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andybob

[TR] Mount Stuart - Direct Upper North Ridge 7/15/2016

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Trip: Mount Stuart - Direct Upper North Ridge

 

Date: 7/15/2016

 

Trip Report:

First time on the North Ridge, so just some observations for those getting out soon. The Stuart Glacier traverse and the snow gully are in great shape. There's a steep exposed 50 ft traverse to get to the base of the gully, and the gully itself is quite steep, so crampons and axe were necessary, but there were no cracks or bergschrund to manage.

 

With last week's weather, the upper pitches were completely dry. There are some small patches of snow on the N side of the summit block, but the route itself is snow free.

 

Gear Notes:

Brought a #4 for the gendarme and didn't even place it, so as other have suggested, it's not necessary for a 5.9 leader. And yes, the fixed and reslung #4 isn't going anywhere anytime soon.

 

Approach Notes:

There's still snow on the steep slope between the W ridge and Goat Pass, so if you're not carrying an axe and crampons, you'll probably want to traverse down from Stuart Pass around the toe of the W Ridge.

 

The steep slope below the false summit is still snow covered -- we pulled out our axes, but crampons were unnecessary late in the day with soft snow. The second snow field below the prominence with bivy sites allowed for plunge stepping and glissading right down to the left of the Cascadian. The couloir itself is snow free.

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Awesome! Thanks for the info. Still debating on bringing a toy ice axes for the complete N Ridge this weekend. Was it really necessary for the upper slopes?

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Jeffrey, I think you'll be fine without axes on the S side descent and it's common practice for parties coming off the W Ridge or the Complete N Ridge. If following the bootpack seems dicey, you could probably bypass the snow on rock, or rap down the steepest portion of snow.

 

I'm not sure what the snow's like coming down from Goat Pass around the Stuart Glacier. If that has any steep sections, then a light axe might be prudent (I had a light 50cm axe). Enjoy!

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