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Lake Ingalls/Longs Pass Lollipop
Timestamp Free: 2020.03.29 - 07:53:39
Ranges: North America Ranges / Pacific Cordillera Range / Cascade Range / Washington Cascades
  (1 days)     Elevation Gain: 1238m
Participants: Lucas Earl, Kenny McDermith
Difficulty: 2: Mostly well defined trail, the north side of Longs Pass is steep
Lollipop hike to Lake Ingalls, upper Ingalls Creek, and Longs Pass.
Weather: Mostly to Partly Sunny; chilly and windy

2016 was generally a pretty hot summer (although less so than 2015) but by the time September rolled around the weather had definitely started to change. Much of the long Labor Day weekend featured rainy weather in the mountains, but by Monday it seemed like conditions had improved enough that an eastside trip might be feasible. So, Kenny and I (no dogs are allowed at Lake Ingalls so Lilah had to stay home) decided to head to the ever popular Teanaway region, and hike up to Lake Ingalls, which sits below imposing Mount Stuart.

We drove up and over the pass from Seattle, through Cle Elum, and then up the long North Fork Teanaway Road to the end, and the Esmeralda Trailhead. This trailhead serves as an access point for a number of trails in the area, the most used the Ingalls Way Trail which leads to Lake Ingalls. We parked a bit outside of the main lot and were on our way around 10:45 AM under mostly sunny skies.

[photo]01_trailhead.jpg[caption]Sign at the Esmeralda Trailhead[/photo]

We quickly reached the Ingalls Way Trail proper, which begins to switchback out of the valley holding the very upper portions of the North Fork Teanaway River, and then the junction that leads to Longs Pass. Much of this slope was barren from a long, hot summer. We had views across the basin to the Esmeralda Peaks.

[photo]02_esmeralda_ingalls_jct.jpg[caption]Sign at the Esmeralda Basin/Ingalls Way Jct[/photo] [photo]03_esmeralda_pks.jpg[caption]View of the Esmeralda Peaks from near Ingalls Pass[/photo]

We reached Ingalls Pass a bit before Noon, and were treated with views across Headlight Basin to the craggy south slope of Mount Stuart. My theory that winter was on the way was confirmed with a light dusting of snow...

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