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Routes in Ingalls Peak

Ingalls Peak, East Ridge T 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
Ingalls Peak, South Ridge T 5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c
Type: Trad, 900 ft, 6 pitches, Grade II
FA: Don Jones and Barry Prather in June 1957
Page Views: 5,000 total, 92/month
Shared By: WouterVW on Jun 20, 2013
Admins: Scott Coldiron, Nate Ball, Jon Nelson, Micah Klesick

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Description

Head up the obvious (snow) gully until you see a weird rock layer. Go left for 15 feet and you're at the base. Rope up here.

P1: Head up serpentine rock with little pro. The stuff is slippery and you can pull most cams out without a problem. Only put pro in where you know it will hold. The pitch forces you to the right, back into the gully. This is all mostly class 4. When you're almost in the gully, start looking for better rock and a different line more to the left. You don't want to end up at the chock stone. Follow this line to the ridge, low class 5. Build a belay when you're on the ridge. (fun)

P2: You're looking at the first gendarme. Walk over the flat area to the 'wall' and look on the right. There's a crack that you can use to put pro in and climb up. At the top walk over to the other end. There's a sharp ridge that you can traverse on small knobs on the left or 'au cheval' to the end of the ridge. Down climb into the notch and build an anchor. Put a lot of gear at the end of the ridge for your second, or they will be free climbing down. (scary for seconds)

P3: Second Gendarme. Head to the right around some featureless rock and then straight up to the ridge. There's a large boulder on the ridge with slings on it. Belay from here. (boring)

P4: Head up the ridge until it becomes horizontal, low class 5 with lots of places to put pro. You see a knife-edge heading right. Both sides are possible, but climber's left is more fun. There are good ridges and a horn in the middle you can sling for pro. After the traverse down-climb into a notch. Good ledges for down-climbing. Around the 'corner' is a big boulder. Throw a cordelette around it and belay from there. (fun!)

P5: You are looking at a long traverse with the final rock pitch at the end. Walk to the base of the vertical rock, class 3 with exposure. Add some pro if and where you feel like it. At the base is a sling. Belay from there. (boring)

P6: Crux pitch. From the belay go up the obvious crack (5.fun) and 10 feet up you see a crack go left to the ridge. Use your #4 or big hex here. Right foot in the crack, the other smearing while you jam your fists in the crack. Reach for the ridge with your left hand and you're done (5.7). Good pro immediately after the crux move. Be careful about your pack, it can get stuck in the crux move. Easy traverse to the summit (don't forget to protect the down-climb). (fun)

From the summit, follow the direction you came in and you'll see the rap bolts (3) at the top of the South Ridge route. Rap from here with a single rope. The next station is on climber's right. It's a ledge in a otherwise flat slab with bolts. You'll need to 'walk' a bit over to get to the bolts. Don't go too far down! Rap with two ropes from here to the big platform below. Don't try to rap from the summit to this platform because the angle your ropes will make will likely make them get stuck. Rap a single rope to the top of lower slab. Double rope rappel to the base of the South Ridge.

Location

Start at Ingalls way trail 1390, turn right towards Longs Pass, then left towards Ingalls Pass. Once over the pass, traverse on snow or follow trail to above Ingalls Lake. You'll see the obvious gully from the approach. See map ('B' is the start of the climb, 'A' is the trailhead): mapper.acme.com/?ll=47.4720…

Protection

Some small cams, single BD .5 & .75 and doubles of BD 1 & 2. Some mid-sized nuts, a set of hexes.
You need a BD #4 for the crux move, or protect it with big hexes.

5 quickdraws and some double length slings for horns

You need doubles ropes to rappel the south side. Don't try to rappel the route, or you'll be miserable.
Climbed with Larry 8/19/17. We pitched the whole thing out, although looking back, the “third pitch” (actually our fourth) we would have felt fine simul-climbing.

On the approach, do not go too far up the gully. Not far at all, actually. You will pass two distinctive bands of white rock going up the left side of the gully. The second, narrower band is the way up. Follow this band of white rock to what almost seems like a skinny sidewalk.

After a short distance, look to the right, and you will see some 3rd-class terrain – basically another, much smaller gully. Scramble up this, and when it becomes easy 5th-class rock, this is the start of the first pitch. We built a gear anchor here.

The first pitch is fun but maybe stiffer than you would think, and some of the rock is slippery. I’d say it’s a 5.5.

There were slings with rap rings waiting for us at the top of this first pitch, and we used this as our belay anchor for the next pitch. It’s clear that some people have bailed rather than continuing on from here, for reasons explained below.

The start of the second pitch was an unexpected crux. You have to pass on the right a large gendarme. There are two ways to do it.

You can go straight up a set of jumbled “staircase” steps. This is really only 3-4 moves of low-5th-class climbing. But there are no good hands, the steps are down-sloping, the rock is slippery, there is zero pro whatsoever, and it’s kind of a long way from the belay. If you slipped, you would slide off sideways from the belay and end up dangling over a cliff.

The second option is to start a little lower down and to the right, near the sheer drop-off to Esmerelda Basin, where there is a short crack to protect. You can put in up to three pieces here if you want, but the crack is really only a few feet high. Then you have to execute a large and awkward sideways air-step, with minimal and awkward handholds. Larry led this, and he didn’t have much trouble. But I actually fell following it. I found it even more difficult than the real 5.7 “crux” later on. I would say this move is a 5.9.

All variables considered, I think the best course is to reach deep and go up the low-5th-class steps with no pro. Definitely put rock shoes on. It’s only 3-4 moves, and you would not hesitate to do this if it were just off the ground. But it’s not.

After that, there is a tricky short down-climb to a notch. This is where the Nelson/Potterfield book suggests you might want to belay, but after the 5.9 air step, Larry belayed me from not far above that before heading down into the notch.

So we were already on our third pitch as we passed the second (much smaller) gendarme and got to the start of what’s described as the “third pitch” in the Nelson/Potterfield book.

This “third pitch” (actually our fourth) is easy and fun climbing up the ridgeline, on solid rock, with lots of pro. This was the money pitch.

That pitch ends directly at the start of the knife-edge traverse. The knife-edge is short, easy and super fun. It’s sufficient to put in one piece of pro at the start and just skitter across. Larry led this and belayed me up from the second large rock structure you pass after the knife-edge ridge.

From here, I led another unremarkable pitch to the base of the crux. This spot is easy to find, because the route changes direction and heads off to the right before reaching the crux. I stopped where the route changes direction. You can identify the crux up above, because it’s a lot steeper and bulgier than anything else you’ve climbed so far.

This was the only gear anchor we built on the entire route, except for the one at the start of the first pitch. The other anchors we did by using existing slings (at start of the second pitch), or slinging the very large, solid features that are abundant all along the route.

Looking up from the belay station to the crux, you see two cracks side by side. There’s a wide one on the left side, which appears from this perspective to angle off to the left. There’s another crack just to the right, which is much thinner and goes more straight up. The correct way to go is by taking the wide, angling crack on the left. A #4 cam was perfect for protecting this 5.7 crux. There are only 2-3 moves, and then it’s over. It’s more awkward than difficult. There are very good hands to be found by reaching high up.

After the crux, I continued climbing around and to the left, all the way to the summit, where I put in a final sling anchor to belay Larry up. From the summit, there’s a walk-off down and to the left to the South Ridge rap anchors. The rap anchors are out of sight, past another (slightly lower?) summit just beyond the summit where I did the final belay.

It is possible to rap down the South Ridge with a single 60m rope, in three raps. You rap from the top to the midway anchors, and then rap again to a wide gravelly platform. From the platform, scramble/downclimb a short distance to another rap anchor (slings). From there, do a third rap to the base of the South Ridge route.

We brought along a second rope for the rap, because we thought maybe two were actually required to get down. They are not. You can do it with one rope. The second rope just combines the first two raps into one, so you do two rappels total instead of three. It was obviously not worth the extra weight to save time on one rappel. Aug 21, 2017
Jason Weinstein
Beaverton, Oregon
  5.7
Jason Weinstein   Beaverton, Oregon
  5.7
Ingalls North Peak East Ridge has fun climbing and amazing scenery. Rock is sound with good friction. use minimal pro to keep rope drag manageable. Downclimbs have good holds but will be the mental crux if you're not comfortable with that.

Some extra beta:
P2 if you use pro early rope drag will be horrible. Go up and pass gendarme, pro for 2nd before downclimb and in small crack about 1/2 way down using a really small cam or a nut. Move across notch and then move up as far as rope drag will allow on Easy terrain.

P5 easy terrain move to right over to a vertical section, no pro needed until you go up the towards a crack above you. Moving right looked more exciting than moving left as provided in original description. Blocks sounded hollow but felt solid. Maybe a single 5.7 move. No big cams or hexes needed.

Pro: gear to BD C4 #3. Doubles not necessary. no hexes. Used #4 for an anchor but not necessary so don't bring it.

Rap: single 70m on Ingalls North - South Route. Bolts are 1 min walk below you down a foot path Loose rocks near bolts don't knock em down. Extremely Slippery serpentine rock at start of rap so pay attention. 3 raps on 70m. You can see each station from above. Jun 7, 2015
Lan Dogan
Seattle, WA
 
Lan Dogan   Seattle, WA
 
First pitch was still snow covered for our climb. We were able to skip this by scrambling up the slab on other side of the pillar climbers left and traversing the ledge to the anchor (alternative pitch 1 of class 3 for the slab scramble and class 4 for the traverse). Jun 3, 2015