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[TR] Ingalls Peak - South Ridge 05/05/2018

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Trip: Ingalls Peak - South Ridge

Trip Date: 05/05/2018

Trip Report:

Slog is a four letter word.

With rain and thunderstorms in the forecast my buddy and I headed up to Ingalls peak this weekend for an attempt at the South Ridge.  The road is still snow covered 2.5 miles from the trailhead with downed trees and some minor washouts to boot.  It will be a while before that trailhead is drivable. 



We debated crampons or snowshoes at the trailhead, and opted for snowshoes.  Boy, was that a good idea. 


We booted up towards Longs Pass before strapping on the snowshoes and traversing towards Ingalls pass around 5600'.  Fresh light slides were visible everywhere and the traverse was a slow going at ~one mile an hour.  We reached the pass after five hours and didn't see any other tracks.  Running water at falls right before the pass.

Ingalls and Stuart were magnificent and Ingalls lake is still snowbound.  


We setup camp in the basin just west of the pass and soon hail and rain drove us into tent and bivy for the next ~12 hours.  In keeping with the true Cascade experience my air mattress deflated and I learned the value of twin ropes and a pack as insulation. 


One party came past us following in our tracks without snowshoes and headed down towards Ingalls creek.  I have great respect for the frustrating knee plunges it took for them to get there.

The next morning, expecting worse weather we awoke to mixed weather.  Having come all this way, but expecting more rain, we opted to go check out the route "just to see."  

In what I will hereafter refer to as "hem-haw point" in the basin below Ingalls, we assessed the dark clouds in the distance, the soft slides all around, and discussed our options.  We decided to just get a little closer just to see what we could see.


After some careful traversing and avoidance of slides we were suddenly at Dogtooth with sunshine and no clouds moving in.  Fortunately we brought our climbing gear.

The "first" pitch of the route is all snow covered with maybe 6-8 feet of snow that was very soft and won't last much longer.  We took snowshoes and ice axe up it, hugging the left side. 


We then scrambled to the base of what most people consider the 2nd pitch (ledge belay) and roped up.  After a brief attempt, the 5.6 crack was not happening with wet numb toes in mountaineering boots on that slick serpentine.  The 5.4 crack on the left was fantastic as my buddy lead it in sunshine. 


He belayed me up to the bolts and then lead the last pitch to the top. 

Old piton!


The scramble to the summit was the spiciest bit of the climb, with shallow snow on slick serpentine on the left, cornices on the right, and a small bit of dry rock in between.  We opted to skip the slab on the summit as it was snow covered.


I'm going to venture we were the first ones up this season.....at least that's what I'm telling my friends.

Twin ropes brought us to the two bolts for the first rap.  I backed up the perlon that was already slung through the bolts with some cordellette.  I didn't like the way the perlon creaked when weighted and didn't know if it sat there all winter.  A second rappel with twins brought us all the way to the top of the snow ramp (or first pitch) where we slung a boulder for a final rappel on the snow ramp to the dogtooth.  

The thunder politely waited until we slogged back to the car.  

~3 hours up and down for the climb from dogtooth.

~4.5 hours from base to camp to car 

A fantastic alpine climb!

Gear Notes:
snowshoes, rack, ice axe, no crampons

Approach Notes:
Teanaway Road snow covered 2.5 miles from Ingalls trailhead. Multiple downed trees and minor washouts.
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Way to get in there early! Looks like the fun pitches were nice and dry.  Gotta question about the road:  Last year they had jersey barriers set up 1 mile from the Esmerelda trailhead parking lot.  Could you tell if they were still there? (perhaps somewhat buried in snow still)

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Jersey barrier was there but NOT blocking the road.   On the side parallel to road.      There did appear to be some washouts in the 2.5 miles that we walked that will require repair before passable

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