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Enchantments planning beta request

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Enchantments planning beta request

Postby Diggler » Mon Aug 08, 2011 7:30 pm

Greetings,

I'm planning a little excursion to the Enchantments/Stuart Range. Plan is to start at the NE side & go through/past the range on the N, doing a couple of climbs along the way. As my interest is more climbing & hiking, & less schlepping as much weight as possible, I'd love to minimize the amount of stuff I'm carrying on my back during the course of this. The climbs I'd like to do, if everything works out, would be: S face of Prusik, Serpentine Arete/Backbone Ridge on Dragontail, & N ridge of Stuart.

While I've done a fair bit of investigating, the logistics, red tape, & overall complexity of pulling this off involve some effort.

Some things I'm wondering:

1. For the climbs listed, would pickets/glacier travel-crevasse rescue stuff be a good idea (mostly for approaches/descents), or more optional?

2. Is the descent from Dragontail pretty straightforward?

3. Given the time of year, would the Cascadian Couloir be the best descent from Stuart, or is the Sherpa Glacier still pretty doable (or other descent options)?

4. How does the lower north ridge on Stuart compare with the upper (difficulty, route-finding, pro', etc.)?

5. How much of a pain-in-the-ass is it to get back to Lake Stuart area (camp) from the base of the Cascadian Couloir, & is there anything worth mentioning about doing this?

6. What would the difficulty be of hitching a ride from the Stuart-area trailhead back to the Snow Creek drainage trailhead?

7. Is there a place that has free wi-fi in Leavenworth?

8. Suggested Forest Service "campsites" (i.e. free- not an official campground, primitive totally fine) in the vicinity?

Answers, potential or full, to all or some of the questions welcomed- Thanks a lot!
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Re: Enchantments planning beta request

Postby dioid » Mon Aug 08, 2011 8:25 pm

I did Serpentine Ridge on Dragontail last weekend, so here are my 2 cents:
1. No crevasse rescue stuff required
2. Descend is very straightforward. Crampons are nice.
Don't know about the rest.
In addition Serpentine ridge is a choss pile, lots of loose stuff and the scramble/climb ratio is way too high. Backbone looked nicer.
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Re: Enchantments planning beta request

Postby ExcitableBoy » Mon Aug 08, 2011 10:13 pm

Diggler wrote:Greetings,

I'm planning a little excursion to the Enchantments/Stuart Range. Plan is to start at the NE side & go through/past the range on the N, doing a couple of climbs along the way. As my interest is more climbing & hiking, & less schlepping as much weight as possible, I'd love to minimize the amount of stuff I'm carrying on my back during the course of this. The climbs I'd like to do, if everything works out, would be: S face of Prusik, Serpentine Arete/Backbone Ridge on Dragontail, & N ridge of Stuart.

While I've done a fair bit of investigating, the logistics, red tape, & overall complexity of pulling this off involve some effort.

Some things I'm wondering:
1. For the climbs listed, would pickets/glacier travel-crevasse rescue stuff be a good idea (mostly for approaches/descents), or more optional?

Optional. If you are planning on descending the Colchuck or Sherpa Glaciers you should have crampons and an axe, though.
Diggler wrote:2. Is the descent from Dragontail pretty straightforward?
Yes. Some scrambling, maybe a rappel.

Diggler wrote:3. Given the time of year, would the Cascadian Couloir be the best descent from Stuart, or is the Sherpa Glacier still pretty doable (or other descent options)?

Cascadian Couloir, while usually my descent of choice, would put you on the South (Ingalls Creek) side of the Stuart Range and all of your other objectives are on the Northern aspects. For this reason descending via Sherpa Glacier would make more sense.
Diggler wrote:4. How does the lower north ridge on Stuart compare with the upper (difficulty, route-finding, pro', etc.)?

There is route latitude, and some tricky route finding, generally considered to be harder than the upper section, especially if the Gendarme is bypasses. Some good annotated photos over on cc.com.
Diggler wrote:5. How much of a pain-in-the-ass is it to get back to Lake Stuart area (camp) from the base of the Cascadian Couloir, & is there anything worth mentioning about doing this?

Umm, don't? You would have to hike up Ingalls Creek and hike around the West ridge of Stuart via Stuart and Goat Passes. Nothing unreasonable, but out of the way.
Diggler wrote:6. What would the difficulty be of hitching a ride from the Stuart-area trailhead back to the Snow Creek drainage trailhead?

Easy.
Diggler wrote:7. Is there a place that has free wi-fi in Leavenworth?

Starbucks maybe?
Diggler wrote:8. Suggested Forest Service "campsites" (i.e. free- not an official campground, primitive totally fine) in the vicinity?
[/quote]
I have slept at both the Stuart Lake and Snow Lake Trailheads. Stuart Lake/Mountaineers Creek is nicer because you can sleep back in the trees.


Also, look into the NE Buttress of Colchuck over Serpentine Arete. I think it is much higher quality with fewer srambling pitches.
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Re: Enchantments planning beta request

Postby Diggler » Wed Aug 10, 2011 6:02 pm

Thanks for the input, guys- much appreciated. Finally scored one of the 'Golden Tickets.' Now need to figure out what to do with the schedule to make use of the time. Also need to figure out if it might just be worth it to do some objectives from the N, then drive around to the S side & do Stuart from there...
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