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| | |-+  April 29, 2012, Mt. Stuart, Cascadian Corn Harvest
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Author Topic: April 29, 2012, Mt. Stuart, Cascadian Corn Harvest  (Read 3003 times)
andybrnr
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Posts: 92


April 29, 2012, Mt. Stuart, Cascadian Corn Harvest
« on: 04/30/12, 03:33 PM »

The WX forecasts for this weekend were hazy, oscillating between bluebird, clouds, and showers up to 24hr prior... unusually poor predictability. Based on reports of snow conditions on the West side and the indecisiveness of the weather models, my buddy Robert and I bailed on our idea for a traverse in the N Cascades and instead picked up TBill, who had beta that the Teanaway River Road was clear to at least Beverly Creek. Our ostensible goal was Ulrich's Couloir on Mt. Stuart, but we figured we'd let conditions dictate the final objective. Departing Seattle at 1815 Saturday evening, we were pleased to see the clouds break crossing over the Cascade crest, reassured that the East side was the place to be for Sunday.

After bivying out at 29 pines campground, we were up at 0430 and under way by 0450 to see how far the road would go. After a 20 minute detour down the wrong fork, we found our way to Beverly Creek and discovered the snow had only been cleared one mile beyond. With an 0615 start, we figured Stuart would be a bit too long a haul from Beverly Creek, but decided we'd head out and poke over Fourth of July Pass to see what looked attractive. Coverage was a little thin for the first 1/4 mile of road, but skinning was continuous beyond. The snow was solidly frozen after a night of clear skies, and we had high hopes of finding good corn.

We discussed objectives as we picked our way down through the scrubby trees and into the Ingalls Creek drainage. Argonaut looked a little thin up high, Colchuck and Dragontail seemed a bit far. Looking at our map, we realized we were only a mile and a half from Stuart. The skies were blue, the snow was good, and we had plenty of time, so off to Stuart we went. Crossing Ingalls Creek took a little creativity, and we eventually straddled our way across a conveniently placed log, providing some of the day's best photos.

After an ascending traverse from the creek, we switchbacked our way up through the trees to gain the base of the couloir separating Stuart from Sherpa peak (apparently described by Beckey as "Southeast Route: Variation #2"). The ascent went smoothly, and several hours later we gained the false summit. A cool breeze and shifting sun had begun to refreeze the snow, so we decided not to traverse the ridge to the true summit and the entrance to Ulrich's couloir, electing instead to ski the Cascadian. We noted fresh tracks in the Cascadian and Ulrich's, but we went the whole day without seeing another party.

Immediately below the false summit, we were greeted with 3000 vf of perfect corn, perhaps the best I've ever skied. The turns were spectacular, fully rewarding the effort spent on the slog in. Fully diversified in our methods of descent (AT/Tele/Split), we carved/genuflected/surfed a few thousand feet of spring snow heaven together. The last 1000 vf were a little grabby, but still good fun.

Arriving at Ingalls creek below the apron, we found it conveniently snow bridged, making for a significantly less exciting but more relaxing crossing. We headed back up the turnpike creek drainage, shaving a mile off the exit. The cruise back through the Beverly Creek drainage went smoothly, though we did witness a 2' cornice triggered slab release on NE facing slopes of Iron Peak, which ought to be food for thought to the sledders who had high marked it earlier in the day. As light faded, we cruised the road out, arriving back at the car at 2115 after 15 hours of fun in the mountains. A great tour with good friends in spectacular scenery on perfect snow... can't ask for better.

Map here: http://www.hillmap.com/m/ag1zfmhpbGxtYXAtaGRychALEghTYXZlZE1hcBjH3h8M



* crossing1_tay.jpg (190.67 KB, 525x700 - viewed 1319 times.)

* summit_from_false_summit1_tay.jpg (133.95 KB, 700x525 - viewed 1319 times.)

* robert_stuart1_tay.jpg (202.76 KB, 700x525 - viewed 1306 times.)
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Good2Go
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Posts: 261


Re: April 29, 2012, Mt. Stuart, Cascadian Corn Harvest
« Reply #1 on: 04/30/12, 04:25 PM »

We skied Stu yesterday too, leaving the summit just before you got there, apparently.   There was another party that camped at Long's the night before, but I think they skied down the S shoulder w/ out reaching the false summit (saw them go by when we were coming out of the top of the Cascadian).  There were no tracks in the Cascadian when we were climbing up it.  Nice job getting that run in a day from the Beverly turnoff!
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Jonn-E
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Posts: 337


Re: April 29, 2012, Mt. Stuart, Cascadian Corn Harvest
« Reply #2 on: 04/30/12, 07:33 PM »

Quoteth the Deadmau5:

HI FRIEND!



(couldn't help myself)
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ski_photomatt
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Posts: 354


Re: April 29, 2012, Mt. Stuart, Cascadian Corn Harvest
« Reply #3 on: 04/30/12, 08:52 PM »

Nice work!  That's a haul in a day from the road this time of year.  Hoping to get in there this spring myself.
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BigRed
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Posts: 57


Re: April 29, 2012, Mt. Stuart, Cascadian Corn Harvest
« Reply #4 on: 05/02/12, 02:52 PM »

Great work, that's a haul!  I tried it a couple years ago but bailed in the heat about halfway up stuart.  Based on you map it looks like you may have skied down the southeast route, not the Cascadian.  The Cascadian doesn't dump you that close to turnpike creek drainage.
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andybrnr
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Posts: 92


Re: April 29, 2012, Mt. Stuart, Cascadian Corn Harvest
« Reply #5 on: 05/03/12, 12:04 AM »

Hmm, looks like you're right... we seem to have missed our right turn. Too many couloirs on that south face, hard to count over from the summit and figure out which one you're supposed to drop in to. The alliteration isn't really there for "southeast route corn harvest", but the turns remain fantastic. Guess I've still got Ulrich's and Cascadian left on the tic list.
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