Fred’s Photography Foray

       by Fred Stanley

I met Del Young and Tony Case at the Esmeralda Basin trailhead at our agreed 11 am time, despite being slowed by damage to the North Fork Teanaway Road from recent rain runoff. New snow at higher elevations, and a clearing forecast for Tuesday had Del stoked for sunset photos of Mt. Stuart from Ingalls Lake. Bare ground at the parking lot soon gave way to a well beaten track in icy snow. Not far beyond where the trail forks to either Longs Pass or Ingalls Pass, the track narrowed to a set of boot prints. Two thirds of the way to Ingalls Pass, the track ended in about six inches of snow, and we put on snowshoes.

We enjoyed mixed sunshine and clouds to Ingalls Pass, but on the north side clouds hung down low on the Ingalls Peaks and Stuart. We set our track to Ingalls Lake through snow varying from 6 to 18 inches in depth, arriving at about 3 pm. The sun was still coming across the Ingalls Pass – Longs Pass ridge line, and the peaks on the Ingalls – Teanaway divide were brightly lit, but we were in shadow and wind chill forced us to quickly bundle up to wait for the sunset hour. Low clouds persisted on the Ingalls Peaks, but there was breakup in the clouds moving south through Stuart Pass, and the lower elevations of Jack Ridge were coming into view.

While Del huddled around his camera on tripod and started taking pictures of the clouds swirling about Stuart, Tony and I walked about trying to stay warm. The clouds gradually continued to rise on Jack Ridge and thin out on Mt. Stuart. As Del predicted, the low horizon sun started coming in under the clouds and began to “lift” them. I pulled out my point and shoot and started pressing the shutter button.

Visibility in the summit area continued to improve as sunset approached. Del was tempted to stay after sunset to get long exposures, but his drive back to Seattle was motivation to get moving in the direction of the parking lot. We started packing up with the last rays of sun still on the summit, and headed down from Ingalls Lake about 5:15 pm. A couple of hundred yards short of Ingalls Pass, we started pulling out headlamps. We arrived back at the cars about 7:30 pm. Another beautiful day in the mountains.

Guidebook information about Ingalls Lake can be found in our guidebooks.

This post was originally published on 11/17/2015.

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