Trip Report    

Basic Rock Climb - Ingalls Peak/South Ridge

Great early summer climb with an excellent group!

  • Road suitable for all vehicles
  • The Ingalls Way Trail from the Esmerelda TH to Ingalls Pass was snow-free with the exception of 2-3 tiny, easy-to-cross patches.  The Headlight Basin area still had plenty of snow which allowed our team to circle the basin and keep us from losing/re-gaining too much elevation.  The snow also worked in our favor by being firm enough to kick steps on the approach and soft enough to plunge-step in on our descent.

The climbing team convened at the Esmerelda TH at 5:45 AM and started walking around 6:00 AM.  We moved at a pretty good clip and reached Ingalls Pass by around 7:30 AM.  After a quick break, we circled the Headlight Basin trying to minimize elevation loss (we were better at this on the return leg).


We took our next break around 8:45 AM on a rock island right above Ingalls Lake to fuel up for the final push to the base of the climb.  There were plenty of streams around for those looking to filter water. 


Snow conditions were great - just firm enough to confidently kick steps.  Those who packed both trekking poles and ice axes stuck with the trekking poles for the entire trip.  The snow currently goes all the way to the base of the Dogtooth with an easy transition from snow to rock.


As stated in the Mountaineers' route description, you have the option of going left or right around the Dogtooth to get to the true start of the climb.  The snow level essentially made the decision for us as we had to scramble to the left of the Dogtooth in order to find a place for our team to consolidate climbing packs and don our climbing gear.  There is a nice alcove under the slab-ramp described in the Mountaineers' route description that can fit a Mountaineers-sized climbing team - I would definitely recommend this option to others.  From there, the climbing team made easy work of the slab-ramp and knife-edge ridge; everyone was comfortable with the terrain, so we opted not to deploy a handline.


The remainder of the climb went smoothly.  We had a party of two ahead of us on the route, however we were able to work around them as they made their rappels.  We attained the summit easily within our pre-planned window, snapped the obligatory summit selfie, had a quick lunch, then rappelled the route.  We went with the following rappel strategy:

  • Single-rope rappel from summit to the bolted anchors at the top of P3
  • Double-rope rappel from top of P3 to the 'dance floor' at the start of P2
  • Single-rope rappel from start of P2 to the base of the climb under and to the climbers' right-side of the Dogtooth.  

The snow softened just enough under the afternoon sun to make for easy plunge-stepping.  All that remained was a pleasant walk back to the cars.  All in all, a fun day getting outside with a great group of people.



  • 6:00 AM - Start walking at Esmerelda TH
  • 7:30 AM - Break at Ingalls Pass
  • 9:30 AM - Arrive at base of climb
  • 12:40 PM - All teams on summit
  • 1:15 PM - Start rappelling from summit
  • 3:15 PM - All teams off rappel
  • 3:30 PM - Start descent to TH
  • 6:15 PM - Arrive at Esmerelda TH

Link to GPS track recorded during the climb: