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[TR] Ruth Peak / Icy Peak Traverse - solo day climb- standard rts. - both peaks 8/6/2005


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Climb: Ruth Peak / Icy Peak Traverse - solo day climb-standard rts. - both peaks


Date of Climb: 8/6/2005


Trip Report:

Saturday, with my climbing partner still on the injured list, I again turned to something more aerobically than technically challenging. The climb up Ruth Peak and then over to Icy Peak was recommended by Erick Johnson as a good, long day. After seeing the nice windbreaks someone had built atop Ruth, though, I realized what a great two-day outing this would make.

Here's a shot of Ruth from the approach trail. The trail moves up the obvious ridge and onto the glacier for a relaxed, easy snow climb. I started from the car at 9:30 a.m. and topped out on Ruth at noon. The whole thing took 11 hours, mainly due to route-finding snafus atop Icy.




I met a friendly group of Ruth summiteers on the way, and spent a nice half-hour with them on top before proceeding to Icy. Here they are starting their snow climb...




Balancing atop Ruth Peak, with Shuksan in the distance, and Baker further beyond...




Goal #2 for the day: Icy Peak as seen from a point about halfway up the slender, and at times exposed, approach ridge that leads to the upper glacier. Icy has a rather complex summit system. In fact, I wasted over three hours exploring the back side of the peak and climbing the wrong summit tower. Suggestion: study the beta on this one carefully before heading out.




After leaving the glacier on Icy, the climber can see the various summit towers from the opposite side of the peak. I mistakenly made a descending traverse across the ice field at lower right, then climbed the right-hand tower only to discover that it wasn't quite as high as the left.




A shot of one of the towers I climbed. It was a fun ridge climb, that trasitioned from class 3 ledges, to a short class 4 section, with some low-5th moves at the top--all wasted effort, of course, since this tower was actually lower than the true summit [grrr!].



Gear Notes:


*axe [needed]

*crampons [not needed]

*2 bananas, box of Safeway generic Pop-Tarts (at best, a pale imitation of the genuine article)


Approach Notes:

bare trail, then glacier, then easy rock--assuming you find the right tower.

Edited by zoroastr
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Re: Mineral Peak - I'm probably heading up that thing again this weekend to do it right, and I'll snap some Mineral Peak shots. I'm not much into peak recognition, and don't have nearly the encyclopedic knowledge of the 'Scades that you have, Klenke, although I'd like to someday. I'm always amazed at the sheer number of your Summitpost entries--strong work! BTW: is that a German name? Wenn ich fragen darf, was ist deine Heimatstadt?


Re: Camera - Canon Powershot A510, the first camera I've ever had that produces something other than just vague blurs.


--Cheers cantfocus.gif


---Here are a couple more snaps, one looking back at Ruth from the upper slopes of Icy and showing the location of the World's Shittiest Gully, the other showing the scones I made before leaving for the hills. Can you tell I haven't had the camera long? Be nice, or I'll start posting my baby pictures--you have been warned....





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Thanks! ...you a fellow tea freak? I caught the bug several years ago when I discovered that the "broken grades" from the Assam region of India have a body and strength that actually make them good substitutes for coffee. I get mine from Upton Tea on the web--a direct importer based on the east coast of the U.S. The china in the pic is my everyday shit; future T.R.'s will feature scone shots showing some of my nicer bone china pieces, which folks started giving me when I got a rep for being a tea fan.

Thanks ... cantfocus.gif

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  • 2 weeks later...

Good Job Zoroastr. I think I also saw you when you were starting the West McMillan spire single day trip as my partner and I were coming out. (I think I recognized you from the picture) Anyway, my father and I are planning on the Ruth Icy traverse tomorrow. We are planning on camping high on Ruth or just over the top more towards Icy. I was wondering if you could draw some arrows on one of your pictures that would help us not get onto the wrong spire when we go for Icy. I have read Becky's description but he describes several turns and "obvious gullies" that may lead me into making a wrong turn. Any help would be appreciated. Thank you.

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Yes, I remember chatting with your party briefly on the West Mac approach. Erick and I were just starting and you were just finishing. That was a great climb, but a long day. Erick ended up with an ankle injury on the hike out. He's over it now.

Anyway, I can forward you the beta Erick sent me when I was preparing for Ruth/Icy--it's got half a dozen or so of his edited snaps with a topo and some descriptive comments. just send me mail and I'll reply with the stuff.


John Cain



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  • 4 months later...

Ruth and Icy are both posted on summitpost.com

That site has helpful info I review along with CC and

guide books that help with route info. Icy is hard to

figure out the correct summit. We found a Register, so

we assumed we found the summit. I posted Icy Peak route

via the North Fork River route. Long way, but so was

via Ruth. By the way, nice pictures! thumbs_up.gif

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