Argonaut Peak/NW Arete
06/01/13 (Sat) - 06/02/13 (Sun)
Stephen J. Bobick
Ash Way P&R
8,453’, Enchantments, Grade II-III (6 pitches), Intermediate Rock
Reference & Data • • • •
- Jurisdiction: Alpine Lakes Wilderness / Wenatchee National Forest
- Ranger Station: Leavenworth Ranger Station / 509-548-6977
- Equipment: Moderate Alpine Rack, ice axe and possibly crampons
- USGS Maps: Cashmere Mt, Enchantment Lakes
- Beckey: Cascade Alpine Guide I, 3rd Edition, pp. 293-296.
- Time Elevation gain/loss Mileage
- Seattle to TH 3 hrs 3,600’ 145
- TH to Camp 4-8 hrs + 3,000’
- Camp to Summit 7-9 hrs + 2,150’
- Summit to Cars 7-9 hrs - 5,150’
Approach • • • • • • • • • • •For the more frequently done Mountaineer Creek approach, drive US 2 over Stevens Pass to just W of Leavenworth. Turn right on Icicle Creek road and drive 8.6 miles to Eightmile Road. Turn left and drive 3.5 miles to road end and the Stuart Lake Trail, 3,600’. Hike the Stuart Lake Trail about 3 miles to where Mountaineer Creek enters. Past the stream junction, leave Stuart Lake Trail at first minor switchback after meadows ca. 4,640’, cross stream flowing from Stuart Lake, then locate faint path heading up the west side of Mountaineer Creek. Hike up Mountaineer Creek to where the valley forks at 4,800’ (3-4 hours) and possible camps but not recommended. Follow the east most fork up towards the Argonaut Colchuck Col. At 6,400’ good bivy sites are recommended in Argonaut’s North basin. Alternate approaches via Argonaut Colchuck col are 1) via Colchuck Lake to Colchuck Col, then skirting Colchuck Peak’s south flanks or 2) via Ingalls Creek Trail to Porcupine Creek then up to col.
Climbing Route • • • • •From Argonaut’s N Basin climb to snow finger leading up to the Northwest Buttress (visible to right in picture, CAG I, p. 268). Ascend to the top of the gully to a small col and the start of 6 to 8 pitches of rock climbing. Straightforward routefinding leads up blocky, generally solid but not sustained climbing.
Descent • • • • • • • • • • •4 rappels of the east ridge takes you to Argonaut Colchuck col. From here, descent options are Mountaineer Creek, Colchuck Col & Lake, or Porcupine/Ingalls Creeks. If one approached from Mountaineer Creek, one can descend that way and retrace route, though the basin is reported brushy. Colchuck Col, depending on season, offers a snow/ice & talus descent to Colchuck Lake and trail. Ingalls Creek would only be chosen if the climb was approached that way.
Comments • • • • • • • • •Note that the route is listed in CAG I as a West Ridge variation without detailed route description. (Do NOT follow approach directions for West Ridge). With a Mountaineer Creek Fork camp, 10- 12 hours may be required to reach the summit. Two days recommended. Snow finger may be hard and intimidating in late season. Permits required to camp on the north side of the Stuart Ridge.
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