Trip Report    

Alpine Scramble - Steamboat Prow & Mount Ruth

Warm temperatures got you down? Cozy up to a cubic mile of ice! A great fall day with stunning vistas in all directions (lead photo by Daniel Moon).

  • Road suitable for all vehicles
  • Close to perfect conditions.  Crossing opportunities of the Inter Fork are not plentiful, yet we were able to find a spot.  Go soon (before fall snows) and you’ll have a great time with just poles and a helmet for the few short bits of rock scrambling.  A boot track for almost the entire cross country portion (Glacier Basin on up) is becoming quite established (although it is easy to lose in places).

Anticipating a long day, we headed out from the White River Campground at ~7AM to compensate for the shorter days.  After a short distance of trail hiking Steamboat Prow comes into view (the highest non-Rainier summit just left of the fir tree):


Shortly after crossing the Inter Fork is some historic mining machinery:


After reaching the ridge crest we had ~15mph winds to keep us cool as we plodded upward.  From the summit of Mount Ruth you get a unique aerial view of the three Burroughs Mountains…


… as well as a chance to ponder the final ~1000’ of gain to the summit of Steamboat Prow:


The only rock scrambling was this short bit just WSW of Mount Ruth:


With rapidly thinning air the final part was a bit of a grind, yet we were soon at our destination…


… and a chance to enjoy the well deserved views:


After a leisurely lunch (all bundled up against the winds) we headed down and made good time back to the cars:


Our total time for the day was just under 10 hours (car to car), with just under 6 hours for the ascent to Steamboat Prow (a good time for this 12 mile/5500’ elevation gain day).  Photos from this and other trips to this venue can be seen here.