Not Hinkhouse Peak.jpg

Trip Report    

Headlight Basin - Ingalls Lake - Not Hinkhouse Peak (Point 6878) NW Ridge

A fun backpack & scramble

  • Thu, May 24, 2018
  • Ingalls Peak/South Peak
  • Backpacking & Scrambling
  • Successful
  • Road rough but passable
  • I snagged this peak on the last day of a two night wander around the Headlight basin area. I had been thundered off an ascent of Ingalls the day before, and this was a great little detour on the route out!

    I took the Northwest ridge from Ingalls pass up to the peak. Very enjoyable class 2-3 climbing with the option of gaining a bit of exposure if you  stay close to the ridge. There were a lot of options for the ascent, but you could choose anything between T2-T4ish depending on how spicy you like your scrambling.

    Route Conditions were supreme. Snow up to the pass, but clear the moment you get your feet on the rock. Rock was firm, and there was parts that had obvious boot path markings from early summits. Easy to navigate, and an absolutely killer view of the entire Ingalls -> Enchantment area.

    Snow is melting fast in this area, and I am sure there has been quite a bit of change in the week and a half it took to write this report. It will make navigation/ trail finding a lot easier in the area, and this peak even more accessible. 

The road to the Esmerelda trailhead is a bit rough, and you can see where the previous washout is, but I was able to get out there in a mid-clearance vehicle. My trip started on a Tuesday night, and ended Thursday evening. 

Ascending Tuedsay evening, I took a route up to longs pass and stopped just short of the ridge where there is an amazing flat area to dig out platforms for tents.

IMG_4745.jpgWoke to a great view of Esmerelda, and traversed/ descended to the Ingalls lake trail. Headed into the Headlight basin and set up camp on flat but massive boulder protruding from the snow that is located right in the middle of the camping areas in that basin. I saw a toilet sign on one of the trees, but the early season snow would not revealed it's magical alpine pooping device to me. This camping spot ended up being a GREAT choice. You can see this camp site directly from Ingalls lake, and it allowed for extremely easy navigation to and from camp when footprints are melting fast. There will probably be more comfortable camp spots melting out soon, but the photo's might not be as fun.

I made my way to the lake, started up climbers left of the gully, and made it to a large mound of snow situated on top of a large rock formation SW of the lake. At this point two separate thunder storms rolled in and I descended.

After sleeping, I packed, and ascended to Ingalls pass, where I dropped the heavy night pack and made the quick scramble to Not Hinkhouse. 

Gear: I had a standard scramble pack + overnight gear with the addition of a insulating bottom pad and a snow shovel. This was handy for the first night camping below Longs pass, but not needed for the Headlight basin area. Water was very easy to come by the entire trip. I refilled my bottles 4 times on this trip, and only melted snow only one of those times. That was done at the camp in Headlight basin, and I admit that it was harder to find running water after entering into that area.

All in all, I think the trip was about 12-13  miles, and maybe 4000ft of elevation gain (Including the failed attempt at Ingalls peak). I would do it again in a flash.