Mount Stuart on Stuart Range / 史都華山脈上的史都華山

Mount Stuart real summit awaits
Mount Stuart real summit awaits

See more trip photos here.

Mount Stuart is the pillar of The Enchantments. I have long admired the mountain from different places in the Teanaway Backcountry. Somehow I’d assumed it was a technical climb from all directions. But then I discovered that the standard route was only a class 3 climb when I researched the climb. Sweet! The long wait was over finally.

The Lowdown on Mount Stuart

Access: Lake Ingalls Trailhead
Round Trip: 14 miles
Elevation Range: 4280′-9415′
Gear: helmet, ice ax
GPS Track: available

The Preface

My friend Piotr agreed to climb the mountain with me, and that came as a surprise. He had mentioned to me before that he’s into much taller mountains like the Washington volcanoes. Hiking with tall people usually meant that I needed to speed up to keep up. But I was very grateful for his company.

We got to the trailhead before 9 AM on a sunny, beautiful Saturday. It didn’t take long to hike up to Longs Pass. There it was, the impressive massif was in full display. It took about half an hour to go down to Ingalls Creek. Soon, we located the climbers’ path leading to the Cascadian Couloir. But we decided to leave our rock gear and scratched the idea also to climb Sherpa Peak.

See more trip photos here.

The Climb

The couloir was just as trip reports have detailed: boulders, talus, and scree fields. We regularly turned around to admire the beauty of Teanaway Backcountry. Soon, big rocks turned into loose rock debris. But before we knew it, we were by the snowfield below the false summit. Here, we saw several climbers as they made their way back down. Above the snow, it was getting through more boulders to reach the real summit.

Wow, just wow! Views at the top were beyond anything I’d ever imagined. Apart from the beauty of the Teanaway Backcountry, we also got to see the inside of The Enchantments. Hopefully, I could still explore the area before the end of the summer. We stayed just long enough to eat, rest, and take photos before heading back down.

See more trip photos here.

The Exit

On the way down, we met a couple of climbers from earlier. One of them slipped down the steep snowfield, and the boulders at the bottom stopped him from going farther. Luckily, the man had on a helmet. He didn’t appear to have any external bleeding, but he was unable to walk. We took his emergency contact info proceeded to call for help. Piotr offered them extra food and clothing, at least until the rescue team arrived.

Cell reception higher on the mountain was nonexistent. So we went down 1300′ before Piotr could call 911. We waited in the couloir until Piotr got a confirmation from the Chelan County Sheriff’s Department. They had dispatched a helicopter to airlift the injured man. Then we continued to go down to Ingalls Creek as help arrived on the scene. So the rescue team was able to locate the two men with the coordinates provided.

See more trip photos here.

Long Day

Despite all of this chaos, we asked another lone climber to join us on his way out. We suggested that it wouldn’t be safe for him to go back to the trailhead alone after dark. Long story short. We arrived back at the trailhead at 1 AM, with the four-hour rescue mission wait time in between. It was a long day, indeed!

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