Paul, it looks like there is a route on the east ridge, what is your opinion on going that way?
Yes, that is the easiest (easier) way up. Class 3 mostly with maybe an odd class 4 bit here or there. You go up that vegetated gully at right till you get to the ridge crest. At which point you turn left and scramble sandy ledges and blocks past the balanced rock then on to the summit. This is the "South Side" Route in Beckey's book, but it finishes on the East Ridge.
Thanks, that is a route I'd like to check out. Can you climb the balanced rock solo or lasso the top? Any thoughts on trying to do this solo?
I really shouldn't speak of the soloability of the East Ridge as I haven't done it. I remember looking down on it and seeing lots of sandy ledges, etc. (a typical scene for high peaks in the Stuart Range). The problem would be the interconnection of these benches, not the benches themselves. Why don't you go up there this summer and report back to us with what you've discovered? :)
As for the BR, it generally requires two people. There is a handstand or shoulderstand required just to get to the pedestal at its base. There is then presumably an old crusty bolt on the ascent and a rappel bolt at the top
I was thinking of doing the Cascadian route up Stuart so perhaps a little detour might be in order. It'd be worth a look. As far as the BR is concerned, if I take a ladder up...... ; ))
Here's what you could certainly do:
On the return from Stuart's summit, when at the highest snowfield visible here, instead of descending the Cascadian Couloir, continue east on the ridge connecting to Sherpa Peak. When at the 8,200-ft saddle at the base of the West Ridge, descend the couloir/gully until you can contour left (east) into the gully at right in the above photo. You'd have to lose about 900 feet or so to do this.