Forum Index > Trip Reports > McClellan Peak from Ingalls Creek 6/29/2020
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neek
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PostTue Jun 30, 2020 12:58 pm 
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Where is everyone?  Given Monday's forecast, I thought Ingalls Creek would be packed, but there were only a couple of other cars in the parking lot when I arrived.  Also surprising was the lack of mosquitoes and other insects along the trail.  No complaints about that.  I walked about 6 miles along the gentle trail, listening to the roar of the creek below and keeping an eye open for rattlesnakes, then turned uphill to take the direct southern approach to McClellan Peak as described on summitpost.  This was a nice route--steep, but not too much brush, and very pretty this time of year, particularly with vast amounts of stonecrop in bloom.  Going up this way is probably more pleasant than going down.  It was completely snow free, but with plenty of water.  I was feeling slow, so I stopped every few minutes to rest, take pictures, and brush off ticks.  McClellan's summit pile ended up being an easy scramble from the SE, and views into the Enchantments were of course excellent.

For the return I wanted to try the Crystal Creek route, so I headed down to the W and along the ridge for a bit, then started traversing down toward Crystal Pass.  I dropped below some steep snow patches, so crampons and axe ended up being unnecessary.  Saw no one at Crystal Lake, which was still frozen enough to walk across.  The way down is as rough as people say it is.  Large boulders to navigate practically the whole way.  It would be tough with a heavy backpack.  I'm sure ankles have been twisted.  There are a few cairns and places where bootpaths have developed, but for the most part you are just making it up.  I eventually crashed through some brush, hit the trail, and began the long hike back.  Around 10:00 I started seeing my shadow--the moon provided enough light to make it back without a headlamp.

Mountain Lady's Slippers
Mountain Lady's Slippers
Tiger Lily
Tiger Lily
Heading up the forest after leaving the trail
Heading up the forest after leaving the trail
Take a quick pic then flick the tick
Take a quick pic then flick the tick
Waterfall at 4200'
Waterfall at 4200'
A tiny bit of alder around 5600', probably could have been avoided
A tiny bit of alder around 5600', probably could have been avoided
Looking back at the pinnacles to the SW of McClellan
Looking back at the pinnacles to the SW of McClellan
Nearing summit
Nearing summit
Enchantments pano from summit
Enchantments pano from summit
To the east
To the east
People heading up Little Annapurna
People heading up Little Annapurna
Looking back at summit from the W
Looking back at summit from the W
Heading down to Crystal Lake. Went below these snow patches in the foreground and then across gentler ones later on
Heading down to Crystal Lake. Went below these snow patches in the foreground and then across gentler ones later on
Larch
Larch
Experiment
Experiment
Little Annapurna from Crystal Lake
Little Annapurna from Crystal Lake
Crystal Lake pano
Crystal Lake pano
Heading down Crystal Creek
Heading down Crystal Creek
Crystal Creek
Crystal Creek
Looking back up the Crystal Creek valley
Looking back up the Crystal Creek valley
Lake at 6000', strangely not on map but I think it dries out
Lake at 6000', strangely not on map but I think it dries out
Found and extracted after returning to car
Found and extracted after returning to car
Track
Track
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Randito
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Joined: 27 Jul 2008
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PostTue Jun 30, 2020 5:09 pm 
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OutOfOffice
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PostTue Jun 30, 2020 5:16 pm 
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In this time of polarized politics, I'd like to offer one unifying statement that I think we can all get behind: F*** ticks

Vote OutOfOffice 2020
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ozzy
The hard way



Joined: 30 Jul 2015
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ozzy
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The hard way
PostTue Jun 30, 2020 8:27 pm 
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OutOfOffice wrote:
In this time of polarized politics, I'd like to offer one unifying statement that I think we can all get behind: F*** ticks

Vote OutOfOffice 2020

rotf.gif hell yea man I feel that!!

Thanks for the badass tr neek, I'd always wondered about this route. I looked down on your exit route while on little annapurna(2018) and it looked pretty cool! Cheers!
-oh yea what was the total mileage and gain if you don't mind sir!?

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Milk is for babies. When you grow up you have to drink beer. -Arnold
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Nancyann
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PostTue Jun 30, 2020 8:50 pm 
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Thatís an an ambitious and very rewarding effort for a day trip, neek! One of my friends was trying to tell me that it wasnít that hard to go up Crystal Creek, but after reading your TR and several others, I think Iíll pass.
Those ticks look so evil in your pictures. I wonder if they are still prevelant later in the summer. Iíve had quite a few over the last several months no matter what kind of repellent I use.
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silence
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PostWed Jul 01, 2020 3:45 pm 
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Great report ... thanks for posting!

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PHOTOS: https://www.flickr.com/photos/33792231@N00/sets
FILMMAKING: http://www.crestpictures.com/

Keep a good head and always carry a light bulb. Ė Bob Dylan
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puzzlr
Mid Fork Rocks



Joined: 13 Feb 2007
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PostWed Jul 01, 2020 4:08 pm 
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Very interesting. I didn't know about that "shortcut" route to McClellan. I may need to do that sometime if I'm ever going to climb this peak. I've given up applying for the Enchantment permits.

What was your round trip time? What do you think it would be if you went up and down your ascent route?

The stone crop photos (and other flowers) are amazing.

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Mid Fork Rocks ē flickr
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Monkey Del Mar
Class 2 my ass!



Joined: 04 Sep 2007
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Class 2 my ass!
PostWed Jul 01, 2020 7:12 pm 
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Quote:
I've given up applying for the Enchantment permits.

FWIW, I had a very easy time getting a walk-up permit last year; spent 2 nights in the Core Zone over Labor Day weekend climbing several peaks, including McClellan.  Helped that I was a solo party (and of course had a backup plan!).

Would be very fun to do this route nevertheless. Thanks for the report!
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neek
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PostWed Jul 01, 2020 8:54 pm 
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ozzy wrote:
-oh yea what was the total mileage and gain if you don't mind sir!?

about 21 miles, and strava says 8500 ft gain, but i'm pretty sure it's confused and 7000 is more realistic.  the trail back seemed to go on forever, especially in the dark.  i was so ready to be done with it.

puzzlr wrote:
What was your round trip time? What do you think it would be if you went up and down your ascent route?

i'm really slow when not chasing some young punk - nearly 14 hr c2c.  down would be a little less pleasant than up i think, and was described by someone as "very cliffy and brushy", but certainly doable.  it was nice to do a loop and see a variety of scenery though.

Nancyann wrote:
One of my friends was trying to tell me that it wasnít that hard to go up Crystal Creek, but after reading your TR and several others, I think Iíll pass. Those ticks look so evil in your pictures. I wonder if they are still prevelant later in the summer. Iíve had quite a few over the last several months no matter what kind of repellent I use.

crystal creek isn't for everyone, but i think camping at the bottom and taking a leisurely trip up to crystal lake, without carrying a heavy pack, would be enjoyable for anyone who can tolerate lots of boulder hopping.  finding an embedded tick is soooo gross.  luckily i caught that one early and didn't have any surprises in the morning.
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Alden Ryno
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PostThu Jul 02, 2020 12:48 pm 
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Beautiful wildflowers at the beginning of the report!
Kudos for taking an alternate approach to the madhouse (hehe). The area below McClellan and Prusik looks to be melting well... I guess that it is July after all.
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geyer
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PostThu Jul 02, 2020 1:51 pm 
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I took that route a few years ago. Really just a brute force straight uphill climb with a great view of the three brothers from what I remember. But it allowed me to maintain my "enchantments virginity" since I have still technically never been in the core lol.gif
Great pics!

Quote:
In this time of polarized politics, I'd like to offer one unifying statement that I think we can all get behind: F*** ticks

Vote OutOfOffice 2020

I support this message
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Brushbuffalo
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PostFri Jul 03, 2020 11:43 am 
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neek wrote:
Lake at 6000', strangely not on map but I think it dries out
Lake at 6000', strangely not on map but I think it dries out

You are correct, it dries up.  Looking at Google Earth, some years it has water as late as early July, but seems to be just a sediment trap by late July every year (time-dated images are not taken at regular intervals).
I think it is pretty obvious that this is ponded due a sizable rockfall from the cliff just south of the Crystal Creek valley.  The approximate minimum year of the slide could be determined by age of the oldest trees on the rockfall (assuming none survived the event, something that could be understood at the site).

neek wrote:
finding an embedded tick is soooo gross.

NO lie!  My personal record is 28 on body, with four imbedded. That was in Missouri in an Army training maneuver.  One was imbedded in my ****$ eek.gif

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Passing rocks and trees like they were standing still
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Jeff
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Joined: 18 Aug 2008
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PostSat Jul 04, 2020 2:24 pm 
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I was pretty excited when I moved here after living in the south for over a decade and learned that there basically weren't any ticks in the Cascades. Found my first one near Mountaineers Creek last year. It was a good run.
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