Ingalls Peak

Route:  East Ridge
Difficulty: 5.7 YDS
Pitches: 6-7
Location: Salmon La Sac/Teanaway, Snoqualmie, WA

Well, I found my new favorite climb this weekend. Sure, the approach was a bit farther than the other trad climbs I’ve done, but it was beautiful and totally worth it—especially when I set my eyes on my next big venture: Mt. Stuart.

Getting to the climb was interesting. The road to the trailhead is out due to some seriously big holes that expose some probably important pipes, but it only adds a mile or so of super flat, easy hiking to the appoach. From there, it’s another 4-ish miles to the basin. I started around 6:30 and got there in about 2 hours, just enough time to eat and take some sweet pictures of goats (they are EVERYWHERE), Mt. Stuart, and Ingalls Peaks.

Ingalls Peak from our campsite

Mt. Stuart from our campsite

Goats with Ingalls Peak in the background

The next day, we packed up early and headed up to the start of the climb at the notch between North and East Ingalls peaks. There was still a decent amount of snow, so we stuck to the rock for easier going and scrambled as far as we could safely. My partner and I stopped at a ledge with a solid belay, and the two other parties traversed around to another belay spot.

Pitch 1 was short, not a lot of rope drag, but difficult with my large backpack (even though there was almost nothing in it, I really need to start remembering my summit pack for just this reason). There were two spots where I got stuck a little, then a traversy spot, and another straight shot up to a ledge before the gendarme.

The majority of this route involved traversing. I led pitch 2, lots of rope drag because you basically go up over the ridge and down to the next belay spot. If we had stopped the first pitch at the highest point next to the first gendarme, we could have had significantly less rope drag. It ended up being helpful though, since there was about 15-20 ft of downclimbing, and the drag seemed to steady me. My last piece of pro was right below the downclimb, and I made my belay station at the giant boulder.

As on mountain project, pitches 3 and on are difficult to describe. We could have done it in fewer pitches but were worried about rope drag. There is a very obvious belay spot with several small nuts that you can belay from after climbing around and up from pitch 2, but it might be easier to continue this pitch until just before the knife edge traverse (you will know it when you see it), if the drag isn’t too bad. There is a decent spot for an anchor just before the knife edge.

The knife edge itself (pitch 4/5?) has about one protectable spot right in the middle of it, with decent foot holds. From here, it looks as if you climb up and over.  We actually climbed down to a ledge and traversed more to the right (lots of rope drag here), then built an anchor before leading the pitch before the crux move.

This photo was helpful, as it basically showed where the pitch before the crux ended. Getting up to there was easy (and fun) climbing up and then across to the next anchor spot. I managed to build a really stupid anchor with a lot of oddly-placed nuts, but I believe one could do a body belay and be fine.

Crux move–the diagonal crack where our rope is

The next pitch is the crux, we brought a BD #4 which protected just below the lie back. This is the only 5.7 move in the climb, and really wasn’t bad—just nerve wracking since it was well-protected. Getting feet up and then switching to the face was the key to finishing this section. Once you get your hands above the crack, the rest is easy money. The summit was big enough for six of us.

We rappelled with two 60-meter ropes with some down climbing before the last rap station. Some scrambling, and we were back at camp.

The climb took us longer than it really should have because of navigation difficulties, and the fact that we had three rope teams. With the difficulty of climbing and the amazing views, this was has been my favorite trad climb so far. Definitely worth the hike in, the sunburn, and the hurt feet.

Well, I found my new favorite climb this weekend. Sure, the approach was a bit farther than the other trad climbs I’ve done, but it was beautiful and totally worth it—especially when I set my eyes on my next big venture: Mt. Stuart.

Getting to the climb was interesting. The road to the trailhead is out due to some seriously big holes that expose some probably important pipes, but it only adds a mile or so of super flat, easy hiking to the appoach. From there, it’s another 4-ish miles to the basin. I started around 6:30 and got there in about 2 hours, just enough time to eat and take some sweet pictures of goats (they are EVERYWHERE), Mt. Stuart, and Ingalls Peaks.

Ingalls Peak from our campsite

Mt. Stuart from our campsite

Goats with Ingalls Peak in the background

The next day, we packed up early and headed up to the start of the climb at the notch between North and East Ingalls peaks. There was still a decent amount of snow, so we stuck to the rock for easier going and scrambled as far as we could safely. My partner and I stopped at a ledge with a solid belay, and the two other parties traversed around to another belay spot.

Pitch 1 was short, not a lot of rope drag, but difficult with my large backpack (even though there was almost nothing in it, I really need to start remembering my summit pack for just this reason). There were two spots where I got stuck a little, then a traversy spot, and another straight shot up to a ledge before the gendarme.

The majority of this route involved traversing. I led pitch 2, lots of rope drag because you basically go up over the ridge and down to the next belay spot. If we had stopped the first pitch at the highest point next to the first gendarme, we could have had significantly less rope drag. It ended up being helpful though, since there was about 15-20 ft of downclimbing, and the drag seemed to steady me. My last piece of pro was right below the downclimb, and I made my belay station at the giant boulder.

As on mountain project, pitches 3 and on are difficult to describe. We could have done it in fewer pitches but were worried about rope drag. There is a very obvious belay spot with several small nuts that you can belay from after climbing around and up from pitch 2, but it might be easier to continue this pitch until just before the knife edge traverse (you will know it when you see it), if the drag isn’t too bad. There is a decent spot for an anchor just before the knife edge.

The knife edge itself (pitch 4/5?) has about one protectable spot right in the middle of it, with decent foot holds. From here, it looks as if you climb up and over.  We actually climbed down to a ledge and traversed more to the right (lots of rope drag here), then built an anchor before leading the pitch before the crux move.

This photo was helpful, as it basically showed where the pitch before the crux ended. Getting up to there was easy (and fun) climbing up and then across to the next anchor spot. I managed to build a really stupid anchor with a lot of oddly-placed nuts, but I believe one could do a body belay and be fine.

Crux move–the diagonal crack where our rope is

The next pitch is the crux, we brought a BD #4 which protected just below the lie back. This is the only 5.7 move in the climb, and really wasn’t bad—just nerve wracking since it was well-protected. Getting feet up and then switching to the face was the key to finishing this section. Once you get your hands above the crack, the rest is easy money. The summit was big enough for six of us.

We rappelled with two 60-meter ropes with some down climbing before the last rap station. Some scrambling, and we were back at camp.

The climb took us longer than it really should have because of navigation difficulties, and the fact that we had three rope teams. With the difficulty of climbing and the amazing views, this was has been my favorite trad climb so far. Definitely worth the hike in, the sunburn, and the hurt feet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s