Type: Ice, Snow, Alpine, 2000 ft, 3 pitches, Grade V
FA: 1984 Lewis & Nelson
Page Views: 4,339 total · 36/month
Shared By: Jens K. on Jun 29, 2009 with improvements by Kyle Tarry
Admins: Scott Coldiron, Jon Nelson, Micah Klesick

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Crux is the three pitches found on the pillar itself.


Found on the Northeast face, high above the ice cliff glacier.


Ice Gear, rock rack to 3"


I think this post could use a little more information??? Jul 9, 2009
Shaun Johnson
  5.11- WI2 Steep Snow
Shaun Johnson  
  5.11- WI2 Steep Snow
Anyone planning on climbing the Girth Pillar in the middle or late summer should consider climbing the Lower North Ridge to a large ledge system that leads to the surface of the Ice Cliff Glacier.

This adds more climbing on perfect rock and avoids the often rotten ICG climbing. Aug 19, 2013
Laurel Fan
  5.10+ WI1 Mod. Snow
Laurel Fan  
  5.10+ WI1 Mod. Snow
For details on the Lower North Ridge variation and the "new" way up the Girth (rockfall has affected the route since the FA), check out Kevin Newell and Eric Wehrly's TR from 2007:

alpineinstitute.com/article…-(grade-v,-511b)-perfect-alpine-rock-on-mt-stewart/ Sep 10, 2013
Wenatchee, WA
Jplotz   Wenatchee, WA
The lower north ridge approach to the ice cliff glacier, though not the style of the first ascentionists, is a worthy alternative and safer if later in the season (July forwards generally).

Pitches on the Girth Pillar are obvious and were unaffected by the rockfall.
Pitch 1: Climb the nice but immediately steep handcrack, which jogs right at the top of the crack. Belay on a crappy, tiny ledge.

Pitch 2: Shuffle straight left for about 10 feet to a thin crack. Finger jams lead to a good rest right before the crux. Jam the crack as it shoots out right on decent fingerlocks. There was a fixed stopper mid-crux that made life easier. Continue up the thin hands then hand crack to a better belay ledge.

Pitch 3: Perfect hands on very steep and somewhat dirty rock lead to the top of the pillar. Beware of some very, very large loose blocks.

Pitches 4 - 6?: Mid-5th climbing will lead to the crest just below the false summit of Stuart.

Full-value climbing! Oct 31, 2013
Laurel Fan
  5.10+ WI1 Mod. Snow
Laurel Fan  
  5.10+ WI1 Mod. Snow
Ah, I just figured the route changed because the route description for the 3 pillar pitches and the 11c rating in Nelson didn't make any sense to me. May 30, 2014
Nick Sweeney
Spokane, WA
Nick Sweeney   Spokane, WA
Great trip report that outlines the Lower North Ridge approach to this route: alpineinstitute.com/article… Dec 21, 2017
Kevin MP
Redmond, OR
  5.11- WI2 Steep Snow
Kevin MP   Redmond, OR
  5.11- WI2 Steep Snow
As of July 31 the Ice Cliff Glacier was passable but soon the large moats will make it very difficult to reach the rock above. As it was, we exited the glacier down and right of the usual approach pitches and climbed 500' of highly un-recommended choss to reach the pillar. The 3 splitter pitches are amazing and eat up hand size gear! What's the story with the fixed crampons on the first pitch?? Aug 3, 2018