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Mt Stuart - Cascadian Couloir

5/8/23
WA Cascades East Slopes Central
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Posted by Kayleigh M on 5/9/23 1:09am

A group of friends and I knew we wanted to get out this weekend since it’s been the first really promising weekend all spring. After some back and forth and many days of hitting refresh on mountain forecast, we decided to go for the Cascadian Couloir on Sunday.

 We drove up teanaway rd around 8pm and found ourselves blocked by a couple big patches of snow 2.75 miles from the trailhead. A bit disappointed but still determined we went to bed with a set off time of 4am.

 The morning started off clear and calm and the snow patches were surprisingly firm so most of us started up the road in tennis shoes. It’s likely that the road will be passable much further in a couple weeks, if not completely to the trailhead. About 2 miles in, the snow became consistent so we switched to skinning.

The were a few patchy spots at the beginning of the trail that I gingerly stepped through because my skins have already been through hell and back so what’s a few more rocks? After that it was solid snow to the top of Long’s pass.

 The snow was still very firm coming down Long’s  and there was avalanche debris that we had to navigate for the first 500’, but the snow softened as we descended toward Ingall’s creek.

 We found a solid log across the creek by following tracks from the day before and crossed it with a mixture of techniques, including the tried and true “butt scooch.” From there it was a short skin to the obvious meadow below the couloir. This was very patchy and will likely be a massive pain in another week.

 We switched to crampons around 5700’ and began the nearly 4000’ bootpack. Two of our group had a firm turnaround time for work purposes and went ahead. My friend Drew and I decided leisure mountaineering was more our style and took multiple snack and nap breaks in the sun. They turned around after reaching the false summit and said the summit looked doable which was exciting! We reached the false summit around 2pm and took a final pause to assess the summit block. The snow had been getting pretty soft on the way up but intermittent clouds were keeping it from becoming too sketchy. We decided to check it out. The bootpack was in perfect condition and it was cruiser to the summit.

 We didn’t stay long because the clouds were threatening to close in so we booted back down wishing we had brought our skis on the final pitch. Luckily, there was still 4000’ of continuous skiing without it hah.

 The snow was almost too heavy on the first steep pitch but the slight aspect change, or maybe the decreased pitch below, made for perfect corn and awesome turns for 3000’. The rest of the way out was a mix of dealing with equipment malfunctions and exhaustion and took a good bit longer than it needed to but we arrived at our trucks at 830pm tired but incredibly stoked. 10/10. But probably won’t do again.

stats:

15.3 miles

9100’

16 hours car to car

 

View from Long’s

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The line marks which couloir to aim for. The route is fairly obvious once you’re in it.

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Butt scooches across the log

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Party on Mt Stuart

Summit block

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Looks more intimidating than it felt thanks to a solid bootpack

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The final push

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~•~ summit selfie ~•~

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The steepest part of the couloir, just off the false summit

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Harvesting 🌽

Nicely done!

That's a big day. My one time up there it wrecked me.


Awesome! Sounds exhausting but looks like a great time. Thanks for sharing! 


Awesome! Thank you for the report!


Am thinking about heading up there this weekend, do you think it’ll still be filled in enough?


Hard to say but I would think the couloir would have plenty of snow still. Likely to be a lot more bare spots down low though!


Reply to this TR

69406
mt-stuart-cascadian-couloir
Kayleigh M
2023-05-09 08:09:30