Route Name: Ruth Mountain via Hannegan Pass
Total Miles: 12.00 mi
Gear: Glacier gear brought, crampons may not be necessary, but we're nice to have in case.
Weather: Beautiful sunny day with a few clouds and light breeze
After throwing up the night before and finding my shoulder very sore from a tweaked muscle that wasn't fully healed, I was still determined to go on our outing. I threw on an icy hot patch and met Claire Kamak for our check in.
We reached the trailhead at 7:40 and made our way up the gentle incline to hannegan pass (about 4 mi). A few interesting water crossings with mixed level of snow bridge (one that collapsed between our entrance when I took a picture and exit today). As you move into the valley, you get a beautiful view of Ruth Mtn in all its glory off in the distance as you approach.
Both Claire and I were ready for a good butt kicker to get us into shape, and this one delivered! Snow patches are sparse before hannegan pass, but become full snow fields from there. The boot pack was clear and fairly easy to follow. Be careful of the postholes as the weather stays sunny.
We reached the bottom of the glacier around noon. and roped up and practiced our kiwi coils for a while while grabbing a snack.. From below, we could see indents where crevasses could be covered, but no open crevasses showed near our path. Many people were not roping up, but we wanted to be safe and get some more practice in. Snow was pretty soft by the time we got there. We found one false summit very disappointing as our legs were really starting to be ready for the summit. The second summit was a real summit (yay!) And took another 20 minutes to get to. The true summit has exposed rock and the summit marker showing clearly. It was about 45 minutes from when we roped up to get to the truw summit at 1:20pm.
It was a beautiful day with some soft white clouds around, and a whole panorama of amazing snow capped mountains in every direction. Unfortunately Baker hid it's view behind a cloud while we sat at the summit, but the rest of the mountains shared their splendor! Wow do we live in a beautiful place!
The descent on the glacier was very quick, but the trail hiking in mountaineering boots with windy traverses felt much longer than it had previously. A few snow bridges changed between our arrival and departure.
Overall it was a great day to be outside and a beautiful new mountain neither of us had explored before. Next time we may need to do the Icy Peak Traverse, but for now, this was just what we needed.
When we returned to the trailhead, we also found that we both brought identical car snacks: 1 bag of salt and vinegar chips and 1 bag of peanut butter pretzel bites from trader joes.
In summary, (or tldr) here is a haiku that sums up our trip:
Legs were not ready
Sunburned but no crevasses
Ruth Mountain Summit