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Routes in Mt Stuart

Cascadian Couloir T 3rd 1- 1 I 1 M 1a
Direct North Ridge w/ Gendarme, The T 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a
Girth Pillar 5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a WI2
Gorillas Direct T 5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b
Gorillas in the Mist T 5.11- 6c 22 VIII+ 22 E3 5c Easy Snow
Ice Cliff Glacier AI2-3 Steep Snow
King Kong - Gorillas Direct Direct T 5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a
Sherpa Glacier T 4th 1 2 I 2 M 1b
South Headwall T 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
Stuart Glacier Couloir T WI2 M5
Upper North Ridge w/Great Gendarme T 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
West Ridge T 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b
Type: Trad, Alpine, 1200 ft, 18 pitches, Grade IV
FA: Fred Stanley and Jim Wickwire
Page Views: 26,030 total, 211/month
Shared By: Max Tepfer on Oct 26, 2007
Admins: Scott Coldiron, Nate Ball, Jon Nelson, Micah Klesick

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Description

From the notch above the Stuart Glacier, 11(ish, depends on how you do it) pitches of low/mid 5th class with one move of 5.7 will take you to the base of the Gendarme. This involves a lot of fun, exposed, easy climbing on bomber rock. Despite this, the best pitches are on the Gendarme. Above the base of the pillar, are two crux 5.9 pitches. The first one is a steep fingers and hands dihedral with good rests between harder sections of climbing. From here, traverse to the offwidth and grunt up it. After this, there's one more pitch of 5.8-5.9 before the final three pitches of low 5th.

This route is amazing. A must do for anyone comfortable on alpine rock of the grade. When we did it, we approached via Ingalls Lake and Goat Pass, this wasn't too bad but meant we had to descend Cascadian Coulior which was one of the worst climbing experiences me and my partner had ever had.

Location

There are multiple approach options for this route. Both have their pros and cons. You can approach from the south via Longs Pass TH or from the north via Mountaineer Creek. I recommend you buy a topographic map and figure it out for yourself.

When we did it, we approached via LPTH. From LPTH, head up to Ingalls Lake, traverse ledges around the east side of the lake and follow the trail to Stuart Pass. From here, descend northwest on talus, traverse, and then ascend more talus to the pass between Pt. 7893 on Jack Ridge and Stuart's West Ridge (aka Goat Pass) there are potential bivy sites here. Finally, traverse the Stuart Glacier to the 4th class gully leading to the prominent notch in the North Ridge. There are two good bivy sites here and many more mediocre ones. This is the beginning of the upper ridge.

If you approach from the South and wish to descend that way as well, (LPTH) to descend from the summit, head down and east towards the false summit via blocky 3rd and 4th on the south side of the summit. Once at the summit, follow cairns and a ledge system east to the western edge of a large snowfield. This is the top of the Cascadian Coulior. Without crossing the snowfield, follow it down into blocky, loose 3rd class terrain that will go on forever. Descend the coulior for a very very very long time occasionally venturing to the hillside on the side of the gully. This will take you down to Ingalls Creek.

Protection

Pretty subjective. People do it with no gear, people do it with lots of gear. Bring whatever you normally bring on a long alpine rock route plus 1 3.5" piece for the offwidth. (more if you want the security of stitching up a short 5.9 offwidth)
Jhall
Portland/Redmond
Jhall   Portland/Redmond
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. May 13, 2016
Mike McL
South Lake Tahoe, CA
 
Mike McL   South Lake Tahoe, CA
 
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.

Enjoy! Aug 15, 2011
Scott Matz
Loveland, CO
Scott Matz   Loveland, CO
Im going to attemp it in mid June, any recommendations Apr 22, 2009
Pete Hickman
Tacoma, WA
Pete Hickman   Tacoma, WA
Does anyone have an idea how doable this route might be in the last week of May this year? Apr 16, 2008