Ascent of Mount Stuart on 2019-06-02
|Date:||Sunday, June 2, 2019|
|Ascent Type:||Successful Summit Attained|
| Elevation:||9415 ft / 2869 m|
Ascent Trip ReportFull TR: https://www.wta.org/go-hiking/trip-reports/trip_report.2019-06-03.7851219071
This hike has quite the elevation profile with 2000ft up to Longs Pass, 1400ft down into the valley, and then 4600ft to the summit, pretty much entirely through class 3 snow and rock. I opted to do it as an overnight trip, camping in the valley.
The trail was snow-free most of the ways from the trailhead to Longs Pass with small patches above 6000 ft. Descending the north side of Longs Pass, the snow is continuous down to about 5400 ft. The valley floor is completely clear of snow. The crossing of Ingalls Creek is super easy with a convenient log bridge.
There are several spots to camp in close proximity to Ingalls Creek. This area is below 5000 ft so campfires are allowed here. There's maybe 6 distinct sites here, but they're all fairly close together. I opted for continuing down the Ingalls Creek Trail for another 0.2 miles to the base of the scramble route. About 500 ft past the scramble turn off there's another campsite where I opted to spend the night.
Early the next morning I set off from camp. The trail up the Cascadian Couloir is easy to follow with many cairns marking the route. The rock hopping / loose terrain starts pretty much immediately and continues the entire way up. It's largely free of snow with patches of snow starting around 7000 ft. At about 8000 ft, snow is continuous, though you have a choice between rock hopping or taking the snowfield to climber's right. I opted for rocks on the way up and snow on the way down. The climb to the false summit is a walk up moderately steep snow. Luckily I had timed it right (ascending this part around 8am) so the snow was soft enough to kick steps but not be too slushy. My ice axe was very useful for this part, but the crampons I brought weren't necessary.
From the false summit, it's a mix of scrambling between snow and rocks. The trail is harder to follow here, but still well marked by cairns. The descends a bit to get around the false summit and then climbs back up to the ridge line. There's only a couple sections of steep snow, but I had the advantage of travelling in steps made the day before in the soft snow which were nice and firm in the morning. The scramble itself was straightforward, mostly class 3. There were a couple small sections which involved pulling myself up rocks which I might call class 4.
I spent a long time at the summit, arriving at 9am and not leaving until 11am. I made some contacts on ham radio, completing a Summits-on-the-Air activation (73 to all my contacts, KI7QIV). On the way down, the route was quite a bit more difficult due to the softer snow. Even at 11am, there was plenty of post holing and much more sliding. I'd definitely recommend getting up there early for favorable snow travel conditions.
I then returned to camp, packed up, slogged back up Longs Pass and out to the car.
|Summary Total Data|
| Route Conditions:||Scramble, Snow Climb|
| Gear Used:||Ice Axe, Ski Poles, Tent Camp|
|GPS Data for Ascent/Trip|
GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks: climbed and unclimbed by Jeff Heidel
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