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Trip Report    

Winter Scramble - Ruby Mountain

Awesome 2 day high elevation scramble adventure!

  • Road suitable for all vehicles
  • Thunder Creek and Panther arm trails very good but the unmaintained Ruby trail well served its reputation.  However - that said and after 254 trees across trail hopping fun it’s an easy to follow route almost all the way to the summit.

    snow encountered well above 4k feet which helped with the unmaintained trail part.  Definitely a few tree holes to jump through but once on the main buttress SE ridge it’s all snow and steps to the main summit ridge.  The summit ridge (NW-SE) did have narrow snow free walkway to avoid very large cornices which were melting fast!

    summit snow covered except for patch of rocks and colony of ladybugs :) 



We decided to pivot on original plans to summit via Happy Creek which we heard had lot of early melt and brushbash.  Other climber who also submitted same day from that direction said it wasn’t too bad but regardless we thought the south route via Thunder Creek and camping at 4th of July CG was well worth the views and effort.  While longer yes - you get an amazing and spacious camp, clean toilet, flowing stream, and amazing sunrise to sunset views in one weekend!

The unmaintained Ruby trail isn’t that bad and was lot better from route descriptions.  Even without the small flagging placed by others  it was easy to pick our path through the 254 tree blowdowns and snow patches.  Definitely watch for snow holes that gobble up feet and puppies :). That said this trip and trail are dog friendly and my little boy really helped sniff out the small path finding we did do.  The upper trail was snow covered so we avoided following GPS and veered NE direction (climbers right) onto nice smooth ridge ramp with small ups grippy rock.  Upper slopes as indicated above were snow covered but provided easy route finding with existing steps all the way to summit.  Don’t be fooled by the first ridge that appears to lead to summit - it leads to the actual summit ridge which goes up a bit further and more of an NW walk along the steep ridge.

there were amazing views and even in summer or earlier months I’d highly recommend the climb.  Great group of Mountaineer friends also helps.

One lesson learned was that if approaching via the south it is recommended to make camp day 1 then summit next day as the camp to summit day still took close to 5hrs up/3 hrs down!  About 2-2.5 hrs in and outta camp at 4th July CG.  We had planned for one day summit then camp but decided to rest and soak in the amazing camp - even a quick shower in PNW stream!