By: Gordon MacLeod
Four DPSers (Barbara Lilley, Horace Ory, my wife and myself, climbed Ruby Dome over the Memorial Day Weekend on Sunday (May 28, 1972) having left Los Angeles 6:00 pm Friday night. We backpacked cross-country a couple of miles Saturday afternoon to a camp at about 6900 feet along Little Welch Creek. Ruby Dome was ascended by the ridge between Little Welch Creek and Echo Canyon. The ridge was no more than Class 2 at any point and involved about 5000' elevation gain on a rather warm day. Fortunately, snow patches were available along the ridge to augment our water supply. We descended directly off the summit to the south in a continuous series of marvelous glissades to about 9500' level, ending below the cascades on the side-stream that arises to the immediate south east of Ruby Dome itself. Snow conditions were excellent; neither crampons nor snowshoes were required or carried. After descending into Echo Canyon we followed the trail (with some difficulty because of brush) to our camp and backpacked out to our car by 6:00 pm.
I believe the west side route described above is the simplest and easiest of the many possible routes up Ruby Dome. This route becomes less attractive after Memorial Day because of the heat. The best approach to the route described is along the secondary road that branches to the east about a mile and a half north of the community of Lee in Te-Moak Indian Reservation. Rattlesnakes should be watched for, as we indeed saw one at 6800' on our backpack out to the car.Early Monday morning we drove up Lamoille Canyon until snow blocked the road about 1/4 mile short of the road end. From here we ascended the trail to, Island Lake and then climbed peak 11,133 on the Lamoille Quadrangle map (or peak 11,175 on the Ruby Division Map of the Humboldt National Forest) via its east ridge by first crossing a steep snow field below the cliffs just south of Island Lake. Again we had some marvelous glissading on the descent. Dropping directly off the summit in a southeast direction, we were able to glissade to within a few hundred feet of the canyon bottom just south of the road end. We reached the car by 9:00 a.m. after a round trip of about 3 hours. We arrived in Los Angeles at ll:OO p.m. Monday night.
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