Trip: Ruby Mountain (7408') - Northwest Ridge Trip Date: 05/15/2021 Trip Report:
I climbed Ruby Mountain (7408’), Northwest Ridge Route. This is usually referred to as the winter or snow route, although there is snow on all routes right now. I’ve been thinking about climbing this mountain for a while but always thought it would be too short or too easy. It is not short and it is physically demanding. Prepare for a long day and lots of climbing in a short distance. This mountain has some of the best views in the North Cascades.
Weather was perfect, probably about 75 degrees. Snow started at 3800’. Water was scarce after hitting the snow but small amounts can be found coming off the melting snow. Brought crampons but didn’t need them. Snow was soft nearing the summit slope. I brought a trekking pole and a Whippet. I broke the bottom off the trekking pole on the way down. An ice axe would have been useful. I spent an hour off track on the downhill. Somehow I went down an attached ridge that overlooked the Diablo Lake lookout. I had to cross steep side hill snow to get back on route, which sucked.
Some Tips and Notes:
1. This is a long day trip. Took me 12 hours. I’m not a cyborg or super slow, somewhere in the middle.
2. Follow the faint climbers trail going up through the steep rock sections.
3. There are several flat areas heading up the ridge that would work well for camping.
4. An ice axe would be a good idea to bring along, as the snow gets pretty steep in sections.
5. Snow starts at 3800’ and water supply is very limited after.
6. The summit ridge is class 2 with a few sections of class 3 on fairly loose rock.
Travel Time for reference: Car to Summit 8 hours – Summit to car 4.5 hours
Gear used: Trekking Pole, Whippet, Helmet & Work Gloves.
View on the way up. Colony Peak, Paul Bunyan's Stump & Snowfield Peak in the back.
View heading up to the top of the Northwest Ridge.
Summit Ridge & Summit.
View looking down the Northwest Ridge.
View looking North from the summit. Great mountain for scouting future climbs with mountain views 360 degrees.
Expanded View looking west on the way down. Left to Right - Primus Peak, Tricouni Peak, Snowfield Peak, Colony Peak, Paul Bunyan's Stump.
Gear used: Trekking Pole, Whippet, Helmet & Work Gloves. An ice axe would be a good idea to bring along. Approach Notes:
I parked in a turnout on the north side off of Hwy 20. The turnout is 2.8 miles past the Colony Creek Campground heading east and .4 miles from the John Pierce waterfall bridge heading west. The route starts across the highway at 1900’ on the left side of a boulder field. A faint climbers trail is present that leads around the numerous steep rock sections. It would be a good idea to keep a GPS track going up to retrace the route on the way down. I didn’t and it added to the adventure.