Forum Index > Trip Reports > Ulrich's Couloir on Mt. Stuart 2020-08-10
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neek
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PostTue Aug 11, 2020 5:10 pm 
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This trip was similar to one awilsondc posted in 2018, but shorter.  I went over Longs Pass, up Ulrich's Couloir to the summit of Mt. Stuart, down the infamous Cascadian Couloir, then over to Ingalls Lake and back over Ingalls Pass.

Ulrich's is my new favorite way up Stuart.  It's class 3 with solid rock and very little brush.  I encountered no snow and virtually no bugs.  Patchy snow/ice or wet slabs would have made things a bit dicier.  Resist the temptation to climb too far out of the gulley like I did at 8200', wasting nearly an hour.  Just follow the trickle for the most part (so yes, there's plenty of water).  Near the top I went perhaps too far W and climbed the upper few hundred feet of the S ridge--perhaps not ideal, but it worked out.  I agree with Aaron that the crux is the slab at 8400'.  I ended up going left up a crack, and then back over to the stream bed on a thin ledge.  Easy in retrospect, but it took a false start or two.  Smearing the slab is on the edge of what I'd be comfortable doing in normal boots.

After a brief summit break I headed SE and then down the Cascadian Couloir, which is heavily cairned, although there are a few ambiguous spots.  I briefly chatted with a group of 5 that had come up the West Ridge and were descending that way.  The snow field below the false summit wasn't too tricky, but I was glad to have an axe.  The rest is just loose dirt for the most part.  Now, there seems to be some disagreement as to which gulley the Cascadian actually is.  Aaron's was one to the E of mine, which dumps you off a half mile further down the Ingalls Creek trail.  They diverge near 8000', but I suppose it doesn't really matter which one you take.

I wanted to see the Perseids, so had a bit of time to kill.  Wandered up the trail to Ingalls Lake and took the upper trail to Ingalls Pass.  Appropriately, I turned on my light in Headlight Basin.  It was fairly dark when I reached the pass, so I decided to skip Not Hinkhouse.  (Perhaps I was a bit tired as well.)  I set up along the ridge, hiding from the brisk N wind behind a big rock, hoping to get some meteorite pics.  After an hour I was fairly frozen, even with all my layers on.  Not much was going on to the N, however, so I turned the camera S and got the Milky Way as a consolation prize.  With joints that were now both stiffened and frozen, I hobbled back to the car.  After a few naps along the drive, I made it back home a little after sunrise.

Stuart from Longs Pass. Good place to scope out the route
Stuart from Longs Pass. Good place to scope out the route
Trail heading down from Longs Pass
Trail heading down from Longs Pass
Monkshood seems particularly abundant this year
Monkshood seems particularly abundant this year
Starting out. I sidehilled a bit of this to avoid brush
Starting out. I sidehilled a bit of this to avoid brush
Entering the couloir at 6900' (on the right).  There's a big cairn at the start
Entering the couloir at 6900' (on the right).  There's a big cairn at the start
Rainier
Rainier
Why don't people complain more about rap gear littering routes, especially where it's not necessary?
Why don't people complain more about rap gear littering routes, especially where it's not necessary?
Climbing out of the couloir at 8200' onto easier terrain was a mistake
Climbing out of the couloir at 8200' onto easier terrain was a mistake
Ingalls
Ingalls
I could go no further and had to backtrack
I could go no further and had to backtrack
Slab at 8400'.  First crack dead-ended but second one led to a ledge that went back to the gulley
Slab at 8400'.  First crack dead-ended but second one led to a ledge that went back to the gulley
Stuart Glacier
Stuart Glacier
Enchantments area
Enchantments area
Snow field below false summit
Snow field below false summit
Stuart from a different perspective
Stuart from a different perspective
Big spider
Big spider
Stuart
Stuart
Ingalls Lake
Ingalls Lake
Milky Way and Jupiter
Milky Way and Jupiter

strava link
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Jeff
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PostTue Aug 11, 2020 5:15 pm 
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That is a terrifying looking spider.
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awilsondc
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PostTue Aug 11, 2020 6:24 pm 
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Ulrich's!!!!  Yeah!  Man I loved that route so much, I still think it's my most fun class 3-4 scramble I've ever had.  Great memories.  It's interesting to see that slab section in your photos.  I had snow to climb up probably right over the crack in your photo.  Looks equally challenging with no snow.  RE my descent route, I wouldn't be surprised if I got off route at some point.  Meh, it went.  lol.gif
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Stefan-K
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PostTue Aug 11, 2020 7:25 pm 
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not all the off season up-the-ski-down routes are as nice as this sounds--rock looks good. nice one!
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Chief Joseph
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PostTue Aug 11, 2020 8:51 pm 
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Interesting, I never knew that Lars had a Couloir named after him.

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Go placidly amid the noise and waste, and remember what comfort there may be in owning a piece thereof.
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Cyclopath
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PostTue Aug 11, 2020 10:36 pm 
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Great pics.  Amazing how quickly the soggy rainforest gives way to an arid wonderland.
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puzzlr
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PostWed Aug 12, 2020 12:06 pm 
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Nice work, especially in one long push. It's impressive you had energy to tack on Not Hinkhouse at the end!

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Mid Fork Rocks flickr
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neek
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PostWed Aug 12, 2020 12:27 pm 
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puzzlr wrote:
Nice work, especially in one long push. It's impressive you had energy to tack on Not Hinkhouse at the end!

Well, to make it clear, I thought about, but did NOT do Not Hinkhouse, fun though a midnight scramble would have been.

Chief Joseph wrote:
Interesting, I never knew that Lars had a Couloir named after him.

rocker.gif
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OutOfOffice
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PostMon Aug 17, 2020 10:40 am 
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This is the way I first got up Stuart. Fun route. I went down Cascadian as well and it seemed like it would be a terrible slog on the way up.
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Alden Ryno
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PostMon Aug 17, 2020 1:42 pm 
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Beautiful scenes!
I never would have imaged that the "different perspective" was Stuart if you didn't say it. Barely even looks Cascadian!

Milky Way shots are always too eye-pleasing.
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Magellan
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PostTue Aug 18, 2020 9:11 am 
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Great stuff!
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RossJames
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PostMon Sep 07, 2020 10:42 am 
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Thanks for sharing this! Aarons TP has had me interested in doing this route and have been thinking about doing it this month when I get free day or two.
Do you have a gps track posted up anywhere?
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NBL
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PostWed Sep 09, 2020 8:40 am 
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This seems like such a great alternative to CC for those of us doing less techie routes. Why is CC so popular if this route is right next to it?
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neek
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PostWed Sep 09, 2020 8:47 am 
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RossJames wrote:
Thanks for sharing this! Aarons TP has had me interested in doing this route and have been thinking about doing it this month when I get free day or two.
Do you have a gps track posted up anywhere?

PM sent

NBL wrote:
This seems like such a great alternative to CC for those of us doing less techie routes. Why is CC so popular if this route is right next to it?

It's definitely not for everyone (there are dangers you won't encounter to the same degree in the CC), but I agree, worthy as more than a ski decent.
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