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| | |-+  5-22-07, Mt. Stuart W Ridge Notch Couloir attempt
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Author Topic: 5-22-07, Mt. Stuart W Ridge Notch Couloir attempt  (Read 1925 times)

Posts: 26

5-22-07, Mt. Stuart W Ridge Notch Couloir attempt
« on: 05/23/07, 06:13 PM »

I arrived at the Esmeralda TH Monday night with plans for an alpine start to climb and ski Ullrich's Couloir.  I woke up at 5:30 and was chagrined to find out my cell phone battery had prematurely died, thus no alarm. It was cloudless and clear as I left the car at 6 a.m.,with warm temperatures forecast.  I was hoped a fast pace would make up for some of the lost time, but was somewhat resigned to the fact that I would probably have to turn back early to be safe.

I was able to put on skis at 5000 ft. and made good time up to Long's Pass. The sun was just hitting Stuart as I dropped off the cornice down Long's, and the skiing was awesome down to about 5400 feet.  I tried to ski directly to the base of Ullrich's and ended up in the red rock cliff bands a little too far west, above Ingall's Creek.

 I had to pick my way down and scramble some easy rock steps down low, but was soon at the creek. A narrow section with some handily placed boulders looked to provide an easy alternative to a sketchy, ski-booted log crossing, but I fell for the old rolling rock trick and went in, managing to soak my boots and pants.  Since the weather was looking good I didn't stop to change, and my pants were dry in 20 minutes. I highly recommend Mountain Hardwear Transition clothing, as I was never even uncomfortable with my pants soaked at 7:30 in the morning.

By 7:45 I was  booting up Ullrich's. Bypassing the first rock step to the left led me up a buttress between Ullrich's and the West Ridge Notch Couloir. I found the 4th class scrambling up the buttress to be quite enjoyable, so chose to continue up the the rock.

 Soon, my pace was much slower than I would have liked, but the fun and easy mixed climbing was worth it.  At around 10:30 I was only at 7500 ft.  and I was starting to feel the heat. I checked an off-shoot of Ullrich's and found the snow to be rotten and no fun to ski.  I climbed back over the buttress and found a finger of snow that led into the West Ridge Notch Couloir.

On that side the snow was still somewhat firm with a decent corn surface. I found the West Couloir to be a really fun ski with good coverage almost to the creek.

 On the way out I ascended the rock steps leading to the unnamed peak which sits north of Long's Pass and got some good photos from the summit. I also met a few fellow skiers out enjoying the sun.

Down the Esmeralda side I still managed to find some good snow on westerly aspects for the ski out. A good day out in the sun and back at the car at 3:30 in the afternoon. I got some good pictures of Stuart, Ingall's, and the Basin I can post tomorrow if anyone wants a look at the conditions out there.
« Last Edit: 05/24/07, 11:08 AM by coldiron » Logged

Posts: 160

Re: 5-22-07, Mt. Stuart W Ridge Notch Couloir attempt
« Reply #1 on: 05/24/07, 06:54 AM »

Yes, please post pictures. We were thinking of Ullrich's Sunday, but might change if the snow is rotten - what do you think (sounds like you only got into a small part of it)?
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