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Ruth Mountain with Mountain Madness

Learning the Ropes on Ruth Mountain

View of Ruth Moun­tain on the approach. Niels Mey­er photo

After our morn­ing gear check in Seat­tle Mike, Pete and Moun­tain Mad­ness guide Niels Mey­er head­ed to Ruth Moun­tain for our Intro to Moun­taineer­ing course. Mike and Pete are Seat­tle locals inter­est­ed in alpine climb­ing and moun­taineer­ing and they want­ed to learn foun­da­tion­al skills before head­ing into the alpine on their own.

Pete and Mike on the climber’s trail. Niels Mey­er photo

With a threat of rain and low clouds in the fore­cast we were excit­ed to arrive at the trail­head with blue skies spot­ted with a few clouds to help keep us cool. We cruised the approach trail to our camp below Ruth Moun­tain and that evening head­ed up towards the glac­i­er to col­lect water and get a look around. After a les­son on glaciol­o­gy over din­ner we head­ed to our tents and called it a day.

Our camp and climb­ing route up Ruth. Niels Mey­er photo

We were up ear­ly the next morn­ing and, after a quick break­fast, hiked to the base of glac­i­er. On our way up, we dis­cussed how to rope up for glac­i­er trav­el and oth­er essen­tial skills such as how to self-arrest, walk­ing on snow and what to do if one of us fell into a crevasse. Our ascent to the top was beau­ti­ful and we delved into some more advanced moun­taineer­ing skills when we had to descend into and climb out of a gap­ing bergschrund.

Pete and the bergschrund. Niels Mey­er photo

Cloudy skies cleared as we approached the sum­mit and Mount Shuk­san and Bak­er came into full view. Ruth was the ide­al moun­tain for Pete and Mike’s first alpine climb. It is a small moun­tain with a big moun­tain feel, per­fect for train­ing! We nav­i­gat­ed crevass­es, prac­ticed walk­ing as rope team and scram­bled alpine rock on our last pitch to the summit.

Last push to the sum­mit. Niels Mey­er photo

Mike and Pete tak­ing in the stun­ning view on top of Ruth Moun­tain after their first glac­i­er climb! Niels Mey­er photo

Breath­tak­ing panora­ma. Niels Mey­er photo

After descend­ing to our camp we packed up and head­ed back to Seat­tle, already think­ing about our next adven­ture into the mountains.

~ MM Guide Niels Meyer

See ya next time Ruth! Niels Mey­er photo