Monday, June 18, 2007

Fortune Peak 6.18.07

With a rare week off from hiking last week I was excited to get out again. I was hoping to do a loop trip going over Ingall's Pass traversing Headlight Basin and summit Ingall's South Peak. From the South Peak I hoped to head South to Fortune Mt. and drop to the Esmeralda Basin and back to the car. I was very happy to have the weekend's awful weather change to perfect and remain that way for the entire day. I reached the trailhead and was off just after noon giving me plenty of time. When I reached the Ingall's Way junction I was dismayed that the trail bans dogs. I try to be respectful of policy whenever it is feasible. I decided that I would reverse the trip and go over Fortune first. The trail is gently graded and there was plenty of snowmelt for the dogs to drink. I made great time to the pass over Lake Ann and started to make my way up Fortune's west ridge. I found the going easier coming from more of a Southerly direction. I was careful to watch for the dog induced rock fall. I was expecting some unpleasant loose scree but for the most part the footing was quite good. After a few false summits I popped out on Fortune's summit. I had already taken a ton of pictures of the Esmerelda Peaks on the way up so I directed my lens more to Ingalls and of course Stuart towering over me. I had hoped to continue due North to bag South Ingalls. I had read some reports stating that there were ""no special problems"" on this route. Sadly this traverse would be more than I felt comfortable doing solo. I could see the Ingalls trail pounded by heavy weekend traffic below me. I couldn't resist dropping the snowy basin below me to continue my planned loop. The drop off the summit intially was not steep but became steep enough for me to drop down facing the hill. It probably wasn't necessary but I felt it safer. Once the rock outcroppings were out of my way I plunged stepped in a descending traverse ending in nice butt glissade. I crossed the trail and found a melted out spot and had lunch. As I ate my lunch I watched to climbers trying to reach the col between North and South summits. I was suprised to see them turn around after passing what looked like the worst of it. I had plenty of time so I very leisurely made my way back to the car.

Approx 8 mile 3200ft of climb 5:45 car to car

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