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Esmeralda Basin and Fortune Peak

July 29, 2006. Another solo trip (because someone bailed at the last minute ;) in the Teanaway area. Originally the plan was to complete the Catwalk, but it was cloudy, so I kept driving on I-90 to preview the Ingalls Lake hike we planned for next week. I hiked the Esmeralda Basin trail to Fortune Creek Pass instead of Ingalls Pass, but was not too impressed with the wild flowers compared to those on the Sahale Arm. However, it was nice and quiet (saw only 2 parties on the trail compared with the hoard heading to Ingalls Lake) and I happened to bring an SPI article that proposed an easy route up Fortune Peak (7382 ft.). The "scramble" was indeed straitforward and the views are awesome. The views of Mount Stuart and Ingalls Lake and Peaks are great of course, but seeing Rainier "floating" above the marine layer and literally "shooting off" the clouds passing over Stuart was incredible (see the 360 panorama). Feeling overly confident now, I decided to improvise a decent route along the ridge to Ingalls Pass and return via that trail. However, some blocks about half way along the ridge looked kinda scary so I dropped down to Lake Camp Fire Girls and ended up meeting the Ingalls Pass trail below the pass. But at least I got a more worthwhile scramble out of it than the ascent. (8+ miles round trip, 3300 ft. gain)

Esmeralda Basin

[Past Prime Season?]
[Past Prime Season? (1)][Past Prime Season? (2)][Past Prime Season? (3)]
Past Prime Season?: A few fields of flowers like this along the trail, but nothing like those on the Sahale Arm. (1) Along Fortune Creek. (2) More rushing water. (3) Fortune Peak from the Ingalls Pass trail, later in the day.
[Fortune Creek Pass]
[Fortune Creek Pass (1)]
Fortune Creek Pass: Mount Daniels from Fortune Creek Pass. (1) Panorama of Snoqualmie Peaks from the Pass. A pretty good view, but not enough for me.
[A Little Off Trail]
[A Little Off Trail (1)][A Little Off Trail (2)]
A Little Off Trail: View from the west ridge of Fortune Peak over looking Lake Ann. (1) Lake Ann. (2) Wider panorama to the west from the ridge.

Fortune Peak

[Ascent Route]
Ascent Route: The ascent along the west ridge is just a steep hike with some loose gravel.
[Rainier, Weather God]
[Rainier, Weather God (1)][Rainier, Weather God (2)]
Rainier, Weather God: Rainier, floating above the marine layer. (1) With Esmeralda Peaks. (2) And the wind picking up, bringing Rainier's cloud cover north.
[Summit]
[Summit (1)][Summit (2)]
Summit: A spectacular 360 from the summit. Now Rainier's clouds were flying over Mount Stuart. No one else around on Fortune or South Ingalls Peak. (1) Lake Ann and the basin to the west. (2) A higher profile of the Snoqualmie Peaks.
[Ingalls and Stuart]
[Ingalls and Stuart (1)][Ingalls and Stuart (2)][Ingalls and Stuart (3)][Ingalls and Stuart (4)]
Ingalls and Stuart: Self-portrait with Ingalls Peaks, Ingalls Lake, and the Stuart Range. (1) South and North Ingalls Peaks. (2) Ingalls Lake and Mount Stuart. (3) Profile of Ingalls Lake. (4) Headlight Basin and Ingalls Creek to the east.
[Descent Route]
[Descent Route (1)][Descent Route (2)][Descent Route (3)]
Descent Route: East ridge from Fortune to Ingalls Pass. I traversed the ridge passed the fork and then dropped down to Lake Fire Camp Girls (wonder how it got this name?) and meet the Ingalls Pass trail a little below the pass. (1) Good profile of Ingalls South, East, and North Peaks from the ridge with Ingalls Lake and Stuart. (2) A look back at Fortune Peak. (3) And Lake Fire Camp Girls, where I got a quick water refill.

Last modified: Nov 27, 2011