|Type:||Trad, Alpine, 18 pitches, 1200', Grade IV|
|Original:||YDS: 5.9 French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI ZA: 17 British: HVS 5a [details]|
|FA:||Fred Stanley and Jim Wickwire|
|Submitted By:||Max Tepfer on Oct 26, 2007|
|Comments on Upper North Ridge w/Great Gendarme||Add Comment|
|Show which comments —
By Pete Hickman
From: Tacoma, WA
Apr 16, 2008
|Does anyone have an idea how doable this route might be in the last week of May this year?|
By Scott Matz
From: Loveland, CO
Apr 22, 2009
|Im going to attemp it in mid June, any recommendations|
By Mike McL
From: South Lake Tahoe, CA
Aug 15, 2011
Excellent route! We did it late this July in a heavy snow year. We camped near Ingalls Lake to get a head start on the approach. Know that if you do this, you have about a 4 mile hike that gains 1600 feet of elevation to get back to camp from the base of the Cascadian Couloir. If you do a car shuttle, an approach from the Mountaineers Creek trailhead with a descent down the Cascadian and over Long's Pass is a good idea. Of course if you do this you have to carry over all of your gear. By camping near Ingalls Lake, we were able to leave the bivy gear behind and travel lighter.
I was very glad to have an axe and crampons to cross the glacier. It's fairly easy, but the runout is not great. The snow couloir was also easy step kicking, but very exposed. You wouldn't want to fall here. We used lightweight aluminum crampons with approach shoes. This worked fine.
The approach is quite long. Allow plenty of time. Routefinding can be tough in the dark up there if you're not familiar with the territory. Of course, YMMV.
The climbing on the ridge is good fun. We simuled most of the ridge beneath the gendarme with the exception of the 5.7 step. This lower section can go quickly.
The gendarme pitches were awesome. First pitch has fun moves between good rests. The OW wasn't too bad. One number 4 C4 camalot was perfect to protect it. I walked it a little ways. There's still an old number 4 camalot fixed up there at the top of the wide section. We hauled packs on these 2 pitches to make the going easier. They're both less than half a rope length, so hauling is easy if you choose to do so.
Past the gendarme, there's 1 short 5.8 step that is a ton of fun. Splitter hands. From here it's easy terrain to the top.
The Cascadian Couloir was quite tedious as mentioned by the OP. 4000+ ft of loose scree.
May 13, 2016
Amazing route. Beware when approaching the edge of the Stuart glacier and transitioning onto the rock/4th class gully leading to the middle of the North Ridge. During our climb in August 2015, my climbing partner and I were nearing the edge of the Stuart glacier towards the 4th glass gully. Next thing I knew, I heard a loud pop and saw my partner disappear before my eyes. He dropped riding a car sized block beneath him and had his leg wedged between the wall of the glacier and the fallen block. Luckily he was able to pull his leg free and climb out without injury. We continued up the 4th class gully after realizing how lucky we were, and how different our day could have gone.
I recommend crampons & axe to cross the glacier.