Nic Leading P1
Nic leading P1, at the wide corner crux.
Following P1. The right side would be easier but is extremely rotten. Better to chimney & lieback the block on the left.
Following P1 at the wide corner crux.
Looking down the P2 chimney. I hand hauled my back up this and then stepped right to continue on easy terrain. The chimney itself has no pro except the entry & exit and a midway point where you could step right (harder). Nic could follow well with his pack by stepping right after cleaning, then stepping left back in to back clean my next piece, before continuing up the right crack system.
P2 east ending, basically at the belay. You can see the E Arete impasse on the skyline.
East Arete and the impasse.
Nic leading the crux P3. He is just beyond the crux face traverse and lieback. This pitch is barely 60m.
Nic leading the crux P3. Throw that leg in and sit back!
Nic leading the crux P3, stepping left. This pitch is barely 60m.
Nic leading the crux P3, stemming into the wide corner. This wasn't as tough as it looked and took good gear. It had tricky sections, but none were too long or unprotected. A pack added a lot to the difficulty. This pitch is barely 60m.
Nic leading the crux P3. He is pondering the squeeze without any pro. A fall would be bad and his pack kept him from being able to wriggle inside, so he investigated a harder but more secure lineover to the ledge and up the corner on his left. This pitch is barely 60m.
Nic atop the crux P3. This pitch is barely 60m.
Following the crux P3 at the beginning of the wide section.
Following the crux P3 at the wide section.
Following the crux P3 flaring wide flakes. Sort of reminded me of Bong's Away, Left.
Following the crux P3. The corner above was about a 5.10b fist to hand crack. Burly, but well protected and fun!
Looking over to our day 1 bail. You can barely see our rappel sling.
Nic leading P4, atop the pedestal.
Nic leading P4. This part is steep but very juggy. The levered blocks below are a bit unnerving to climb around.
Looking down from P4, finally gaining some altitude!
Following P4. Rope drag is tricky to manage.
Following P4. The crack ahead was a very fun 5.7 crack. Clean, steep, and secure.
Following P4 on a nice crack. The crack was a very fun 5.7 crack. Clean, steep, and secure.
Following P4 at the nice crack looking down.
Stack 'O Blocks & Nic at the end of P4.
Nic belaying atop P4
Finishing P4 on the jenga pile (by Nic Risser)
Crack textures on P4.
Starting up P5. Major rope drag challenges on this one. Nic climbed between the pillar and then traversed the knife edge ridge crest above.
P5 knife edge.
P5 knife edge looking down.
Nic atop a large & comfy P5 belay ledge.
Leading P6 steps. Low 5th class and on good rock.
P6 looking back at Nic.
Looking down P6 at one of the easy wide sections.
Looking up P6 at some funky wide cracks.
Looking down the P6 surprise - a 20-30 ft unprotected squeeze chimney! About 5.6-5.7 old school.
Looking up the remainder of the P6 surprise - a 20-30 ft unprotected squeeze chimney! About 5.6-5.7 old school.
Deteriorating weather atop P6. This wasn't in the forecast when we left . . . Mt Starr is in the foreground.
Mt Morgan South & Ruby Lake
Mt Morgan subpeak and Morgan Pass, with Mt Tom behind.
Interesting layers of color.
Nic at the P6 squeeze.
(Video) Nic at the P6 squeeze.
P7 headwall. It was tempting to go left as it looked easier, but it also looked pretty loose. I found a nice low 5th class route that zigzagged around to the right for a nicer finish.
P7 junky left exit.
P7 better exit zig-zagging to the right.
Nic following better exit on P7, maybe about 5.5.
The hard way to the summit.
The easier way to the summit (cl. 4).
Looking over Ruby Mesa
Mt Starr & Ruby Lake
Traverse to Ruby Pk. It looks like there might still be some tricky climbing left.
Me on the summit of the Left East Arete (by Nic Risser)
Nic pointing the way to White Mtn from atop the Left East Arete.
Traverse to Mills, Abbot & Dade
Mills North Ridge, high-res panorama.
Red & White Pk and Red Slate Mtn.
Third Recess Peak staying shy.
Nic following on the snowy traverse. Downclimbing granite flakes beneath snowflakes. We continued simul-climbing as the wet rock, numbed extremities, and uncertain route made it seem too risky to scramble unroped.
Looking back into the cloudy, windy climbing. Where to go?
Nic in the eye of the storm. The sudden sunlight and clearing overhead was pretty surreal. Too bad it never cleared up elsewhere! This was short-lived.
Is that the top? Should we go up?
Or should we drop down to the ledge with dark rock?
(Video) Lost in the clouds, working out our two options. Unfortunately we had to drop down to the dark ledge to bypass this, which was not the summit.
Checking out the high road option. (by Nic Risser)
(Video) Checking out the higher road and finding a dead end. (by Nic Risser)
Nic following in the summit passageways. We traversed a ways on the black ledge that was far below, then unroped and scrambled up to what we thought was the summit. Still no dice, but the final few hundred feet took an improbable line through a lot of splits directly along the ridgeline.
The summit passageways.
Nic following the summit passageways.
At last the Ruby Peak summit. We had one more passageway that led inside of this formation before popping out on the East Ridge descent route on the backside.
Ruby Peak summit register. This alcove was nicely protected from the wind & snow, so we hung out, ate, drank, and enjoyed the register.
Summit Register - Liz Wenk
Summit Register - Sean O
Summit Register - Our Entry (Part 1)
Summit Register - Our Entry (Part 2)
Toast for Tom
Downclimbing a cl 3 chute on the East 'Ridge' descent.
Nic downclimbing the long snow couloir on the East 'Ridge' descent in cloudy weather and fading daylight. The class 3 headwall that we downclimbed is above.