You mention approaching from the north, which is really easy. I would recommend this approach as it involves less elevation gain / loss and less terrain covered than the south approach. However, the only descent option you descibe is the Cascadian on the south side. If approaching from the north, you would NOT want to descend the Cascadian because you would have to walk all the way around the mountain. Here are your descent options if approaching from the north:
1. Sherpa Glacier - In early season, this descent should be easy and is the best way to get off the mountain back to the north side.
2. Northwest Buttress - After the Sherpa Glacier descent melts out, this is your preferred descent to get back to the north side. The descent involves scrambling down class 3/4 rock and with several rappels (fixed).
Thanks Martin. I incorporated your northern descent options.
More specifics on what was useful on the upper North Ridge with Great Gendarme variation (take it or leave it):
Very few nuts (small, medium, large - 1 each)
Aliens from green to red (0.5 to 1 inch; one set probably sufficient; doubles are nice)
Camalots from #.75 to #3 (doubles)
Camalot #3.5 (single)
C4 #4 (single)
The redundancy in the #3 to #3.5 Camalot size range is nice as the belay atop lower Gendarme pitch ideally (yes, you could finagle other stuff in there) takes two #3's or a #3 and a #3.5 AND you want to have one #3 (as well as one larger unit) left over for the OW on upper Gendarme pitch.
Thanks rpc, your gear beta is incorporated now.
There are 4 or 5 nice bivy sites (as big, if not as numerous, as those at the base of the upper ridge) about one pitch beyond the intersection with the lower west variation (joins at a prominant 50 foot of knife edged section of ridge). These are about 7 or 8 pitches above the base of the route.
An alternate approach to Stuart via the Lake Ingalls area can be made via a route from Van Epps Pass over the notch between Ingalls North/South. This shortens the approach by about a mile and reduces the amount of ascending by about 1000'. The disadvantage is that you will need to climb back over it on the way out, adding maybe 1000' to your climb out of the Ingalls Creek valley.
Drive the Cle Elum drainage to Fortune Creek, about 8 miles past Salmon La Sac. Just past the creek a jeep trail (4W301) leaves on the right. Do NOT take this road, instead drive another 1/4 mi and take two rights on a forest road that parallels the jeep trail up the drainage (this road does not appear on most maps). In a few miles 4W302 veers off left at an old mining claim sign. Drive this rough road (4x4 required, I made it in a stock Ford Ranger .. you'll need low range and some clearance) to Van Epps Pass, park there, or at an old mine adit up a short spur off 4W303 just to the south. Hike the County Line Trail south nearly to Lake Ann (20 min). When you emerge from the trees, follow a climbers path up left along the base of the talus and through meadows to the gully leading to the notch between Ingalls South and North. Descend the other side to Lake Ingalls and then follow the normal southern approach. Another alternative is to traverse around the north side of North Ingalls, but the talus there is much more difficult than simply going up and over.
Your alt approach and bivy beta are incorporated in the North Ridge Stuart page.