Distance: 10.2 mi.
Elevation Gain: 4064 ft.
We got started at 9:30 AM for a big day. The road was unfortunately blocked 1.1 miles from the North Ingalls trailhead for some washouts. We headed north-northwest along the summer trail and reached continuous snow at about 5,800 feet. We reached Ingalls Pass at about 12 PM and crossed over to the north side of the ridge, where we found some rocks and had a quick lunch. Then we traversed north-northwest along the bowl of Headlight Basin.
There was some steep side-hilling on snow that was pretty easy on foot (with an ice axe out) but a bit tricky for Craig and Val, who were on skis. Val decided to carry her skis while Craig forged ahead with the tricky side-hilling. We curved to the northeast and then started making a steeper ascent up the gully below Ingalls Peak.
There were some cornices above to be aware of. When we got to the base of the climb we took off boots/skis and switched to rock climbing attire. We started climbing at about 2 PM. Vanessa did her first trad lead ever on the first pitch of the south ridge of North Ingalls. She stayed further climber’s left than the typical climbing route but made it work, then belayed Craig and Val from above.
From there, Val switched to lead and belayed Craig and Vanessa from above simultaneously on half ropes. We completed the 2nd and 3rd pitches of the climb quickly this way, then scrambled up to the summit for a brief peek at the views.
It was pretty cold and windy in the shade of the mountain and we didn’t start our descent until 4:30 PM, so we were hoping to get down quickly. The three rappels went pretty smoothly with Val going first and quickly setting up with a half rope on the 2nd and 3rd rappel stations. From here, Craig and Val finally got to take advantage of their skis, while Vanessa booted out not far behind. We reached Ingalls Pass again at about 6:30 PM. Craig and Val enjoyed the spring corn skiing on this slope. We finished a little after 8 PM, taking full advantage of this long summer day.
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- Aluminum ice axe
- ATC device
- Backcountry boots/skis/skins – Craig/Val
- Climbing shoes
- Glacier glasses
- Locking Carabiners
- Mountaineering boots – Vanessa
- Trad gear
- Trekking poles