Cool route with interesting route finding. Be careful about leaving the trail too early; wait until the ridge is to your right, as there is a bog with major mosquitos at the wrong time of year. (most important beta). The rest of the way is fairly straightforward, with many variations. I usually skip "Long John Tower" and head up early to the ridge crest, which is kind of cool and maybe 5.5. At the summit pyramid, either scramble 4th-mid 5th up the crest, or traverse out along the south face and do a cool 5.8 variation. Descend the Cascadian couloir
Submitted by: david_smithrock on 2006-08-17
Last Modified: 2007-09-05
Route ID: 79018
My climbing partner Gary Williams and I started from our campsite below Ingalls Lake, so it took us at least six hours to hike and then climb up to the summit notch below the last few pitches. We were lucky to have fine weather since it had been cloudy the day before. We climbed every pitch unroped until we neared the notch. Very nice exposure, next, as you cross over briefly onto the north face. Neither of us had climbed Stuart before, so finding the standard "crux" proved frustrating. After a couple of hours climbing, including a 5.9 variation to nowhere, we did a 5.6 variation that led us around a corner to the summit. Incredible 360 degree views. We chose to descend via Ulrich's Couloir rather than the Cascadian to save time. Big mistake! Ulrich's is a slippery nightmare that could result in sliding off into a nasty gully. It seemed to take forever to get down to the trail leading back up the Ingalls. Rock quality varies from horrible to fantastic, so that rates a 3. Be prepared to bivvy along the route unless you're a fast climber/descender. Be prepared to lead above 5.4 just in case you get off route.
A littel dry this late in the year but the temps were perfect. Good route finding practice... will shave quite a bit of time off the next trip... 11 hours was longer than it it shoud have taken us. Got side tracked on the last pich below the summit. Anyone seen my camera?... Next time I'll use the lanyard!
What a beautiful weekend of views of Mt. Ranier, Mt. Adams, and Glacier Peak, and a fantastic maze up Mt. Stuart. Going through caves, up crags, scrambling the boulders. Many things lost their virginity this trip, including a cam, water filter.....me.
A nice alpine day out, with challenging route finding (at least it seemed hard at the time) Mt. Stuart is the largest mass of exposed granite in the US, according to Beckey, anyway. It can be a maze at times, for sure.