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