third hike on east side; ruby peak

June 19, 2009

8884 feetStarting out at 4:30 in the morning with a small map that a neighbor made,  I began riding/carrying/pushing my bike across fields and up old logging roads towards the summit of ruby peak.  The nearly 9’000 ft peak is the most prominent feature that one can see from the farm, so naturally I have been plotting to climb it since we arrived.  Crossing private land and following unused logging roads I was able to leave my bike at about 6,000 ft for a speedy decent.  I only had to push my way through a half mile of windfall choked forest before the open meadows started, visibility was only about 100 yards on the way up because of thick clouds clinging to the mountain (so most of these pics were taken on the way back down).

alpine meadow

With my compass in hand the open ridge was easy to follow and brought me to the cliff under the summit surprisingly quick.  After a  hundred or so feet later of 5.4 and 5.5 rock with plenty of small ledges, the clouds broke and I was on top.  After being concealed in the clouds for most of the climb the sun was blinding and I of course I had forgotten  my sunscreen. So I am now the recipient of a nice burn on my nose and neck.  I was eating my lunch and waiting for the clouds to part so I could see the farm from above, when I noticed a lady bug then another and another.  I lost count of how many but dozens and dozens of clumps were collected around and amongst the rocks.

ladybug orgy

Once the clouds parted I called the farm and they took out the spotting scope and watched me jump up and down on the summit.  The clouds moved back in and I started climbing down.  Once I got back to the bike It took me only  about 30 minutes to get back down to the valley floor although my hand was plenty sore from gripping the brakes like a mad man.  Awesome climb and great views once the clouds cleared made this a memorable hike.trusty stead


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