Trip Report    

Alpine Scramble - Mount Ruth (Mount Rainier)

Good snow conditions, great glissades, river crossing no problem

  • Road suitable for all vehicles
  • Snow starts about half way up the Glacier  Basin trail, but is melting quickly. There are a couple of washouts along the river: one is  relatively easy to cross, but the second one takes more work so we crossed the river there (around 5800 ft). The river crossing was fine in the morning and afternoon: we were able to step on rocks, with one longer step in the middle.  Good  snow conditions for kicking steps on the way up and glissading down.

We started from White River campground around 8:20am. There was plenty of parking,  and we made good time on the  beautiful Glacier Meadows trail, arriving at the river crossing around 10am.  The snow is melting quickly on the trail and on the banks of the river. We were able to cross without too much trouble, although it took some care to step all on rocks and not in the water; I would not want to do this crossing without poles, though.

We pretty much had the mountain to ourselves from here on. We put on crampons soon afterwards, and headed up to the ridge, gaining it around 7,000ft. The routefinding was relatively straightforward, as Mt. Ruth is right in front of you. We saw marmots, chipmunks and birds on the snow or on the rock outcroppings, and took a snack break on the rocks, arriving at the summit of Mt. Ruth around 1pm. Steamboat Prow looks so close from there! We enjoyed looking at skiers making turns on the Interglacier, as well as a couple of rope teams moving above  Camp Schurman. We pondered how we might climb the Mountain from there... and after estimating that Steamboat Prow would add two hours to the trip we decided to enjoy the sunshine on Ruth some more and head home early. 

For glissades, we found some old, faint chutes but always made sure to check the runout. We had some great runs and got back to the river with no problems. On the hike back on the trail, we admired trilliums and lots of orange peel fungi.  Back at the cars around 4:30. Great trip with a nice group!