Avg: 2 from 2 votes
|Type:||Trad, Alpine, 700 ft (212 m), 7 pitches, Grade II|
|Page Views:||982 total · 45/month|
|Shared By:||Jeff Hebert on Aug 6, 2020|
|Admins:||Jon Nelson, Micah Klesick, Z Winters|
From the north basin below Argonaut, ascend a snow finger (some loose, dirty rock transitions in late season) to the Southwest, reaching a notch at the base of the Northwest Arete.
The route is done in roughly 5-7 pitches.
Pitch 1-2: From the col climb down, then up through the tree. Climb up blocks back toward ridge crest. Follow easy ground a ways over blocks and up a right-facing corner to easy ground and a nice stance at the base of a steeper face.
Pitch 3: Go up a little and do a diagonal traverse up and rightwards, working up ledges, then straight up to good ledges. Move the belay to the left along this ledge system.
Pitch 4: Choose a desired path up this next step (a easy ramp up and to the right, followed by a tricky move up went for us), then move across easy ground, reaching the highest large ledge.
Pitch 5: From the belay, climb up a steep corner with good holds. This section looks improbable for mid 5th class, but is all there, with good protection, and is the best climbing on the route. Finish below another right-facing corner that looks more steep and blank.
Pitch 6: Cut diagonally up and relatively hard right here on easy terrain to a flake you can au cheval, then a tricky move to a good ledge.
Pitch 7: Choose either the corner system straight above you or the next corner system over to the right. If you choose the one on the right, make sure to swing back left rather than heading straight for the skyline. This right option is pretty mellow.
Scramble to the summit.
From the summit, continue east, through a notch and down the Northeast face and snowfield down to a notch on the East ridge. Do one single-rope rap to the East, then traverse skier's left (North) and down a short, loose gully (rap is possible here) until you can cut through a notch back onto the East face where two more single rope raps get you to the slopes near the Argonaut-Colchuck col.
From the Stuart Lake trailhead, hike the trail, going straight past the Colchuck Lake turnoff, until 4,700 feet where a faint trail departs for Mountaineer's Creek. Follow this over, down, and then up the creek to roughly 4,780 feet where you can buschwhack up to a boulder field below Argonaut at roughly 4,925 feet. Traverse the boulders, following cairns, SSW until you can cut through a short bit of slide alder and then head up in / next to the trees. You'll eventually get on boulders, talus, scree, and dry creek beds on your way up to the waterfall slabs and eventually the north basin below Argonaut at 6,700 feet.