Ascent of Ruby Dome on 2014-09-07

Climber: Ryan Jerz

Others in Party:Henry Castillo
Cotie McMahon
----Only Party on Mountain
Date:Sunday, September 7, 2014
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Ruby Dome
    Elevation:11387 ft / 3470 m

Ascent Trip Report

Started at the Spring Creek Association campground after getting the key for entry. The trailhead says four miles to the Dome, but it's about 5.5 one way. It's also 3.5 to Griswold Lake, not the three that the sign says. The trail started in the sun and was hot until we hit the one mile point and the trail meets up with the stream. After about two miles it gets more difficult. There's some scrambling at this point and we had a tough time getting Charlie the dog up and over some of the spots. The trail is decently marked with cairns along the way. The last mile to the lake is pretty difficult. It was a huge relief to finally get there and set up camp.

From the lake you go to the left and hit a small trail up about 1,000 feet to a clearing where you have to follow cairns the rest of the way to the base of the Dome. You can scramble up left or right. We chose right because it looked less steep. It's a longer path and still not an easy one. It's over rock the entire way and required a lot of hand holds and a pretty steep final approach. The views from the top are pretty great. We signed the log book in a pill bottle at the top and hung around for about 30 minutes.

We then took the other way down and overthought it a bit. We got to a steep point and didn't want to get caught in a dangerous situation so we decided to try the back side to get to the saddle. After a few hundred slippery and steep feet down, we got to a point that it was basically sheer to the bottom and had to go back up. We found a better route on that left side and scrambled down.

After trying the right on the way up, I'd suggest taking the left side. There are some scary spots that are exposed on both sides, but taking it easy will help. It's definitely a route I'd give a shot at the next time.

As a whole, this was a tougher climb than what I had read beforehand led me to believe. The trail to the lake wasn't as easy as advertised and the climb to the top is slow and requires a lot of attention. It appears that most people do the climb in one day. We camped two nights at the lake, which we had to ourselves. It's a beautiful spot. The packs we carried to the lake were probably the biggest factors that made our hike to there as hard as it was, but that made the entire trip a much better experience.
Click on photo for original larger-size version.
From the summit of Ruby Dome looking south (2014-09-07). Photo by Ryan Jerz.
Click here for larger-size photo.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:5124 ft / 1561 m
    Total Elevation Loss:5124 ft / 1561 m
    Round-Trip Distance:11 mi / 17.7 km
    Quality:7 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail, Scramble
    Gear Used:
Tent Camp
    Nights Spent:2 nights away from roads
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:5124 ft / 1561 m
    Distance:5.5 mi / 8.9 km
    Route:Chute on the right side
    Start Trailhead:Butterfield Creek Trailhead  6263 ft / 1908 m
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:5124 ft / 1561 m
    Distance:5.5 mi / 8.9 km
    Route:Ridge on the left side
    End Trailhead:6263 ft / 1908 m
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip

 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by Ryan Jerz
Click Here for a Full Screen Map
Note: GPS Tracks may not be accurate, and may not show the best route. Do not follow this route blindly. Conditions change frequently. Use of a GPS unit in the outdoors, even with a pre-loaded track, is no substitute for experience and good judgment. accepts NO responsibility or liability from use of this data.

Download this GPS track as a GPX file

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