Saturday, May 28, 2011

Mount Stuart, Sherpa Glacier

April showers... bring May flowers and landslides. Leavenworth has been enjoying perfect temperatures for alpine climbing in the Stuart Range as well as sunny rock climbing in the Icicle and Tumwater Canyons. On May 22, Michael flew into SEATAC from NY and drove over to the East side to get more than a sample of both.


All flower photos are compliments of Michael F.



Photo Michael F.
On April 1, 2011, rain on snow on already saturated soil created a slurry that was set off by rockfall and eventually ran across the Icicle Canyon road. This is where we started and ended our journey, on bikes.

Photo Michael F.

The ride in was casual. The ride out was not. Here is a before and after of the road portion of our journey.
Photo Michael F.

At the Stuart Lake Trailhead we traded bikes for snowshoes.

Photo Michael F.
We approached Mount Stuart via Mountaineers Creek (good snowshoeing along the right side of the creek) and camped at 5,500' at the base of the Sherpa Glacier.

Photo Michael F.

The Sherpa Glacier as of 05/24/11. We climbed and descended the right snow weakness that gains the col.


Photo Michael F.

The overnight temperatures were below freezing and rain gave way to partly cloudy skies. Brilliant conditions with new snow accumulation of around 5" which was rarely over our boot tops.
Photo Michael F.

Photo Michael F.

Michael and I summited Mount Stuart at 11:15 a.m. On the ridge we found Cerro Torre-esque mushrooms of rime ice and boiling clouds to the North and East. The views of Rainier and Adams to the South were breathtaking.

The fourth day was spent taking advantage of dry rock and increasingly warm temperatures. In the a.m. we climbed The Fault to Catapult to Saber on the Castle in Tumwater Canyon. The afternoon was spent on the mega-classic R&D on Icicle Buttress in Icicle Canyon.

Big THANKS to Michael for the great four days and awesome photos!

Click here for more information on Guided Mt. Stuart Climbs, and Guided Leavenworth Rock Climbing.