Sunday, October 19, 2008

Mount Stuart

For our last climb of the year Brandon, Chris, and I climbed Mount Stuart. Before you say "I've never heard of that mountain," let me ask if you have ever driven on I-90? Around Ellensburg have you ever looked to the north and seen this?

Well, if you have, on the left you were unknowingly viewing the second highest non-volcanic peak in Washington, as well as one of the most prominent peaks and the largest block of granite in the lower 48: Mount Stuart. It was a handy 8,000 foot plus elevation gain. Here I am on the approach.
We camped at the base of the mountain and got started a few hours before dawn. Here is the sunrise from high on the mountain (Brandon is hidden in the foreground).

Unfortunately that nice cap of white in the picture of me and the mountain proved to be about an inch of ice on bare rock dusted with snow. So we had to turn back just before the summit. But that was more than made up for by the beautiful surroundings; including these awesome alpine larches, the only evergreen tree that's not (they turn gold in the fall and lose their needles).Wow!

1 comment:

mandi said...

Ben, you are a mountain master, and the peaks of the northwest will be all the sadder (?) in your absence this winter. I really mean it.