(all pictures are low res, for high res click here)
Diane, Damon, and myself decided it was time we climbed a peak by ourselves. We had previously planned to climb Mt. Hood, but the climbing accident of the previous week forced us to change our mind. Therefore, we looked thru our climbing books for a climb that could be completed in one day, and we decided on Ruth Mountain. So, I woke up before the birds (3:00 am) and picked up Damon and Diane. We headed off to the trailhead, and started climbing around 7:00 am. Unfortunately, the road was blocked by snow, so we had to hike to the trailhead .
As we started hiking, we realized that this climb was going to be fun, as the views started great and just didn't stop . At about 8:30, we finally saw our first peak at the mountain (with Damon standing in front) . The approach was taking a very long time and we were getting very anxious. Hannegan Pass is the starting point for the climb up Ruth Mountain, but we didn't quite know where it was as the trail was not well marked. So we decided to climb straight up a snow ridge (about 2,000 vertical feet) with the sun blazing down on us. it was so hot, it felt like the desert - however there were beautiful waterfalls along the way to tempt our thirst. Anyway, after busting our butts for 2 hours, we arrived at the top of the ridge for this view .
At the top of the ridge, Damon took some GPS readings and discovered that we were a couple ridges from Hannegan Pass. :-( We were bummed, but we ate lunch and headed directly for Hannegan Pass. As we hiked, the terrain became classic mountaineering terrain , and Mt. Shuksan finally came into view (the pointy ridge) . We kept climbing along , and the views kept getting better (panoramic picture) .
Finally, we reached a point where we had to downclimb to the pass . At the pass , we realized that we wouldn't have enough time to try a summit attempt and reach the car by dark. Reluctantly, we hiked back to the car with hopes of climbing Ruth Mountain another day.