Mt Stuart, West Ridge

Page Type
Trip Report
Location:
Washington, United States, North America
Date Climbed/Hiked:
May 30, 2009
Activities:
Mountaineering
Season:
Spring
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Mt Stuart, West Ridge
Created On: May 31, 2009
Last Edited On: May 31, 2009

Mt Stuart via the central couloir to the West Ridge

My old partner Nick and I had a free day and wanted to get into the mountains. We kicked around some ideas and settled on the West Ridge of Mt Stuart approaching by the couloir that leads directly to the West Ridge notch.

Mt StuartMt Stuart from Long's pass
With the soft snow of spring we knew we would be in for a long day so we started at 5 AM from the trail head. An hour of steady walking brought us to Long's pass and our first views of Mt Stuart.

Nick Strait in the couloirNick in the couloir
We dropped down Long's pass and into Ingall's Creek valley, found an easy log crossing over the river and made our way to the large couloir splitting the south face. We climbed the coulor bypassing several waterfalls, and in once case climbing directly through one. Good thing it was a warm day!

Getting back on routeRappelling into the correct branch
At one point we realized we had taken the wrong branch and had to make a rappel to gain the correct branch of the couloir. The couloir was seemingly endless, but eventually did end right at the West Ridge notch, just where the climbing on the standard West Ridge route becomes interesting. I scrambled one pitch.
EB on the north faceEB on the north face
Nick led an exposed pitch which ended on the North Face. I led the next pitch the rest of the way across the North Face and back onto the South Face, finding some expensive gear along the way. If you lost something let me know and I will get it back to you. The next few pitches went quickly and Nick led the final pitch to the summit.
Crux pitchNick on the last pitch


EB on the summitEB on the summit
It was 4 in the afternoon by the time we summitted and the snow had become very soft, making the initial downclimbing tedious. We eventually crossed into the Cascadian Couloir and made several long glissades. Some more downclimbing brought us to the Ingall's Creek valley where we quickly located our log crossing. The hike back up to Long's Pass was demoralizing, but less than an hour after getting back up to Long's Pass we were back at the car, a bit less than 17 hours after leaving it.

All in all a good, long day in the hills with a great friend and partner.

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Viewing: 1-5 of 5
rpc

rpc - Jun 1, 2009 12:40 pm - Voted 10/10

nice tr

good balance of words & pictures :) nice climb too.

ExcitableBoy

ExcitableBoy - Jun 1, 2009 3:32 pm - Hasn't voted

Re: nice tr

Thanks!

mvs

mvs - Jun 3, 2009 1:44 am - Voted 10/10

Great day

You pack a lot into a day! But ugh...the wet, exploding snow of spring and the associated post-holing ;-).

WittWontQuit

WittWontQuit - Sep 23, 2011 10:04 pm - Hasn't voted

I'm lost, well not yet, but I will be

Does anyone know the route/trail from Stuart Lake to the West Ridge?

ExcitableBoy

ExcitableBoy - Sep 25, 2011 12:10 am - Hasn't voted

Re: I'm lost, well not yet, but I will be

Yes but much of it is off trail, requires river crossings on logs that you pretty much have to know where they are, avoid getting sucked into the dreaded bouder field, exit the valley at the correct (hard to find) location, bush whack a bit, walk up the moraine under the Stuart Glacier, up to goat pass, cross a talus field to Stuart Pass, walk under the South Face and find the correct gulley (out of a couple possible ones) and then do the 'challengeing' portion of the route finding. Then you have to descend the icy, broken up Sherpa glacier back to the Stuart Creek valley.

Much easier is to approach via Ingalls lake and descend via Cascadian Couloir. Happy to give any other advice. PM me here or email @ softwareninja@live.com.

Viewing: 1-5 of 5


Mt Stuart, West Ridge

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