North Cascades, Washington
August 3 - 4, 2005
Dave Svilar, Erik Larson
|Ruth Mt - Looks like a big snowcone. After hiking up the left skyline we bivied on the rocky summit.|
Erik and I yet to make our annual summer hiking trip and time was running out. Soon I would be succombing to the horrendous idea of going back to work in Colorado even though it was August. In better times Erik and I saw each other on at least a daily basis, but times and circumstances had changed and one trip to the mountains per year was the best we could muster.
My legs were tired, a common theme for the summer, so we decided on the mellow, but gorgeous Ruth Mountain. The mountain itself is rather unremarkable as it resembles more of a snowcone than the normal death-defying North Cascade peak. What distinguishes Ruth is its position amongst other giants of the Cascades. An easy snow walk over a glacier puts you on a summit with mind-boggling views. One can look down a long valley towards the Northern and Southern Pickets and Mt Triumph or turn your head slightly and take in might Mt Blum and neighbor Icy Peak. If Canada is your thing turn your head and look north towards Redoubt, Slesse, and the Border Peaks. That's if you can take your eyes off one of this country's (yes, this country's) most spectacular sights - the Nooksak cirque. Mountain people often call Mt Shuksan one of the country's finest looking peaks, and that opinion is based on the west side of the peak. From the north it looks even better with the North Face, Price Glacier, Nooksak Tower and the rest of the cirque just daring someone to be stupid enough to venture near.
We left the flies and trees behind with plenty of time to enjoy our summit bivy. The night was perfect, the views lived up to their billing and the company, as usual when Erik and I hit the mountains, was even better.
|Erik, still uncertain of how to hold a camera. Not shown: 64 flies munching on Erik's legs.|
|Erik purposely ascends the mini-snow slog glacier.|
|View from my bivy sack. Shuksan actually appears closer when not viewed through 20mm lens.|
|We were blessed with not only great views, but an abnormally stellar sunset.|
|Erik meanders around camp with Icy Peak in the background.|
|Our two bivy sacks comfortably situated on the summit.|
|How can a guy sleep in with a view like that?|
|While Erik slept in I took pictures of myself. How many male models actually shoot themselves?|
|Erik pauses for one last look at Shuksan.|
|Not in Newcastle anymore. Dirt roads proved tough for the urbanized 4runner.|