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Stuart Range

 
Stuart Range

Page Type: Area/Range

Location: Washington, United States, North America

Lat/Lon: 47.47510°N / 120.90222°W

Object Title: Stuart Range

Activities: Hiking, Mountaineering, Ice Climbing, Mixed, Scrambling, Skiing

Season: Summer, Fall

Elevation: 9415 ft / 2870 m

 

Page By: Josh Lewis

Created/Edited: Feb 15, 2013 / Feb 8, 2014

Object ID: 838589

Hits: 4261 

Page Score: 85.24%  - 20 Votes 

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Overview

Prusik Peak Reflection
Prusik Peak Reflection
The Stuart Range is located on the eastern side of the Alpine Lakes Wilderness just south of Leavenworth. This range is almost perfectly in the middle (north to south) of the state and and is in the central Cascades. The range was probably named after Mount Stuart which was named by George B. McClellan in honor of his friend "Jimmie Stuart". There are 10 Bulgar Peaks (Washington Top 100) in this region. One can enjoy hiking, back packing, rock climbing, scrambling, ice climbing, fall foliage, goats, lakes, and beautiful mountains. This range has a lot to offer to outdoor enthusiast.

A lot could be said about this range in terms of quality, beauty, and alpine joy. But I'll let the pictures do the talking, the links do the explaining, and the paragraphs give you an idea of what this place has to offer. If you live in this state, are able bodied, and have the means for traveling, then you have no excuse to not visit this place! They don't call the central Stuart Range The Enchantment for nothing. Each peak in the range has a different adventure awaiting for you to come out and explore. While in late summer crowds serge through this alpine arena, you can certainly find places where you won't see another person. This is some of Washington's best mountains.

Dragontail Peak Reflection
Dragontail Peak Reflection
 Ice Cliff Glacier, Mount Stuart
Climbing the Ice Cliff Glacier Route
Below Dragontail Peak
Dragontail Peak though the Fog
West Route of Dragontail Peak.
Heading up a Snow Slope above the Col
Witches Tower
Witches Tower from Enchantment Basin

Colchuck Peak Panorama
Western Stuart Range Panorama

Enchantments Basin
Enchantment Basin Panorama

Getting There

Stuart Lake Trailhead: From Seattle head onto highway 520 across Lake Washington. In 6.7 miles head onto I-405 North towards Everett. In about 8 miles take exit 23 onto highway 522 towards Monroe. In Monroe head east on Highway 2 towards Stevens Pass. Roughly 85 miles later you arrive in Leavenworth which is right in front of the Stuart range. Take a right onto Icicle Creek road. In 8.5 miles turn left onto NF 7600. In 3.6 miles you arrive at the Stuart Lake Trailhead.

Snow Creek Trailhead:

Ingalls Creek Trailhead: Coming Soon...

Esmeralda Basin Trailhead:

Boundaries

Major Summits

Mount Stuart (9,415 feet) is the highest peak in the range. It has many exciting routes on it for different alpine styles. It can be scrambled via the Cascadian Couloir (3rd Class), it can be an ice climb via the Ice Cliff Glacier (Grade II-III), or rock climbed up the West Ridge (5.4). There many other routes which include the Sherpa Glacier (glacier climb), the North Ridge (5.9), and the Stuart Glacier Couloir (AI2, Low 5th). This mountain can be seen from many mountains through out the Washington Cascades.

Ice Cliff Glacier Route  Mount Stuart
Ice Cliff Glacier
Sherpa Glacier Route, Mount Stuart
Sherpa Glacier Route
Mount Stuart, West Ridge Route
West Ridge
Mount Stuart
Cascadian Couloir

Mt. Stuart - Stuart Glacier Couloir Route Overlay
Stuart Glacier Couloir Route Overlay

Mt. Stuart s W Ridge and SW...
Mt. Stuart's W Ridge and SW flanks from Ingalls Lake


Dragontail (8,840 feet) hangs over Colchuck Lake with it's massive steep face which is breath taking on a clear day. Most folks hike up it's East Ridge while the more technical mountaineers go up the Triple Couloirs (AI/WI 3, 5.7) or the Backbone Ridge With Fin Direct (5.9). There is also the Northeast Buttress (5.8), the Serpentine Ridge (5.8), West Route (Steep Snow and Scrambling), and the Dragontail Annapurna Snow Col route (class 2-3).

Third couloir transition
Climbing the Triple Couloirs
Josh Descends The Snow Crux
On the West Route
Dragontail s North Face looms...
North Face with Fall Colors
Approaching the summit
Top of the East Ridge
Serpentine Ridge
Serpentine Ridge
NE Buttress
NE Buttress
dragontail/annapurna snow col route
Annapurna/Dragontail Col
Backbone Ridge With Fin Direct
Backbone Ridge Direct

Dragontail Peak from the trail up Aasgard Pass
Dragontail Peak from the trail up Aasgard Pass

Colchuck Peak (8,705 feet) is located between Dragontail and Argonaut Peak. It's impressive North Face has a multitude of technical climbing routes. Most folks go up the Colchuck Glacier (snow hike) which is an excellent day trip. The harder routes include Northeast Buttress (5.8), North Buttress (Class 4-5), North Buttress Couloir (Grade II), and the Northeast Buttress Couloir (AI 2-3, 5.4). I know... lots of North Face routes. Every route up Colchuck Peak is a fun one. Plus one can glissade down the Colchuck Glacier.

Colchuck Peak, the Colchuck...
Colchuck Glacier Route
Couloir Fork
Northeast Buttress Couloir
Colchuck Peak<br />
Northwest Route & North Buttress
North Buttress
Coming up the N Buttress...
North Buttress Couloir
Dark Misty Colchuck Peak
Dark Misty Colchuck Peak


Cannon Mountain (8,638 feet) is on the northern side of the Stuart Range. This mountain has two main routes up it which are non technical. The Northeast Ridge is class 3, while the Prusik Pass Route is a simple walk up. The Northeast Ridge has a lot of fallen over trees at the beginning making for an interesting approach while later on having some fun scrambling. The Prusik Pass route is technically easier, but is much more distance over all. Both routes can be done in a day, but don't expect to have a lot of energy afterwards.

Scrambling up the Northwest Ridge
Scrambling up the NW Ridge
cascadedreams
On the Summit
Ascending...
Lower Part of the NW Ridge
Alpenglow from Aasgard Pass
Alpenglow at Aasgard Pass

Cannon Mountain from the Northwest Ridge
Cannon Mountain from the Northwest Ridge


Sherpa Peak (8,605 feet) from a distance almost looks like a high point on Mount Stuart. But it has over 400 feet of prominence hence qualifying as it's own peak. All routes up this peak are technical requiring a rope and protection. The main three routes are the West Ridge (5.4), North Ridge (5.8), and the Northeast Couloir (5.0).

Sherpa Peak North Ridge
Climbing the North Ridge
The couloir route chosen by...
N.E. Couloir Route
Another view of Pitch 5. The...
Upper West Ridge
The Sherpa Balanced Rock from...
Balanced Rock near Summit
Matt and Bruce climbing up...
Half way up N.E. Couloir

Sherpa Peak N. Ridge
Sherpa Peak North Ridge Route Diagram


Enchantment Peak (8,520 feet) is right in the center of the Stuart Range. The main route up this peak goes up from Colchuck Lake to Aasgard Pass. From the pass over though the Enchantments Basin and up to Prusik Pass. At the pass the route heads west up Enchantment Peaks ridge to the summit block. The summit block is class 3+.
Enchantment Peak s North Face
Enchantment Peak's North Face


Witches Tower (8,520 feet)

Argonaut Peak (8,453 feet)

Little Annapurna (8,440 feet)

McClellan Peak (8,364 feet)

Leprechaun Lake's larches
Leprechaun Lake's larches with McClellan Peak


Prusik Peak (8,000 feet)

South Wedge Mountain (6,885 feet)

Red Tape

Coming Soon...

Camping

Coming Soon...

Dragontail Camp
Camping near Dragontail

Camping near Colchuck Lake
Camping near Colchuck Lake

Fall Photographs

Larch Heaven
Sprite Lake Larches taken During October

Larchtime in  the Enchantments
Larchtime in the Enchantments

Prusik Peak from just SW of...
Prusik Pass View
Prusik Peak
Prusik Peak Reflection
McClellan Peak
McClellan Peak
Flaming larch trees in the Enchantments
Golden Larches

Topographic Maps

Enchantment Map
Enchantment Map

Map of approach to Mt. Stuart, North Cascades, WA
Stuart Glacier Couloir
McClellan Peak South Map
McClellan Peak South Map
McClellan Peak North Map
McClellan Peak North Map
Enchantment Map
Old Map from back then

Mountain Conditions

For current weather information on Stuart Range check in with the Noaa Forecast.

For Avalanche Conditions, check in with the Northwest Avalanche Center. (Limited based on the season)

Road conditions can be seen on the Forest Service site. Just scroll down to where it says "Icicle Road 7600" which is where it should say the conditions. Personally I'd give them a call if I didn't have a backup plan because you never know when the site doesn't get updated.
Stuart on a blustery day
Mount Stuart getting Pounded by Wind

When to Climb

Coming Soon...

Wildlife and Flowers

 
Purple Flower with views to the North
Purple Flower
Lady Bugs on the Summit
Lady Bugs on Summit
A Goat with McClellan Peak in the Background
Goat with McClellan
Mount Stuart with Flowers
Flowers on Cannon

Goats Enjoying the Grasses
Goats Enjoying the Grass
Cashmere Mountain with Flowers
Cashmere with Flowers
From July 16, 05, doing the...
Flowers from Enchantments
goat and Dragontail Peak
Goat with Dragontail
 I am Beelzebub and you shall...
I am Beelzebub...
Mama Goat and kids on the...
Mama Goat and kids
funny face, McClellan behind
Funny face, McClellan Behind
White-tailed Ptarmigan
White-tailed Ptarmigan
Paintbrush Flowers on Cannon Mountain
Paintbrush Flowers
Hey! This is my Home
Marmot on Colchuck
Yellow Flower
Yellow Flower
Lupine Flowers
Lupine Flowers

External Links

  • Stuart Range Traverse on September 10-11, 2011: This trip report contains information on doing a traverse on the entire Western side of the Stuart Range

Alpine Spot Light

Alpine Lakes Wilderness
Alpenglow in the Enchantments

Upper Enchantments
Overlooking the Upper Enchantment basin

Images