Trip Report    

Ingalls Peak/South Ridge - Basic Rock Climb

Way more snow than this same time last year. We had intermittent compact snow from .5 mile to the saddle. There was more walking on snow than on trail. Spoiler, we did not summit. First pitch will not melt out for a couple of weeks, if you attempt, bring pickets to protect first pitch.

  • Wed, Jun 15, 2022
  • Ingalls Peak/South Ridge
  • Climbing
  • Turned Around
  • Road suitable for all vehicles
  • Lots of snow! There was more snow than normal and when we got to the base of the climb, around back, there was a steep snow ramp covering part of the first pitch. 

    Snow on first and last pitches, couldn't really tell that from here but we could see there was more snow than last year.

    We did not bring pickets since we had not needed them this time last year and were the first group up so had no trip reports on snow conditions. It may have been possible to get students up the snow ramp with several pickets to protect, but it was very steep and had the risk of a student falling with high consequence. We headed back to where there was a rock ramp, climbers right of the first pitch but still around back, Garrett tried to lead it to see what was on the other side, but it still had a snow traverse above the steep snow ramp that we would have had to do in climbing shoes. We made the call there that we were not getting on the route and would turn around. 


    If this was a private climb, I would have pushed on. But with students it just wasn't worth the fall risk without pickets. There was also still snow on the last pitch as well so that would have been wet. As we were there, snow and ice was falling off the route. Not a danger to us, but still not ideal. 

    The snow on the approach was compact most of the way, we broke trail about a mile out from the peak. It was soft enough that we did not use crampons at all, but an ice axe was needed for all the steep snow slopes we went up. The snow did get pretty soft up high and we were punching through a bit. I post holed up to my waist at one point.

    On our way in we did hear rock fall. Turned back to look and the rock fall caused a massive slide right over a ski track. Luckily our trail was way out of the way, but it did cause us to travel more conservative choices as we continued on. Snow was creating roller balls and pinwheels as we stepped and broke trail. Definitely prim avy conditions so travel carefully.  

    We heard rock fall and turned to look, it caused a massive slide over a ski track. Safely out of the path we had taken earlier.


The road is actually in good condition and the parking lot is clear of snow. There was no snow for about the first half mile or less and then we had intermittent snow the rest of the way. Long stretches of compact snow and then smaller sections of trail. Made it easier to skip some switchbacks  since we could go up the snow. There is a huge down tree section at the trail break where a massive slide must have come through over the winter. But other than that it was easy stepping up to the saddle. Full on snow started about a mile from the saddle and from there were were in deep snow the rest of the way.



Once we reached the saddle, those of us who didn't already have mountain boots and gaiters on, suited up and we also put on helmets and pulled out ice axes for the snow traverse down towards the summer camp area.


From there we were in deep snow the rest of the way top the base of the climb. Some steep snow sections that everyone did great on. We did not use crampons at all as the snow was very soft and easy to kick steps into. We pushed on to the base of the climb which was covered in snow. Went around back to the start to find the first pitch covered by a very steep snow ramp with high consequence. Garrett tried an alternate start up a wet slab, but he found a snow traverse to get back onto the top of the first pitch. Not worth it for us with students if we could not bail and would have to be on snow in climbing shoes. We decided to turn around there. The fourth pitch also was snow covered as well so that may or may not have went. I have a feeling the snow ramp up the first pitch will not melt out for at least a few weeks, so I recommend bringing pickets to protect it or waiting. We would have attempted if we had pickets with us.

After we turned around, we plunge stepped back the way we came for an easy and fun hike out. It only took us 7 hours round trip wince we didn't climb. It did start to rain when we got to the cars so I am glad we turned around when we did. Snow in the basin was in perfect ski conditions, but there is avy danger. 




The bottom line: give it a couple of weeks or bring pickets.