Ruby Mountain by Ross Lake / 靠羅斯湖的紅寶石山

After last weekend’s hike up to Sourdough Mountain, I craved for more spectacular views into the North Cascades. So this week, I narrowed down my choices to Davis Peak and Ruby Mountain in the same area. But I chose the latter because it was less technical.

Kodak moment on Ruby Mountain
Kodak moment on Ruby Mountain

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Ruby Mountain at a Glance

Access: Highway 20 near Diablo Lake Overlook
Round Trip: TBD
Elevation Range: 1620′-7408′
Gear: helmet, ice ax
GPS Track: available
Dog-Friendly: with guidance

Highway 20

David Peak will have to wait. It looked technical from the pictures I found in a trip report. The men roped up near the peak. I didn’t know how to use a rope. Even if I did, I was sure that it would be feasible for the two pups. So Ruby Mountain, it was!

The entrance was right off Highway 20 east of the boulder field. It was steep from the get-go. Then it continued up the forest steadily. Snow appeared at 3000’ as the path dwindled. But I held off putting on the snowshoes for another 400’, hoping I wouldn’t need to use them. But who was I to kid?

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Ruby Mountain Northwest Ridge

Getting up to the ridge at 4,000’ was laborious. What looked like moderate terrain on the map turned out steep. I brought trekking poles but ended up using just the ice ax. So far, I haven’t been very good at breaking trail in the forest without feeling disoriented. So I relied heavily on the GPS device.

But once we went up to 5400’, things then started to look promising. There I was able to see precisely where we were on the ridge. Or where we needed to go. By then, Ruby Mountain was also in full view. So it got me even more pumped about making it up to the top.

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Onward to Point 6315

We continued on the ridgeline and then started traveling southeast. By now, we were walking in packed snow. But it was starting to become very warm. So on the way down, we would likely be snowshoeing in slush. There were some clouds in the sky earlier. But they have since dissipated.

It felt very calm and peaceful. And the only noises we heard were the occasional snow bombs and planes flying overhead. The dogs were having a blast chasing around each other. We slowly made our way up to Point 6315. Then from there, I could see most peaks in the north.

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The Final Stretch on Ruby Mountain

The remaining 800’ of the climb was steep. Cornices were now covering the ridgeline up to the radio tower. They spilled over the steep north face. So we moved very carefully through here. But we stayed as close as possible to the tree line. So we would avoid any catastrophe!

For the final 200’, I did not want to go straight up the ridgeline. So instead, we went around the backside. That way, we would be away from the steep terrain and the cornices completely. Once I spotted the radio tower, I knew we were here, finally!

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Ruby Mountain Summit Plus Views

We stayed at the top just long enough to eat and take pictures. The views were above and beyond my expectations. They looked even more spectacular than on Sourdough Mountain. Jack Mountain was in full view. It looked like it could be a project this summer.

As I gawked at the landscape around us in amazement, I noticed something looming above the top of Ross Lake. A double-peak structure, unlike anything I had seen before. But it looked so impressive! I wonder if people climb those?! Damn, it’s so far away, though.

Outro

It took us four hours to get off the mountain. Then we got back to the car just before dark. See you around, Ruby!

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