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Ascent of Mount Stuart on 2019-07-07

Climber: chris hooper

Date:Sunday, July 7, 2019
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Mount Stuart
    Location:USA-Washington
    Elevation:9415 ft / 2869 m

Ascent Trip Report

with Mark Thomas, who essentially lead the entire route with a backpack, what a beast!

hiked in from Stuart Lake trailhead (from the north) saturday afternoon. Saturday evening I onsighted and linked first two 5.8 pitches of the direct start, then mark lead 3rd pitch. We left fixed lines and bivied at very base of climb. jugged (ATCs in guide) 5am next morning, I cleaned. with 95lb carry- over gear between mark and I, this was a good reasonable way to deal with these first 3 pitches on the direct start. I attempted to TR the 3rd pitch but fell at the crux (middle) again. Pitched out p4 to 6 (approximately) then switched to simulclimbing until the Gendarme with a few belays between to get gear back to Mark, who lead the entire rest of the route. The distance to the Notch where the upper North Ridge starts is not to be under-estimated, it is a massive amount of climbing. Mark onsighted the gendarme (laybay and OW pitches) and we hauled packs at each pitch (gear tangle and stuck rope shenanigans first pitch). I freed most of layback then aided last few moves. also aided OW pitch, I am terrible at fist jamming and I was exhausted. getting dark 830pm, things starting to feel serious, we opted not go to the tippy top of the gendarme although the moves looked trivial. rapped and mark lead 5.8 with backpack (half our gear). I followed and aided a move. got to true summit with 3 more pitches by 11pm, thunderheads on the horizon but above the clouds and beautiful sunset. bivied near the summit in a cave/alcove (not the spot with the peak register, a better spot 50-100ft further South West). got reception and checked forecasts: 40% thunderstorms Monday Morning after 11am. $20 summer synthetic bag and a teepee tent wrapped around it as a bivy sack, stayed warm enough.


Monday Morning, another 5am start, headed toward false summit and sherpa pass, gave up plan to do Sherpa west ridge due to lack of water since yesterday and possible bad weather. had stove for water, but decided to not waste time incase of lightning (Mark had an experience wight lightning near the summit of Jefferson a week before, we didn't want to mess around). one ice axe, no crampons for the group, we crossed cascadian couloir by rappelling person without axe, then down-leading with ice axe (scary!). I chopped steps to cross additional snow patches and made finger holds in ice with axe shaft for follower, worked well. Followed Steph's beta for Sherpa pass but made an alternate turn down a canyon and added major time to gaining Sherpa pass between Sherpa and Argonaut. I lead us up an unnecessary 5th class sand/granite gully to regain the route, aiding past OW fists and slab then we soloed another 4th class pitch to regain the right trail. rapelled down sherpa pass, then bush-wacked our way back to the stuart lake trail, which isn't to be under-estimated. back to trailhead around 6pm, feels like it took forever, but we hiked slow without water until we got a source below sherpa pass, and we took plenty of breaks. 3rd major mountain for both of us in a week and with so much gear, I just wasn't moving as quickly as usual.
Summary Total Data
    Grade/Class:5.9+
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail, Open Country, Bushwhack, Stream Ford, Snow on Ground, Scramble, Exposed Scramble, Rock Climb, Snow Climb, Glacier Climb, Ice Climb, Aid Climb
    Gear Used:
Ice Axe, Rope, Headlamp, Ski Poles, Tent Camp, Bivouac
    Nights Spent:2 nights away from roads
Ascent Statistics
    Route:North Ridge Direct w/ Gendarme
Descent Statistics
    Route:sherpa pass



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