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Author Topic: October 10, 2012, Ruth Mountain  (Read 2259 times)
iluka
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October 10, 2012, Ruth Mountain
« on: 10/10/12, 09:46 PM »

With the weather expected to change later this week and no more opportunities to get in October turns after the expected wet weekend, I opted to head out today. Having done the Sholes and Rainbow Glaciers twice in the past 5 weeks, I decided to head for Ruth Mountain and was not disappointed.

With the exception of two small, very firm patches of snow, the approach is entirely snow free until the last bit to the summit. The steep trail heading up out of the Hannegan Pass area is in horrible condition but before and after that it's in great shape. Continuous snow starts about 900-1000 feet below the summit.

Upon arriving at the base of the snow, my mojo for the descent started to wane quite a bit. The slope is dead north facing and it was apparent from the arc of the sun that it was not getting much direct light this time of year. I had visions of repeating the experience of the Hadley Glacier crew from last weekend.  Crampons (on the boots) were necessary for the ascent. Sensing that the turns coming down would downright unpleasant, I started a lot of mental shenanigans trying to figure out what actually constituted a day of skiing and, therefore, would qualify for getting this month in. What if I just get to the top of the peak with skis along on the pack and walk down? Is one turn enough or does it need to be more? Does it require a certain amount of vertical?

Surprisingly, as I got to the flat section at the top, the snow softened up quite a bit and I could put those thoughts away. Ascending the last bit towards the rock scramble to the summit (3.5 hours to the top), I eyed an east facing slope that appeared to go quite a ways down that had likely been in the sun all morning. The slope proved to be great. I skied down about 800 feet on a flat surface up high and minimal sun cups down low with soft snow the entire way. Probably could have eked out another 100-200 feet as well. It was good enough to warrant a second 600 foot lap.

Once back at the top after the second lap, I skied down the first 150 feet of my ascent route. My thoughts about the slope from earlier in the day were confirmed as the soft snow up high gave way to a very firm, sun cupped surface. Having already gotten nearly 1400 feet of turns in, I declared victory and opted to boot down with crampons on. Skiing would have been very unpleasant.  From the bottom of the slope, it was about 2 hours and 15 minutes back to the trailhead.

A great day with beautiful fall colors to make it 12 months in a row!


* Ruth_Summit.jpg (60.88 KB, 640x480 - viewed 1216 times.)

* Ready_to_Descend.jpg (195.05 KB, 1000x750 - viewed 1227 times.)

* Turns_off_the_top_of_Ruth.jpg (173.42 KB, 1000x750 - viewed 1225 times.)
« Last Edit: 10/10/12, 10:09 PM by iluka » Logged

Yet another trip I've skied up something I can't ski down!
jtack
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Posts: 665


Re: October 10, 2012, Ruth Mountain
« Reply #1 on: 10/11/12, 08:36 AM »

I have been wondering about Ruth, thanks for the report.
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-Josh-
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Re: October 10, 2012, Ruth Mountain
« Reply #2 on: 10/11/12, 10:20 AM »

Well done! I gave up on Ruth months ago
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Might not be the fastest but I get where I'm going!
telemack
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Posts: 1622


Re: October 10, 2012, Ruth Mountain
« Reply #3 on: 10/11/12, 04:26 PM »

Good solo effort to hit for the TAY cycle!   Cool   Travel rate sounded fast.
Was your E slope the sunlit face on the left of the first pic?  We've looked at that in past years. 
Hopefully we won't HAVE to go there in November. 
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There is no cure for birth and death save to enjoy the interval.
George Santayana
iluka
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Posts: 179


Re: October 10, 2012, Ruth Mountain
« Reply #4 on: 10/11/12, 04:41 PM »

Was your E slope the sunlit face on the left of the first pic?  We've looked at that in past years. 
Hopefully we won't HAVE to go there in November. 
The east facing slope I skied is not quite visible. I started from just below the summit scramble and dropped on the other side of the ridge behind the sun-covered slope you see lower down on the left. Right below the summit, you can see the very top of what I skied but it goes out of sight after that.

Let's hope that we are not, in fact, heading back here in November!
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Yet another trip I've skied up something I can't ski down!
James Wells
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Posts: 487


Re: October 10, 2012, Ruth Mountain
« Reply #5 on: 10/11/12, 06:43 PM »

On a view day, the top of Ruth is one of the best places in the world to be.  Great trip and glad it worked out.

Just a little walk back out, eh?
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mikerolfs
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WWW
Re: October 10, 2012, Ruth Mountain
« Reply #6 on: 10/11/12, 08:41 PM »

Very nice!  Looks like you and I had the same weather and ski experiences from different parts of the state.
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Lynden Don
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Posts: 110


Re: October 10, 2012, Ruth Mountain
« Reply #7 on: 10/17/12, 04:36 AM »

Way to go on the first year, thanks for the pictures of Ruth.  It makes me want to ski it again


Don
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If you're not falling down you're not skiing enough.
danpeck
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Posts: 504


Re: October 10, 2012, Ruth Mountain
« Reply #8 on: 10/17/12, 10:10 PM »

I have to do Ruth.  It is calling.

If I get turns in this Oct. it will be my first complete year in about 15 years.  I hope the window in my life opens up Smiley 

Congratulations on your first 12 months.
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