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Jake Neiffer
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PostMon Oct 05, 2015 10:16 pm 
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First trip report.  Probably should have started here instead of spouting off in stewardship and saloon smile.gif

Ventured up to Lake Ingalls today.  As my wife says, I was a five year old on Christmas morning.  I haven't gotten out a lot in recent years, and the couple trips we did have planned this year didn't materialize, so I was extra excited.

The fall colors on the drive up Teanaway Road were very nice and better than I expected.

A Forest Service employee who checked my permit said there were 400 people at Headlight Basin/Lake Ingalls yestereday.  Today was fine crowd wise, we got there at 9:30 and there were maybe 10 or 12 cars.  Everyone we ran into was pleasant and friendly.

My buddy and I were so charged up and yacking that we blew past the trail junction.  I remembered from looking at the map yesterday that we weren't supposed to be headed west, but it didn't dawn on me until we were like 1.5 miles past the junction clown.gif  I hiked more miles today than I have all summer (Badger Mtn and a short hike at Paulina for a grand total of about 5 miles)  it's not a good idea to add extra mileage when your out of shape rant.gif

Phone camera wasn't working at the Lake for some reason.

Although very beautiful, I gotta say just my opinion the larches are a tad overrated.  I prefer the Snoqualmie area over Lake Ingalls.  Sahale Arm/Horseshoe basin over the Enchantments in October.  And Copper Ridge/Whatcom Pass + extra credit over a week backpack in Yosemite.  I think living in the desert, the stark landscape is not as appealing as the lush greeness on the West Side for me.  I guess everyone's got their preferences.

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MtnManic
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PostMon Oct 05, 2015 10:19 pm 
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Glad you enjoyed the trip, even if you're a self-admitted non-Larchaholic like me.   smile.gif There was someone there checking permits, eh?  Sure saw no one the weekend.

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Jake Neiffer
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PostMon Oct 05, 2015 10:23 pm 
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Thanks.  Yes they were checking, she said something about funding being based on number of folks hiking?, so they want everyone to document their trips.  It was down below the pass, I was a little preoccupied and not paying the best of attention biggrin.gif
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Bootpathguy
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PostMon Oct 05, 2015 10:35 pm 
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Jake Neiffer wrote:
Although very beautiful, I gotta say just my opinion the larches are a tad overrated.  I prefer the Snoqualmie area over Lake Ingalls.  Sahale Arm/Horseshoe basin over the Enchantments in October.  And Copper Ridge/Whatcom Pass + extra credit over a week backpack in Yosemite.  I think living in the desert, the stark landscape is not as appealing as the lush greeness on the West Side for me.  I guess everyone's got their preferences. 

That's a very interesting comment. Im just the opposite having grown up in Western Washington. I really enjoy a landscape with very little underbrush and lots of boulders and cliffs. Seeing a lake that's looks like it has no business being there

Ingalls Lake Area, in my opinion, is a throwback to a Utah or Sedona landscape. I love it!

Thanks for the report
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RandyHiker
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PostMon Oct 05, 2015 11:48 pm 
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Jake Neiffer wrote:
Although very beautiful, I gotta say just my opinion the larches are a tad overrated.  I prefer the Snoqualmie area over Lake Ingalls

I enjoy both and on a day when its drizzling at Snoqualmie Pass the Teanaway is the ticket.
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Jake Neiffer
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PostTue Oct 06, 2015 6:39 am 
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yarbrolee wrote:
That's a very interesting comment. Im just the opposite having grown up in Western Washington. I really enjoy a landscape with very little underbrush and lots of boulders and cliffs. Seeing a lake that's looks like it has no business being there

Ingalls Lake Area, in my opinion, is a throwback to a Utah or Sedona landscape. I love it!

That's cool!  And maybe many W WA hikers share your opinion.  I'm certainly glad I did the hike, but learning my preferences I guess.

Randyhiker wrote:
I enjoy both and on a day when its drizzling at Snoqualmie Pass the Teanaway is the ticket.

For sure.
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tigermn
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PostTue Oct 06, 2015 10:04 am 
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I like it all.
The larches aren't bad when they are green either but only yellow for a short time. A very unusual deciduous tree.

Having said that I generally prefer the yellows/reds/oranges of other foliage. That was the best part about Easy Pass hike a couple of weekends ago. You got it all.

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MtnManic
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PostTue Oct 06, 2015 10:39 am 
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That Easy Pass report had some gorgeous colors (and photos!!).  What I liked about Ingalls this year was that there was some red color in a spot or two.  Same as with Cutthroat a week some ago.

I have to admit I've got a hankering for some fall foliage (ash, huckleberry, maple, etc.) now, but I'm committed to leading a Mounties backpack in the larch this coming weekend.  Maybe the weekend after.

May the fall colors linger and the weather hold for a bit longer...

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Kim Brown
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PostTue Oct 06, 2015 10:46 am 
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I get what you're saying about the lack of color of larches at Ingalls. Frankly, when it's sunny, the yellow larches are a bit washed out and don't stand out at Ingalls as they do in other locations such as the North Cascades, Sherman Pass, Blewett, etc. Even the Enchantments they stand out more because of the color of the rock.

And especially, if you're looking for something different from the desert you're used to, I can see why you want the vibrance of green and red colors.

Check out the larches in the North Cascades, or wait a few weeks and wait til the western larches begin to turn at Blewett and the Naches area.

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JimK
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PostTue Oct 06, 2015 10:53 am 
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I think the larch at Ingalls are best in the morning. The larch are lit up but the background is still in shadows. From last Tuesday 9-29.


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DIYSteve
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PostTue Oct 06, 2015 11:16 am 
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What Kim and Jim say: Lyall's (Subalpine) Larches are best viewed in dimmer light. Indeed, my most memorable Lyall's Larch moments have been in foggy conditions.

For me, Western Larch viewing is an entirely different experience: Big stands of big tall straight trees. Different color (more yellow than golden) too.
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Jake Neiffer
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PostTue Oct 06, 2015 12:13 pm 
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I've wanted to explore the Easy Pass area for a long time.  Tigermn - your (and boot up's) recent photos were beautiful.

Thanks for the tips on the lighting and Western Larch- that makes sense.

Of course we would have been there a little earlier if we didn't take the wrong trail, were in better shape, and if my buddy wouldn't have been demanding to stop for all those pictures along the river on the drive in. biggrin.gif  Such is life.

Also not implying I was disappointed with the hike.  The relief of Stuart seen after reaching the pass was particularly impressive.

Also saw a mtn goat, which was a real treat.

A few more observations:  a couple near misses with deer on highway 970 driving back to Ellensburg.  Don't know if they are being flushed out during hunting season or if there's just a lot of deer in that area.  The Yellow Church Cafe in Ellensburg, as mentioned in an old thread here, still has very good food IMO.  Although a bit pricey.
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Bootpathguy
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PostWed Oct 07, 2015 9:34 am 
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Jake Neiffer wrote:
Also not implying I was disappointed with the hike.

Not at all. It doesn't come across that way. Not for me anyway

Your comment about growing up in a certain region and wanting to experience the complete opposite was interesting to me and I've never really given it much thought.

Have grown up and fishing and hunting the west side most of my life, you made me realize that I subconsciously travel to the east side of the Cascades for my hiking experiences.

I personally enjoy the larches just as they start to turn. Mix of gold, yellow and green. Gold larch shoulder to shoulder to a green larch.

I also agree with the above statement...

"Even the Enchantments they stand out more because of the color of the rock"

Yep. The white granite is beautiful contrast as opposed to a golden larch on a red rock background as the situation is @ Ingalls

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MtnManic
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PostWed Oct 07, 2015 10:52 am 
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Quality of light:


or snow:


also makes a difference.  (2010, 2011 respectively)

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Jake Neiffer
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PostWed Oct 07, 2015 1:14 pm 
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Nice pics

yarbrolee wrote:
Your comment about growing up in a certain region and wanting to experience the complete opposite was interesting to me and I've never really given it much thought.

Have grown up and fishing and hunting the west side most of my life, you made me realize that I subconsciously travel to the east side of the Cascades for my hiking experiences.

Although I could be wrong, my theory is this is why nwhikers is so fond of a place like the Wind River Range.  Which I'm sure is spectacular, put left to my own devices I would much rather visit a place like the Spider Gap/Buck Creek Pass Loop.

Added a few more photos from my friends phone
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