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Trip Report    

Mount Stuart/Cascadian Couloir

Great trip; our large group camped below the meadow along Ingalls Creek, which was quite nice and immediately next to the climber's trail ascending the valley up to the couloir. It took us about 3.5 hours to camp, as we took our time at Long's Pass to enjoy the day and look at the route across the valley.

The couloir currently has no snow in it, with some snow patches on the variations up climber's left. Our group departed camp around 3:30am- reaching firm snow shortly above exiting the couloir under clear skies. We encountered hard snow up until the false summit, where the summit block was entirely in a whiteout, with snow falling. After some debate about whether to continue, we decided to wait the weather out which paid off- as it cleared for us and sun returned with a view. We easily scrambled our way towards the summit block, and ascended steep snow to the top after 7 hours of climbing (including breaks). Nice views of Stuart Lake, Long's Pass, Colchuck, Dragontail, and areas east; the crest was holding the clouds and weather to our west.

The snow softened up nicely by 11am, and we made our way back to the false summit and carefully down-climbed a short section below the false summit to return to camp. We found a dirt climbers path on the west side of the couloir proper, to the side which we used to descend all the way back to camp- reconnecting with the lower climber's path about 500 feet below the base of the couloir; this made our return a little easier in terms of loose rocks. It took us 5 hours from Summit to Camp, and about 3.5 hours from Camp to the Cars.

Beautiful mountain, great camp, and a very fun strenuous route.