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Trip Report    

Intermediate Alpine Climb - Mount Stuart/West Ridge

A successful carry-over climb of the West Ridge with a planned bivy on the descent. However, we were also first on scene for another party's accident.

  • Road rough but passable
  • Very little snow remains at this time.  A trekking pole would suffice instead of an ice axe.

Our original plan was to summit Saturday afternoon, descend the Cascadian Couloir, and camp by Ingalls Creek that night.  We carried overnight gear: a light sleeping bag & pad per person, plus 1 shared tarp for the group, 1 MSR Reactor, & 1 Steripen.  We brought ice axes, but crossed very little snow, a trekking pole would have been a sufficient replacement for the axe.  We filled 3 liters each from Ingalls Lake, which was just right.  If we had needed more, water could be melted from some tiny remaining snowfields, which lingered just before Long John Tower, just before the West Ridge Notch, a few hundred feet below the summit, and down to 7700’ in the Cascadian Couloir.  We climbed the route in approach shoes, with a 30m rope, BD cams #0.3 to #2, set of nuts, 6 shoulder slings and 4 double slings, which worked perfectly.  Excellent beta from Paul Bongaarts’ hand-drawn topo and a CascadeClimbers.com trip report posted by “Cluck” in 2006 gave us exactly what we needed for the route-finding to go smoothly.  We summited at 3:30pm, lounged there for an hour, and began our descent at 4:30pm.   We assisted with what was eventually a helicopter-rescue on our descent, which is a longer story told here:  https://www.dropbox.com/s/i56uuo2b9z1k6wq/August%2013%2C%202016%20accident%20report.rtf?dl=0