Monday, May 8, 2017

Ruby Mountain attempt, North Cascades

Potentially still a little early for the summer (south ridge) route up Ruby given the amount of snow we had this winter. The bonus was full, firm snow coverage starting all the way from Fourth of July camp; snowshoes got a lengthy free ride!

We turned around at 6400' where the ridge has a brief steep step. The summer route, traversing left around it and then switch backing up, looked rather steep and had semi-recent slide activity on it. The ridge was almost completely corniced with intermittent vertical melt steps. As the day was warming up we agreed coming down it would be problematic. We settled for the 270-degree views from 6400' and agreed to come back when it's just a summer hike. 

Heading up through easy forest on firm snow, above Fourth of July Pass

Brief view up the ridge, around 4750'

On the broad ridge, around 5600'

Patrick on the upper ridge 6300'; North Cascades National Park South Unit beyond

Where we turned around at 6400'

Stillwell Creek drainage; Beebe on the left, Elija on the right. Tower and Golden Horn on the cascade crest in the background.

Mesahchie, Katsuk and Kimtah along Ragged Ridge

Mighty Boston Glacier; Buckner (l) and Boston and Forbidden

Tricouni, Primus; east side of backbone ridge (Isolation Traverse) beyond, I think

Snowfield, Horseman, Needle, Colonial, Paul Bunyan's Stump, Pyramid


  1. Looks beautiful. Sign me up for the summer ascent. I've always wanted to do this one. Can't believe you made it up so high without snowshoes.

    1. Yeah, it was well consolidated from two nights with a low freezing level. Sunday-Wednesday and on may be sloppier...

  2. Good luck finding the old trail if you do Ruby in the summer -- I only found it on the way down, and the junction is completely invisible. It's great to see photos of the Cascades with a healthy winter's snow. Looking forward to (hopefully) finishing off the northern Pickets this summer, and then never visiting Access Creek again.

    1. Oddly enough we were bumbling along and found a cairn under a melted out log at about 4500'. I've been following your blogs from being back on the road; looking forward to your arrival up here!