Ingalls Peak (Wenatchee Range, North Cascades, WA; 7,662')

Ingalls Peak is a minor, but very nice, summit just west of the Stuart massif. The approach travels through superlative scenery, and the technical part is short and easy climbing on good rock. It is an easy day trip from the Enchantment Trailhead.

Topo Map


South Ridge (I, 5.4)


Fred Beckey, Cascade Alpine Guide, Vol. 2 , The Mountaineers (Seattle 1987)

Ingalls Peak from near Ingalls Pass in late June. The middle peak is the main summit (South Peak)

Party: Dietrich, Paul, and Monique Belitz

Date: June 18, 2005

Route: SW Ridge

Equipment: Camalots # 0.5 - # 3 and a set of stoppers

Time: 12 hrs 30 mins roundtrip from the trailhead

Comments: Very nice family climb

Trip report:

We had seen Ingalls Peak two years ago on our way to Mt. Stuart, and it looked like a nice family climb. Monique and I set out on Friday despite a very doubtful weather forecast, picked up Paul in Seattle, and proceeded to Cle Elum and the Beverly Campground on Teanaway Road.

The next morning we left the trailhead at 7am and hiked in about two hours to Ingalls Pass. The peak was drifting in and out of the clouds, and Mt. Stuart was solidly socked in, but it did not looks as if the weather would deteriorate altogether. On the way over to Ingalls Lake we weaved in and out of the snow and found that there was more snow left than we had expected (2004/05 had been an extraordinarily dry winter). Monique and I were glad that we had opted for boots over sneakers and Paul, who was carrying skis, got in a few turns.

While we stopped at the lake we had a visit from a mountain goat with a kid. They are entirely unafraid of people and came to within a few feet of us. Amazing animals, whose hooves somehow manage to combine sticky rubber soles with built-in crampons! After traversing above the partially frozen lake we started up the slopes to the Ingalls col and found contiguous snow all the way.

In the col we discovered, not unexpectedly, that a large Mountaineers group was on the route, in addition to another pretty large party. To avoid the two-way traffic low on the route we started out according to Beckey's topo, around the Dog Tooth Crag, rather than climbing the slab on the lake side of the crag, which now seems to be more popular. Still, at the first belay we caught up with the second party. I managed to avoid the traffic for one more pitch by climbing the harder crack to the left, rather than the easier one to the right, but then I got stuck for quite a while. The weather improved somewhat, however, and although it was pretty cold and windy the clouds mostly lifted. Eventually I brought up Paul and Monique, and Paul led through for the final pitch to the summit. The exit is guarded by the slickest rock we had ever seen in our lives, we yet have to find out what that stuff actually is. (Postscript: Dana Johnston of the UO Geology Department provided the answer: It's Serpentinite [Mg3 Si4 O10 (OH)4], a close relative of soapstone.)

We enjoyed the views and then got down by a combination of rappelling and downclimbing. From the col Paul managed to ski all the way to the lake, while Monique and I plunge stepped. In the valley down Ingalls Creek a huge thunderstorm was building, which soon engulfed Colchuck and Sherpa Peaks and produced lots of lightnight strikes, but stopped just east of the Mt. Stuart summit. We stayed at its edge on our way down and got only a few sprinkles.

After another night in camp we proceeded to Leavenworth and got in some harder granitic crack climbing before returning to Seattle and eventually to Eugene. Late at night in the Portland area we drove through ferocious thunderstorms, and later learned that Redmond, OR had experience golf-ball sized hail that night. Good thing we camped in the Wenatchee Range, and not at Smith Rock!

Photo Gallery:

Click the pictures to see a higher resolution image

Filtering water on the Teanaway Esmeralda Peak from low on the trail Mt. Stuart from Ingalls Pass The goats surprise Monique Ascending above Ingalls Lake Paul ascending to the col

View west from the col Dietrich leading the second pitch Paul leading the third pitch Dietrich on the true summit Monique and Paul on the pre-summit. East summit at left edge of frame View from the summit down Ingalls Creek Valley

Monique rappelling from the summit Paul skiing towards Ingalls Lake Monique and Paul on the descent Monique negotiating a moat on the descent Mt. Stuart above Ingalls Lake Monique and Paul in the meadows below Ingalls Pass