Ruby is a classic backcountry destination in the North Cascades. The top elevation is just about 7200ft, and through the spring it holds snow at higher elevations. Ben, Jon, Dylan and I headed up for what would be Ben, Dylan, and I’s second attempt to hit the summit this year. In February, we were forced off due to wet slides and rapid warming.
To get there: Driving out HW-20 through Newhalem until the road closes at the Ross Lake Resort Trailhead. Mount up and walk up the passed the road closed sign.
Tour: There are two options for beginning the tour from the road. The first is to head right off the road, through the campground. At some point you’ll find a wooden boardwalk described in . The better option we have found is to continue down the road to mile marker 135. Here, take a right and head 100 yards up hill through the shire and you’ll hit the trail. This second approach is best in later spring when the trail isn’t covered at lower elevations.
We threw skis and boots on our pack and headed up the trail, which will take you through a series of meadows and open slopes until you reach the bottom of the valley below the north face of Ruby. The route finding can be a little difficult, and its nice to have the GPS coordinates which I tracked here: https://www.gaiagps.com/datasummary/track/77a5e44e537ee5b691ce757b28282741/
Skin up the left side of the gladded slopes until you reach the col under the North face. To best track up takes the moderate terrain to the top of the ridge, which you then skirt left of the summit.
Descent: We did a first lap down to the col, shown above, then back up to the top before heading all the way down. We took a line down the ravine far to skiers left. To connect into the ravine, cross some off fall line slopes until you are under the toe at the base of the north face.