Trip overview: Crew: GeoTom and Scott
Maps:Green Trails #209 Mt. Stuart.
Access: Interstate 90 > Highway 970 > Teanaway Road/North Fork Teanaway Road
Trails: Longs Pass > Off-trail ridge run (boot path visible in places) > Ingalls Way Trail
Mileage: ~8 total
Elevation Gain: ~3,000 with the ups and downs.
Summits:Not HinkhousePeak (6,878')
My original weekend plans of camping in the upper Enchantments got scuttled due to the folks at the National Weather Service and their thunderstorm prediction. Since Jasper was safely at the cabin with Dani, I still wanted to take advantage of the situation and go on a hike where the 4-leggers aren't allowed.
Sitting at Longs Pass last year after climbing Mt. Stuart, I noticed a high bump along the ridge to the northwest towards Ingalls Pass. Intrigued, I discovered that it was unofficially called Not HinkhousePeak (not to be confused with the actual HinkhousePeak). I suppose every peakbut the actual HinkhousePeak could be called Not HinkhousePeak, but that would be silly.
After a vigorous exchange of emails Thursday and Friday with a few people who don't mind hiking with me, no consensus was reached. Some wanted to go here, some there, some not at all. Soapy and I decided to head to Not HinkhousePeak by ourselves. With my driving skills and his routefinding expertise, what could go wrong? My friend Scott called late Friday night and invited himself along. At worst he would provide beer and better conversation than Soapy.
After some vehicle troubles (Scott's, not mine) we arrived at the trailhead around 10:00 am to mostly sunny skies and a few other vehicles. We started up the Esmerelda Basin Trail, then quickly turned right on the Ingalls Way Trail. The clouds increased, and soon some raindrops began to fall. After a few minutes I decided to put my rain cover on the pack. As soon as the rain cover was on and the pack returned to my back, the rain stopped. I decided to keep the cover on for now.
Near the junction with the Longs Pass Trail there was a little snow cover. I turned uphill a little too soon, but shortly we were back on the trail (well, actually I found the old roadbed first, then the trail). We arrived at Longs Pass to mostly cloudy skies, but a full frontal view of Mt. Stuart. I was hungry so I decided to eat a little.
Fortified by our snacks we continued along the ridge towards our objective. The route was easy to follow, and in places a definite bootpath was evident. We got to what I had thought was ther highpoint, only to see another slightly higher one maybe 50 feet away. Undaunted, we continued to the highest point and stopped for a leisurely lunch break and a glimpse of Fortune, South Ingalls and Ingalls Peaks. We could also get a little glimpse of a still snow covered Ingalls Lake.
After eating and resting for entirely too long on Not HinkhousePeak, we followed the ridge towards Ingalls Pass. Travel was easier along the southern side of the ridge (left as we headed towards Ingalls Pass), so we took the easier route. Shortly we were at Ingalls Pass and saw a group of 6 practicing ice axe arrest on the snow. Originally we had thought about continuing to Ingalls Lake as neither one of us had been there before, but a general malaise took over and we ended up lounging on some bare rock and admiring Mt. Stuart while keeping an eye to the darkening skies to the southwest.
Shortly after starting our return to the trailhead, the thunder started. We also saw occasional flashes of lightning, but no rain was falling on us at this point. We arrived back at the trailhead to find my truck intact, but unlocked. Nothing was gone, most significantly the post hike beers in the little cooler.
The rain started falling as I turned the key to start the truck, and did not stop until we were past Easton. Pizza and beer at Scott's house were most welcome.
Kristine was happy to report that they had weathered the DTV transition smoothly, and so we sat down to watch The Fugitive. I thought this time the movie might end differently, but it was the same as before.
I didn't think that photo was appropriate for this forum.
Maybe I'll post it on CC.
R&R- I had never even been to Longs Pass until last September and I was blown away by the close up view of Stuart. I figured this would be basically the same (since I was going to Longs Pass anyway) with a somewhat obscure (but easy to reach) summit as well.
Great pics! Cool place. One can continue past Ingalls Pass on benches on the south side of the ridge to Fortune, and then either down to the pass above Lake Ann or to S Peak of Ingalls and then down the County Line Trail. See our TR of Not Hinkhouse to Fortune Traversette
Like the looks of that traverse BigSteve. I had already been up Fortune before, and while Scott was interested, the dark clouds coming in made our decision to head back much easier, especially after the thunder started.
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