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Trip Report    

Ingalls Peak/Southwest Face

The beginning of the SW Face is fairly easy to find - from the Dogtooth crag you can see the friction slab behind the mound directly in front of you. A somewhat chossy/loose traverse to get to the base, but presumably there is no one below. The slab has a few cracks running through it. The one I chose (starting at a small ledge near the bottom of the slab) happened to take no pro so it ended up being quite run out. The others cracks may be better for pro, so investigate in advance. Rock shoes would have been nice but it’s definitely possible in approach shoes.
I could not find the old pitons from the route description at the ledge above the slab, but I found one further up where there is a fork below a big horn. This is where I set up a belay which turned out to be most of the way up pitch 2 (as described). At the top and left of this point is the tree with lots of rappel slings. It is a class 2/3 scramble after the tree, so it would be recommended to belay from the tree and then unrope/move the belay further up to near the crest where you can peer over and see the edge of the S Ridge, just below where it becomes 5th class again. Going more or less straight up the face from the crest joins the S Ridge’s second pitch on climber’s left where you can surprise people on the S Ridge by popping out unexpectedly, since the SW Face seems rarely climbed :) You will have to share the S Ridge route to get to the top though, however, it might be possible to find a gear belay somewhere here if you need to wait.
We rappelled the top two pitches of the S Ridge and downclimbed the rest. We saw two parties on the S Ridge earlier in the day.

Having familiarity with the S Ridge route may help in route finding for the SW Face so you know what you are aiming for, or you could just be adventurous and find a different way up.

There are two stuck ropes tied to each other, seemingly from a rappel, on the Eastern face, perhaps someone bailing from the East Ridge or maybe that’s the SE Ridge route?
On the way up the SW Face, in the scramble gulley after the tree, we found a camera from an Olympia Mountaineers trip on the SW Face in 2011.

This is definitely a good alternative to the S Ridge. It offers good friction slab climbing at the base as well as some reasonable fifth class moves higher up, interspersed with some good scrambling.

Some streams after Ingalls Pass on the way to Ingalls Lake. No water above Ingalls Lake.
Lots of flying ants on summit. Annoying but not biting.
Party of three. 11.5 hours car-to-car with some getting off-route on the approach :) and taking a few long breaks.

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