saw fresh snow on Whitehorse and 3 Fingers this morning, and they are much shorter than Stuart.

 

You'll be traveling in snow, so you need to be prepared for that, and it's already the time of year that avalanches may start to pose a threat. Not a lot of people go up Stuart in the winter. It certainly can be done, but it's a whole different ballgame from climbing it in the summer.

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Snow stability is going to be a big issue with any steep narrow gully. Im sure you would want to bring crampons just in case, but you may wish you brought snow shoes instead depending on how much snow is up there.

 

The reason most people do not climb up the cascadian is that it is a huge pile of choss (not an issue with snow) and a long steep hike (could be a big issue with snow).

 

In winter conditions, you are going to find cold temps, wind and possibly lots of snow because of the elevation

 

It can be done in fall/winter if you have the skills and knowledge to handle snow travel, access avy danger and deal with varied snow conditions.

 

If not, I would wait until Spring or Summer to climb it.

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Awesome, thanks for the heads up. I did not realize it had already been snowing up there, can't see it from my house. I can't imagine there's much accumulated yet, but regardless, it's snow and a different animal. For spring/summer consideration, what are reasonable routes. I only stated the couloir because summitpost labeled it as the easily most popular route, maybe it is for spring/summer conditions then.

 

 

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The only reason I would ever go UP the Cascadian is to ski down it.

 

Yup.

 

 

For spring/summer consideration, what are reasonable routes. I only stated the couloir because summitpost labeled it as the easily most popular route, maybe it is for spring/summer conditions then.

 

West ridge is a mellow climb that a lot of people really enjoy. I think it's 5.4 (maybe 5.6 I don't remember) in a few spots but mostly scrambling. I'd recommend that route over ascending the cascadian if you have the means to climb it. Best, most pain free, way to time it would be to get the WR snow free with snow in the cascadian. Depending on the snow levels, that might happen late June-ish to early July (correct me if I'm wrong)?

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also the cascadian is the worst part of any stuart climb. I'd avoid going up it like the plague.

 

I second that motion. The only joy will be attaining the summit.

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also the cascadian is the worst part of any stuart climb. I'd avoid going up it like the plague.

 

I second that motion. The only joy will be attaining the summit.

 

Cascadian etc on South side are just fine if you go at the right time of the year. Late may/June is fine. Last year, bro bailed on the North ridge due to snow/ice as they didn't bring ice gear, but the south side was in perfect shape. Beware avalanches. Make sure a Hot few days have already happened and said avalanches are done for. Generally this happens in April in Stuart range, but can happen later.

 

Remember, Stuart region gets far less snow than Snoqualamie pass and is a month ahead at a minimum on the spring melt cycle. Baring an odd spring anyways.

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Cascadian etc on South side are just fine if you go at the right time of the year. Late may/June is fine.

I agree. Best to go when it's all filled with firm snow. Take an axe for self arrest and crampons for when the snow is hard in the morning.

Make sure a Hot few days have already happened and said avalanches are done for. Generally this happens in April in Stuart range, but can happen later.

I've seen large slabs of old snow and ice release from heated up rock slab high up on the Cascadian and come crashing down the couloir on a July afternoon. Just best to be all the way down by early afternoon.

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On the other hand, you can learn the world of suffering to ascend or descend the Cascadian in mid to late summer. The only thing worse is bushwacking through thick brush. They are the equivalent of hazing in the Cascade alpine.

Edited by matt_warfield

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The only thing worse is bushwacking through thick brush.

The only thing worse is bushwacking through thick WET brush.

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Cascadian etc on South side are just fine if you go at the right time of the year.

 

Absolutely true, especially for a novice. Let the tough guys spout, but my guess is the Cascadian would be a good outing for Khu.

 

After the long gully you'd get some good step kicking and finish with nice granite scrambling to the summit. And then you've got the descent dialed when you're ready for one of the ridge climbs.

 

 

 

 

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