The Direct North Ridge w/ Gendarme
Avg: 3.8 from 92 votes
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, 2000 ft, 20 pitches, Grade IV|
|Page Views:||26,768 total, 239/month|
|Shared By:||peachy spohn on Sep 3, 2008|
|Admins:||Scott Coldiron, Nate Ball, Jon Nelson, Micah Klesick|
DescriptionThe Direct North Ridge combines the North Ridge from the notch with an extra 800 feet of fun climbing. Although loose in spots and somewhat lichen covered, the route offers those looking for a longer, harder day than the North Ridge good solid 5.9+ climbing. It will obviously be faster to simulclimb, my partner and I did this and completed the entire route in 6.5 hours, but the belays for each pitch take good gear and have decent stances.
Roughly the first 3 pitches are the hardest. 1: Climb up easy terrain off a big ledge about 150 feet above the base of the toe to a small tree. 2: Continue up through an awkward 5.8 slot (harder with backpacks) to a face and then to a nice ledge. Small crimps inside the slot for the left hand are useful and make sure to step out on the face with your feet. 3: Follow a striking lie back crack on your left for quite a ways. This is 5.9+ and sustained. Once you pull over a small roof there will be another ledge to set up a belay.
From here veer up and right, following the path of least resistance. The rock at times is loose and almost always covered in crumbly black lichen. It is mostly easy 5th class with an occasional 5.6 move. There is, about 5 pitches up, a short slab traverse that takes you even further to the right. Once you do this, the Notch ridge will come into view and once reached it will connect you with the Upper North Ridge. It takes longer than you think, but keep on trucking.
For the Upper North Ridge look at Max Tepfer's description on this page. To add to it though, begin by staying on the left (east) side of the ridge. Then follow an easy ramp up to the ridge. Move up left over a bulge (5.6) and then on to an exposed section on the west side of the ridge. From here follow the ridge to the super cool 5.5 slab split by an amazing crack and then to the Gendarme--about 8 or 9 pitches from the Notch. The Gendarme can be done in two pitches; 1: a 5.8 lie back and 2: a 5.9+ off-width, or you can link the pitches easily with a 60m rope (use runners to prevent rope drag) which is what my partner and I did. The Gendarme is almost always in the shade and can be very cold or even icy.