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[TR] Ruth, Mineral, and the not so Easy way to Easy Peak - Mineral Mountain High Route 08/12/2023


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Trip: Ruth, Mineral, and the not so Easy way to Easy Peak - Mineral Mountain High Route

Trip Date: 08/12/2023

Trip Report:


"This route goes from Hannegan Pass to join the Easy Ridge High Route.  It is an arduous approach to the Northern Pickets. The most gruesome moments of green hell and cliffs are at Chilliwack Pass: the rest is alpine nectar."


      - Routes and Rocks In the Mt. Challenger Quadrangle.  Tabor and Crowder. 1968

And so it goes- the yin and yang of North Cascades High routes.  I like "alpine nectar" as much as anyone, and so does @BrettS, so we chose to ignore the first part of that description and headed out to find out for ourselves.  As expected with a description like that, NOCA permits in Glacier were a breeze. A welcome break from the madness of Saturday mornings in Marblemount. 

Then ......we went into the hills for three days and walked a lot - sometimes on a trail, sometimes hovering over the ground on brush, sometimes skipping through alpine meadows that would make @rat break out in song.  We had nice camps, we had tunes, we had whiskey and too much camera gear.  The verdict- either we are getting toughened up, or forgetful, but I don't think either of us found the crux to be much of a "green hell"- more "black flies and heat" hell.  Regardless, the trip certainly traverses some of the more scenic ridge lines in the range, and exit out Easy Ridge is especially, well, easy.  Same with the entry via Hannegan Pass and Mount Ruth. The middle involves..... some shenanigans, but you knew that. Pretty pictures never tell the full story in the North Cascades.

Both our camps near Ruth and on the summit of Easy Peak were highlights, as was the midday swim in the tarn below Easy Peak.  Lowlights, as mentioned earlier, were the heat and bugs.  But, having the Tom Selleck of the alpine along made it all seem like a breeze.

Ruth from Hannegan trail:


Alpine nectar!





Blum and Icy:


Go do the North Ridge of Blum!


Slesse, the Haunted House of the Chilliwack:


If you see this, you are about to start the shenanigans:



The view distracts from the sidehill of green steepness:


@BrettS past most of the shenanigans:


This summer has been really hard on the glaciers:



Crowder and Pioneer in front of the Southern Pickets:


Get your autograph pens ready!


Rare @JasonG sighting in the wild:


Alpine nectar!


Summit of Easy Peak:


Southern Pickets:


Pioneer and the mysterious depths of the Baker River:


Late season insanity around Kulshan and Shuksan:


Tomyhoi at sunset:


I've never seen Challenger looking so grim:


Putting in the work on the photos....Now do you see why I carry that yellow pad?


The smoke teased, but never fully engulfed us:


Looking across the border into Canada, where there is another fire:


A tad soft, unfortunately, but the Hozomeens at sunrise:


Spickard and the Mox Peaks:


Alpine Nectar!







Gear Notes:
We were able to avoid all ice and didn't need anything other than helmets. No glacier gear needed if you go around on Ruth

Approach Notes:
Follow Tabor and Crowder. Find yourself a copy of Routes and Rocks!

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Actually, I didn't.... I was more going for who is the least likely on this board to skip through alpine meadows in song? As you know, Easy Ridge is that pleasant.  I picked you, but please provide someone less likely, if it's not @rat

But I do agree that the classic photo of @layton is a great visual for my description!

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On 9/6/2023 at 7:48 AM, geosean said:

Wow, you make this sound easy! So did you summit Ruth from climber's left of the glacier? 

Oh yeah, and did you do the "more secure route" or the "more exposed route" up Mineral? Per Crowder and Tabor.

Yeah,  we snuck around to Ruth summit via climbers left traverse on a bench just below the ice.  The glacier was in very poor shape,  as you can see.

We went with the more exposed route up to Mineral,  naturally, which seemed like a good thing to "experience".  What level of "green hell" are we talking anyways?

It turned out to only have a couple moves of exposed 3rd/4th and relatively short stretches of full contact 'schwacking. Well, if you're used to that sort of thing.  It might all seem a tad worse if you're from CA or CO.

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On 9/11/2023 at 10:21 AM, Kameron said:

We walked across the left arm of ice and around the backside of the cliff to get to the top.

Yep, we went below the ice and the same to the top after dropping our overnight gear.  First time for me going up that way and very easy.  It will likely be the new standard late season route up Ruth.  Crazy how much it has changed in the 25 years or so that I've been going up there!

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