ok .. so a friend when hearin about our plans and encouraging us to go .. says, “you should have a blast up at ruth.” hmmm fm whose perspective i started to wonder as time went on ... obviously his .. a skier … this being a grand playground; but for us with boots .. more like work ... though we did have our moments of pure joy for sure ...
the approach along the nooksack river is very scenic to say the least .. first ya gotta hike up to hannegan pass (mostly snow free now) .. not sooo bad .. though they did save the steepest part for last .. nothing new for the nw. but the climb up to the “hump” esp with packs was just plain BAD ASS (only 1 night but still you gotta take the essentials right? .. all 99 of em .. even though i shaved off as many oz as possible it still felt like a ton – and with cameras strapped to our chests too) .. think ya call this a vegetable belay?? .. over mud and loose rock .. pullin yourself up a narrow gully (partly the summer trail) -- the axes came in handy here .. for counterbalance. and then a brief stretch of scary traverse on wet snow .. with a short runout over rock .. ouch .. but finally onto a beautiful saddle at the foot of ruth .. mostly snow, but surprisingly some bare spots (the best already taken by a group of 9 climbers w/4 tents) with heather startin to peek through – even bloomin some .. so we camped on snow and tried hard not to trample these fragile survivors.
sat eve we walked up to the top of the hump for grand views and to watch and film the sunset …. and moonrise … AWESOME!!
sun we woke up at 4:30am to shoot the eastern glow, again at 5:30 for the rise, on the mountain around 7:30 -- beating everyone – xcept 2 guys headed for icy who took a hard right midway, then on the summit by 8:30 (an ez climb – stay on the ridge w/o ropes .. as cracks are just beginning to appear on either side), and stayed up top til 10:15 ... with ruth all to ourselves .. SWEET!!!!
the views both days … spectacular .. craggy old man shuksan with his flowin white beard .. in your face .. and ruth .. the gentle unassuming maiden ... and the lady baker lookin over their shoulders .. geez .. but the views from the summit .. UNBELIEVABLE .. with icy and the nooksack cirque and challenger and redoubt and blum and glacier and rainier and canada and a thousand other peaks .. in every direction … definitely a lot of bang for your buck ..
i don’t know .. maybe RT about 12 mi, total gain 5300’
high point: ruth’s summit at 7115’
ok magellan and others .. gear .. pons opt .. we took them along as we always like to climb early and the forecast called for freezing sat nite (NOT) ... so debated whether or not to use them on the climb .. the snow at 7am was hard and crusty (not icy), but you could still kick step wi some slippin .. the guys headin over to icy were in boots, but slower than us .. we decided to cheat and go with em .. robert experienced some ballin up .. not sure why just him on one foot and me not at all .. but it was enough for me to think about packin em away .. he said no as it was not enough .. so imo this ultimately made the climb a breeze for us (with no slippin) .. descending at 10:15 the snow was already soft and we plunged and glissaded; no rope is required if you stay on the well-traveled ridge (even with the turn-off to icy all climbers weren't roped on the high traverse) -- i think this would be wiser later esp when venturing over the glacier; the icy climb might be a different situation .. as i read a report fm a year ago -- i think on cc -- they roped up for it .. anyway that's all i can input .. thanks for the nice comments .. i really lucked out on this trip with the camera ..
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