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Trip Report    

Ruth Mountain & Icy Peak Traverse

We climbed August 23-24. Weather cool & clear Saturday and most of Sunday with increasing clouds Sunday late afternoon. Snow conditions satisfactory in the mornings and softer in the afternoons. No bugs.

We began walking at 9:30am, arrived Hannegan Pass at 11:30am, ascended the steep gully clearly visibile on climbers left, and then continued along boot path to the base of Ruth. We roped up to climb Ruth as Crevasses were evident. Arrived at Ruth summit at 2:30pm. We followed the bootpath down to the saddle and then over to the campsite arriving at 3:00pm.

After setting up camp we found scouted for water nearby in a streamlet running from under the snow (marked with cairns). Next we investigated the descent route to the saddle between Ruth & Icy. Cairns mark the entry to the boot path in the middle of the camp site bench.

Sunday morning we started walking at 4:00am, descending with head lamps and continued on across the saddle to the base of Icy Peak. We roped up again and ascended the glacier staying close to the rock spine on climbers left and once above the large cravasse we worked laterally to the right paralleling a long narrower crevasse just above. We made a hairpin turn (to climbers left) around the end of the narrow crevasse and below another large crevasse; this section was steeper and traversing above the narrow crevasse encouraged picket placements. Once above the large crevasse we made another hairpin turn (back to climbers right), and from there it was a simple walk (further to climbers right) to the ridge leading up to the summit block.

We left glacier gear here (bring prussiks!), and scrambled the boot path up the far side of the ridge to the base of the climb (the first large grey gully). A rope lead trailed a 60m glacier rope as she scrambled up the gully and secured the rope to the rappel anchors. Others followed choosing whether or not to use a prussik on the hand line. The gulley rock is fairly solid but is loose on either side so stay on the well worn ascent route. It's a good idea to keep very careful watch for falling rock and to have party members stay out of the fall line. We arrived at the summit at 9:30am.

We rapped down the summit block (60m glacier rope or doubled 30m ropes work fine), scrambled to our glacier gear, descended the glacier, traversed the saddle between Icy & Ruth and scrambled back up to camp arriving at 12:30pm.

Began walking from camp at 1:30pm and arrived at the TH at 6:30pm. Rather than traverse around Ruth was ascended the boot trail to the summit and then retraced our steps from Saturday back to the base of Ruth. The steep gully down toward Hannegan pass was not difficult to navigate, given veggie belays on either side.

A drenching thundershower passed overhead after we had arrived at the TH, so we ducked into our cars and headed back to Seattle. With a relatively short approach, this climb gets into some exceptionally scenic alpine almost before you know it.