Ascent of Ruby Dome on 2014-09-07
|Others in Party:||Henry Castillo|
----Only Party on Mountain
|Date:||Sunday, September 7, 2014|
|Ascent Type:||Successful Summit Attained|
| Motorized Transport to Trailhead:||Car|
| Elevation:||11387 ft / 3470 m|
Ascent Trip ReportStarted 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.
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