The 'Longsway Traverse' is a 2.5 mile ridge that connects Longs Pass and Teanaway Peak... consisting of many bumps and/or high points along the route... and rarely done based on the lack of any hint of a path.
We left a car at the Iron Peak Trailhead and drove a second car on up to the end of the N. Fork Teanaway Road (aka FS-9737)... where we used a combination of the Esmeralda Basin Trail, Ingalls Way Trail and Longs Pass Trail to reach Longs Pass (~6200') after hiking a little over 2.5 miles.
After a short break at the pass we turned south and started hiking along the fairly gentle ridge... crossing over Point 6494 (aka Longsway Peak) after hiking the ridge for approximately one mile and quickly reaching the crux of our trip... a massive rock outcropping positioned where the ridge bends to the southeast.
Knowing that we had no chance of crossing over this obstacle we looked around for a reasonable way to get around it... choosing to give back 100 feet of elevation by down climbing a steep gully on the east side of the rock outcropping and then traversing over to an obvious saddle on the south side of the rock outcropping... which involved dealing with a combination of loose scree, exposed rock ledges and a steep snow field (ice axe required IMO)... taking us 45 minutes to go a very short distance, but at least we could exhale after reaching the saddle.
From the saddle (~6450') we decided to see if we could reach the summit of the massive rock outcropping from its south side... but alas, we were only able to scramble up to ~6620 feet before encountering a 50 foot summit block that would require technical gear to reach the top... making it an easy decision to retreat to the saddle and continue along the ridge toward Teanaway Peak.
I lost track of the number of bumps and/or high points from the saddle to the summit (6779') of Teanaway Peak, but there were at least 5 prominent ones... with a lot of the terrain requiring extra caution so as to avoid slipping and falling. Needless to say, it was very comforting to finally be on the Teanaway Peak summit... being very familiar with giving up 400 feet of elevation on Teanaway's SE ridge before traversing south on a reasonable path over to the Iron/Teanaway saddle (~6150')... leaving a 2.8 mile trail walk down to the Iron Peak Trailhead where we piled into one of our cars and drove up to our other car at the Esmeralda Basin Trailhead.
Our thru-hike was 8.5 miles, gaining 3132 feet of elevation... this trip can also be done with one car by adding a one mile road walk at the end of the day.
Gotta love ridge traverses in the Teanaway! I've done this a couple times, I found going on the opposite side of the intimidating rock outcrop near Longsway than what you did was much easier terrain. Seems a bit counter intuitive because you can't see where the route goes but it was not nearly as tedious as the other side.
Longs Pass to Ingalls Pass is a nice traverse as well, except for one short section that isn't very fun.
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