The maroon rocks of Ruby Ridge are best seen under sunny skies, so given an auspicious forecast we drove south to ascend this minor peak. As well as clear skies, we were also favored with warm weather, a fall day that was superior to many of this year's cool, wet days of summer.
Joining Dinah and I was Ray. Although an experienced hiker, this was his first time hiking off-trail. The first 1.7 km of our trip was on Lineham Trail, but at the high point on the trail we set off up a steep, open slope. The plod to the summit was unremarkable, except for the colorful rocks midway. Less remarkable – and unappreciated – was that much of the rock was scree. When we reached the summit, views were noteworthy, but our attention was focused on the rich red rocks ahead of us: the east end of Ruby Ridge.
To reach the end of the ridge, we had to drop down to a saddle. Before the saddle, however, we had to descend short cliffs on the left side of the ridge, an easy scramble. Afterwards, we sauntered to the east summit, sitting only slightly lower than the west summit.
After a long visit on top, we headed back to the saddle, to a side ridge that snakes down to the road. We weren't sure if a cliff band would stop us, but our descent went without a hitch. Eventually we came to a steep hillside that merged into an equally steep forested slope. Bushwhacking wasn't easy, but it was mercifully short to the road.
We ended up at a parking lot across from an historic site. While Dinah and Ray flopped down on a bench, I dropped my pack and jogged 1.2 km back to the car.
Ascending the open slope above the trail. Mount Lineham behind.
Ray hikes up the red scree.
Colorful rock band
Mount Custer sits at the end of Cameron Lake (mouse over for a close-up).
The grade eases as we near the summit.
The view of Ruby Ridge from the summit
Coming to the cliff bands
The north side of the ridge was an easy scramble.
On a goat track below the cliff bands
Before reaching the saddle, we studied the east summit as well as our descent route: the long ridge in the centre.
On the saddle
Looking back, yellow larches on the saddle contrast with the red argillite.
Mount Blakiston towers above Ruby Lake.
Dinah and Ray on the east summit
Mount Galwey and Belleview Hill
On the east summit
Dinah explores the end of the ridge
Heading to the descent ridge
Looking back at the rock band we circumvented.
The descent ridge stretches back to Ruby Ridge.
Our last leg of the trip includes descending a steep grass slope and bushwhacking to the road.
Sage Creek 82 G/1 and Waterton Lakes82 H/4
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