I left early Saturday morning and drove to Ellensburg, WA to meet up with Bridget. We stopped there and had lunch at a nice little bakery called Dakotas, and obtained the proper UFSF passes for our weekend.
From Ellensburg it was about an 1.5 hour drive to the trail head at Esmerelda Basin. We finished packing and set off on the gorgeous trail. Last time I hiked this particular trail it was 4am and I didn't get to take in the scenery. This time we hiked slowly and took lots of breaks! Thus, I was actually able to take some decent photos.
Below: Mt. Stuart first seen when coming over Ingalls Pass.
Below: Teanaway Basin
We found a great campsite and while setting up for the night had lots of interesting visitors. Below is a pic of one of the bolder ones
The view from our campsite
The next morning we woke early took in the sunrise, packed up camp, and started walking up to Ingalls lake. We arrived at the lake to find it almost completely still frozen over.
Our objective for the day was to traverse the below pictured peak starting on the right and finishing where the jet stream is.
The snow filled gully up to the rock was fun, but the first pitch was loose, easy, and dirty. Although as I arrived at the ridge I was rewarded with an amazing view!
As we continued up the ridge I found the climbing to be solid and super exposed! Here's a few pictures of what the climbing looked like, easy, but exposed.
The summit afforded us awesome views of Mt. Rainer, and I couldn't believe how clear it was.
After a quick summit shot, we headed down the South Face, which looks like an awesome route!
At the top we met a nice couple from Seattle and combined ropes with them to make the decent faster. The view of Ingalls Lake and Mt. Stuart from the rappel was gorgeous.
Great trip and fun, but easy, climb!