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NWAC Avalanche
+  Turns All Year Trip Reports
|-+  2010 Backcountry Trip Reports
| |-+  April 2010 Backcountry Trip Reports
| | |-+  4/16, Ruth Mountain
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Author Topic: 4/16, Ruth Mountain  (Read 2787 times)

Posts: 2

4/16, Ruth Mountain
« on: 04/17/10, 01:15 PM »

This is my first trip report so bare with me -
I went for a ski on Ruth Mountain yesterday. The Hannegan Pass rd is open up to about 3/4 mile from the trailhead. I would think that with the warm, wet weather this weekend it should be passable to the trailhead by Monday.
The snow in the valley was very firm on the skin up. After the first mile or two in the trees there is significant slide debris along the majority of the  trail, making following the mid-slope trail difficult. After about 45 minutes of struggle I opted to drop down into the valley bottom and bushwack up the creek. Staying low was definitely the ticket as far as safety and speed go, I wish I had done it sooner.
Having left the trail I decided to skip the approach via Hannegan pass. I skinned up to the head of the valley in hopes of a more direct route. The route up from the base of the valley to the ridge leading to the summit was straight forward although hard snow conditions persisted so I opted to boot pack up the steeper bits. Once on the ridge I was able to skin the rest of the way to summit. It took me a little less than 5 hours from car to summit.
I had heard good things about the views but I was still blown away - 360 degree views of the N. cascades on a bluebird day is about as good as it gets. The view of Shucksan was particularly impressive. So after kicking myself for leaving the camera in the truck I started my descent. After the boilerplate conditions I encountered on the hike up I expected some survival skiing on the way down but I was pleased to find that everything had softened up nicely, making for soft corn turns from top to bottom. With lots of time on my hands and a beautiful day, I took my time on the skin out. It took about 2.5 hours to make it back to the car.
This was my first trip to Ruth and I would highly recommend it. If you don't mind a long-ish approach (about 10 miles round trip to and from the base of Ruth) its a straight forward trip with big pay-off in summit views and a nice ski descent.

Posts: 95

Re: 4/16, Ruth Mountain
« Reply #1 on: 04/17/10, 03:53 PM »

Thanks, WMD! I was having some misgivings about my chosen destination for tomorrow and your TR enabled me to reconsider my choices since Ruth was on my short list anyway. N
Snow Bell

Posts: 533

Re: 4/16, Ruth Mountain
« Reply #2 on: 04/18/10, 08:48 PM »

Thanks for sharing wmd.   (I also love WMD's)
Bring back pictures next time.

Life is going to slide by you one way or another

Posts: 95

Re: 4/16, Ruth Mountain
« Reply #3 on: 04/19/10, 09:54 AM »

Update 4/18. An invisible hand has placed a huge boulder 1/2 mi before TH. You can drive around it but then there is a patch of snow only a truck with very high clearance can cross, and after it brown and more snow. First couple of miles you have to alternate between skin and carry all the time (or skin on brown). I broke a pole crossing one of the avalanche swaths, pushed on for another mile, and turned back. Funny how much extra work a missing pole adds... WMD is right: staying low at creek level is a little better. Another party of three telemarkers went on--not sure if they summited. Low avalanche forecast notwithstanding, some lines off the summit looked rather questionable given the very high morning temperatures. Constant loud sluffs off Nooksac Ridge. Otherwise Ruth and Shuksan looked their gorgeous best. N
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