Trip Report    

Alpine Scramble - Mount Ruth (Mount Rainier)

Nice day, beautiful area, afternoon clouds

  • Road suitable for all vehicles
  • Stream crossing was challenging but we found spots we could cross with no incidents.  Some mosquitos.  Still a snow scramble in mid July but not as much glissading as you would get in June.  Below the East ridge above the Emmons moraine down to Glacier basin the snow fields are patchy and will be soon melted out.  The upper ridge still has quite a bit of snow.

Climbers parking lot mostly full at 8am but enough spots for the group.  For those wanting to spend the night at the trailhead the camp ground was full Friday evening.

The day started out very sunny and clear.  Even when we got to Glacier basin it was a nice day.  The river crossing was high water but we were able to find spots where there were enough rocks to get across without wading.  Several choices of routes up the hill.  We went up a combination of snow slopes and scree fields.

Route finding was pretty straight forward.  We did go through one rock section that had a couple of challenging rock moves.  The Emmon's moraine was quite impressive with lots of open crevasses.  While we did have the option to make this a rock scramble by staying along the ridge on the moraine side we did this primarily as a snow scramble and stuck with the snow slopes.

As we approached the summit, clouds were moving in and the summit was in clouds off and on.  At the summit we were mostly not in the clouds but the views of Rainier were obscured.  Every 10 minutes or so the curtain would open up and we'd get a view of the climbing route and the peak and then it would close up again.  (Don't blink or it's gone) Little Tahoma was in the clouds the entire time we were at the summit though it had been clear earlier in the day.

Not nearly the amount of glissading you would get earlier in the season but still plenty of snow slopes with good run out and we got over 1000 feet of sliding.  Snow conditions were good for plunge stepping, not too soft not too icy.  I think with the lower snow levels route finding on the way down was easier than when snow is higher.  There can be some terrain traps on the descent but the route down this time was very obvious.

Outside of the limited, but occasionally spectacular, views on the summit it was almost a perfect scramble day.