Decided to take a shot at climbing Stuart via the Cascadian with a group that was kind enough to provide me with transportation The four of us arrived at a crowded Esmeralda TH on a nice Saturday afternoon.
A couple hours of hiking brought us to the top of Longs pass with great views of Stuart and other Teanaway peaks.
After using a log to cross Ingalls creek we pushed towards the horse camps under the Cascadian. There were several groups camped in the area; however, we still managed to find a nice spot for the short evening.
I decided to journey a bit up the Ingalls creek trail late in the afternoon for some different views.
I was greeted back at camp by Mark with some very tasty cooked pizza
We were reminded of the real dangers of climbing when we watched a helicopter rescue somebody high off the West ridge around 10:00pm (I was glad to hear nobody was seriously injured upon my return to Wenatchee).
We began our ascent of the Cascadian at 5:00am making a good pace and enjoying some great views!
We quickly realized that snow would be difficult to avoid as we approached the slopes to the false summit.
I made quick work of the snowramp with my crampons/ice axe. Tyler, Mark, and Tom decided to climb up a rock band to the right then traversed the snow at an easier location. (Note: crampons/ axe recommended for this area for a couple weeks until the snow to the left of the ramp melts a little more). After a little route finding around the false summit we quickly regained the ridge and worked our way to the top six hours later.
The snow had softened from the afternoon sun, and were able to drop down the snowfield w/o dealing with equipment or slabs of granite.
After taking a short rest back at camp we made the LONG hike back up longs pass and back to the car with our headlamps and the quiet of the night. Plus it was an extra bonus to do the climb with a couple active duty service members of our military!
Tyler: Thanks for sharing (BarenJager rocks!)
Tom: Thanks for the invite (glad your feeling better)
Mark: Thanks for driving, and for the pizza!!!
-------------- When asked "Why do you climb"? Simply respond "Why don't you"?
Congrats, Derek! I'll be honest - I don't envy that wretched, unending, miserable slog of scree/rocks/dust. But you suffered through and made it to the top! Nice job.
The ridge between the summit and false summit sure looks different snow-free.
Was coming back up Longs' Pass better or worse without the snow?
We ultimately became part of a rescue mission for a man who fell down the snow field below the false summit. Luckily the man did not hit his head and he had a partner with him when the accident occurred, but he was unable to walk due to possible bone fracture. My climbing partner who volunteers for the Seattle search and rescue calmly assessed the situation and kept everything under control. We gave the party extra food and clothing for the night before making another 1,300-foot descent to where there was cell phone coverage to call 911.
The entire ordeal took nearly four hours from the time we got help to the time the navy helicopter arrived at the scene. My partner made sure the man got the help he needed before we left the area. A long day nonetheless, left trailhead at 9 AM and got back to the car at 1 AM, followed by a two-hour drive back to Seattle. Good times!
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