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|-+  2004 Backcountry Trip Reports
| |-+  July-August 2004 Backcountry Trip Reports
| | |-+  July 5, 2004, Ruth Mtn.
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Author Topic: July 5, 2004, Ruth Mtn.  (Read 1978 times)
Alan Brunelle

Posts: 383

July 5, 2004, Ruth Mtn.
« on: 07/06/04, 06:42 PM »

This was my first time to this beautiful location.  The guide doesn't do this site justice regarding the position that this hike puts the skier or climber in.  Awesome!  The skiing was not bad either, with generally clear skies and soft snow.  Some cracks were evident on the glacier and slightly sunken bands in other locations suggest that other crevasses will open soon.  Still the coverage was pretty good from a first timers perspective and if needed, numerous gullies could have been followed all the way down into the bottom of the Ruth glacier cirque.  The other pair of skiers I met suggested that earlier in the season would have guaranteed a ski all the way down into the camp site area.  I'll definitely revisit this next year.

The views of Nooksack Cirque makes me appreciate the Shuksan to Icy/Ruth traverse described earlier in the year on this site.  The degree of shattered glaciers makes me wonder exactly what route was taken on this journey.  I know that a straight-on perspective of a mountain can lead to a false impression of the steepness of terrain, (map contours suggest that the terrain is not radically steep) but the amount of shattered ice speaks volumes to the amount activity for the whole region below Ragged Ridge.  Scary!

The only negative was on the approach above Hannigan Pass.  This old tread is extremely worn and muddy.  My concern is the damage to the vegetation and the erosion that this section will now suffer even if no travel occurred from now on.  I know that the forest service may not want an official trail there, but they also ought to recognize that Ruth is a common destination and that people are going to travel there one way or the other.  I would have called the forest service to voice my opinion, but luckily I met a couple of skiers, one a forest service employee, who also was appalled.  He will make his and my voice known.


Posts: 223

Re: July 5, 2004, Ruth Mtn.
« Reply #1 on: 07/07/04, 02:44 AM »

Nice report, thanks.
Approximately how many miles above the TH did you find snow? (I've been thinking about going up Ruth for a while now...)
Alan Brunelle

Posts: 383

Re: July 5, 2004, Ruth Mtn.
« Reply #2 on: 07/07/04, 03:06 AM »

The first significant snow starts just as you reach below the cliffs south of the pass.  It is not continuous until you round the corner to the ridge connecting to Ruth proper.  Neither I nor the other skiers skied the snow along the ridge, the bootpath off snow was more efficient than donning skins.  So that limits the skiing to the slopes immediately on Ruth.  I don't know how long the gullys below the glacier will be continuous for a full descent into the valley.

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