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Trip Report    

Ingalls Peak/South Ridge

Saturday, June 13. Planned for a 4am start at the Esmeralda TH to avoid the crowds, but the TH parking lot was nearly empty at night fall, and so we changed the plan to a 5:30am start. The "Rock Fest" in Leavenworth and a cool weekend forecast might have had something to do with the relative lack of climbers. Reached Ingalls Pass about 8:00 and Ingalls Lake about 9:00. Lots of goats hanging around both the pass and the lake. Ascended directly from the lake to the base of the climb with perhaps the last 700 vertical feet on tongues of snow (no Ice ax or crampons needed). There was 1 party on the wall and another descending but no one waiting so we were able to begin climbing immediately. The first team ascended quickly and made the top, but we bogged down after that and got no higher than the top of the 3rd pitch(the standing belay ledge), before hitting our turnaround time. Rappels off the wall went slowly- we didn't all reach the base until 7:30 and the pass until nightfall. Used headlamps to hike back to the car. I found it interesting that only 3 parties were observed climbing before us, and none after, but 3 other parties-coming from the East Peak traverse-used the wall to rappel down. In retrospect, I should have kept to my planned 4am start, we could have bypassed one of the first belay ledges on the way up, and I could have opted to scramble down from the lowest rap station (off to the west behind the Dogtooth) to save time. Overall though it was a great adventure for the 3 students and a good learning experience for the 2 new Intermediate rope leads.