September 26, 2009

Ingalls Peak, North Peak

On Wednesday night, Ava and I drove just over Snowqualmie Pass to camp at a trailhead near Ingalls Peak. The following day we got up early, and began the longer-than-anticipated approach to the East Ridge of Ingalls Peak, North Peak (not sure why it's not called North Ingalls Peak). After a scrambly approach we got to the gully that lead to the ridge proper. Ascending the gully involved one long pitch of moderate 5th class climbing on variable rock of often questionable quality. The following pitch was easier and on much better rock - one of the highlights of the climb.

Ava after reaching the summit ridge

After a couple more pitches of exposed 4th to easy 5th class climbing, we arrived at the summit step. This step was a short (15-20 foot) sufficiently awkward leaning 5.7 crack on good rock, which we both found quite enjoyable.

Our route ascended the large gully between the two peaks in this picture, then up the ridge to the left. For the descent, we rappelled the left skyline

The summit was beautiful with views of nearby Mt. Stuart as well as Mt. Adams and Rainier to the south and Glacier Peak and Mt. Baker to the north.

We had originally hoped to rappel the South Ridge, reascend the 5.4 route on that same ridge, and then descend back to the car. However, due to the length of the approach, we didn't have time for this second ascent. After 5 rappels on the south ridge, we hiked back to the car to complete a solid 11 hour day.

Rappelling the South Ridge

Summary: There were two short pitches of great climbing on our ascent route, which made the climb worth doing. Most of the rest of the route was covered in loose rock. Rappelling down the South Ridge made it apparent that this route would have involved much more continuous good climbing at the 5.Fun level.

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