Sunday, September 15, 2013

Mt Stuart's North Ridge - Complete

The North Ridge of Mt Stuart is a gem. This climb, when done from the bottom of the ridge, is over 30 pitches of high quality moderate climbing. The first time I did this route in 2005 my partner and I epic-ed and had to sleep on the summit!

Much experience has been gained in the last 8 years and this go we had a fun time with a couple friends, Alec and Ian Lovett. This was one of their first big alpine rock routes and it blew their hair back. It was fun to show someone a quality route like this.

Since the web is crawling with beta on the North Ridge of Stuart I am choosing to not add to that. Instead, here is a photo documentary of the experience. The video I made will also shed some light on just how cool this route is.  It should be on every Washington climbers list, and maybe every climber in North America.

You can see the video of the climb on Epic TV's video player

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Hiking in from Leavenworth - Took a few hours to get to the base.

Where did the trail go?

Janelle on the first 5.8 pitch on the Lower North Ridge. Splitter!

Working our way up the great long lower pitches.

Ian Lovett enjoys the last sun rays of the day.

From our bivy site, an amazing night. Carrying bivy gear is never fun, but views like this make it worth it.

Enjoying the night

Day 2,  Ian Lovett.

Which way to go? Oh yeah, stay on the ridge.

Alec crushing it in his approach shoes

Ian palming the North Ridge's knife edge

Classic shot of the slab that leads to the 5.9 Great Gendarme.  
Looking back from the Gendarme area.

Money Shot.

Above the crux, Janelle works across on yet another beautiful finger crack.

The crew on top, after the sweet climb. (L-R) Mark Smiley, Janelle Smiley, Ian Lovett, Alec Lovett.