Trip Report    

Ingalls Peak/East Ridge

Snow on pitch 2 led us to bail at the top of pitch 1. Better luck next year!

  • Sun, Oct 1, 2023
  • Ingalls Peak/East Ridge
  • Climbing
  • Turned Around
  • Road suitable for all vehicles
  • Road is passable by all passenger vehicles. It had snowed a few days prior but the trail to Lake Ingalls is completely snow free, although a little muddy in some sections. Plenty of water sources along the way. Very busy with day hikers. Larches are in peak season for fall colors. 

Got to the trailhead around 6am and got one of many open parking spots. The approach trail to the lake is lovely. Gradual incline and spectacular views of larches at peak color and the looming walls of Mt Stuart. Plenty of water sources along the way. We opted to filter water at the lake.


We saw the group of 6 from Mountaineers ( and they had mentioned they bailed. We probably should have decided at that point to do the south ridge instead but we wanted to try our luck with the east ridge.

I led pitch 1 and after belaying my partner up we quickly realized that the snow on pitch 2 was going to put this climb beyond our risk tolerance, so we decided to bail here.

My partner following up pitch 1

Pitch 2 would have involved inchworming on the ridge in snow with no protection. There is supposedly some pro around but we would have needed to brush away the snow to look for it. Frozen, wet hands do not make for good climbing. I had already had to clear some snow on the last bit before the gendarme and the slick rock plus moisture was not a fun time. There isn't much pro here--my anchor was a cordelette around a chock stone with one single backup cam. I had to use my extra long cordelette to avoid mashing my rope against some of the sharp edges. We rappelled off and down climbed the rest of the way back to the start of the climb. 

Top of pitch one, looking at the gendarme. The weird angle in the rope is where I clipped the piton. Should have extended that one in hindsight.
Peeking to the right of the gendarme where pitch 2 goes

It's hard to see in the above photo but there was basically no way to avoid the snow here. Beyond this, the snow continued to cover parts of the route that could not be skipped. This rock already didn't have a lot of pro, and the snow was not making it any easier to find. Better to be safe and climb this another day under better conditions than to risk slipping off the ridge, taking a terrible whipper, and getting hurt or worse.

Sketch anchor

Still happy to have spent a bluebird day in the alpine. Today was a good exercise in risk assessment and practice bailing off of a route. I think next time after a few days of snow I'm going to look for a south facing face or crack climb, not an eastern facing ridge. 

Peak fall colors

South ridge route still goes. 4+ parties on that route today. One party we ran into on the descent mentioned the summit is snowed over so no one scrambled the summit but all the pitches were climbable. We thought briefly about going to do the south route but had already taken a lot of time getting down from east ridge and had a dog to get home to, so we just hiked back and enjoyed the views before going home.

Trip stats: 

  • 11.57 mi
  • Moving Time 5:46:20 
  • Elevation 4,016 ft
  • Elapsed Time 10:59:42

GPX track: