Ruth Mountain and Icy Peak are located in the North Cascades national park in Washington state. Some people call this area the American Alps due to the large number of summits in all directions. These two peaks are located to the east of Mt. Baker and Mt. Shuksan, in the heart of the North Cascades. Our camp below Ruth Mt. will provide unique views of the Nooksack Cirque to the west and the Icy Glacier to the South (weather permitting).
The climb starts at the Hannegan Campground and climbs up a strenuous approach through Hannegan pass to the glacier below Ruth Mt. From there we will climb up with our full packs over the summit of Ruth Mountain to our camp on the SW ridge of the peak.
Day two will begin with an alpine start, navigating down the short class 3 scramble to the true saddle between the two peaks. From the saddle we will climb up to gain the glacier below Icy Peak which is likely to have open crevasses and will require careful navigation. From the glacier we will continue climbing until the rock gullies below Icy Peak where a short class 3/4 scramble ends at the summit.
The descent will start with a rappel from the summit of Icy Peak, then we will stop at camp to pack up and hike out to the cars.
This trip will be long and require technical glacier travel, rock scrambling and overnight camping skills. The north cascades is notorious for strenuous approaches but rewards of beautiful summit views make the vertical gain an easier pill to swallow. With these details in mind, this is a great introduction to the North Cascades and will be a fantastic trip for first years and experienced climbers alike.
The dates have some flexibility as we are trying to cram a lot of climbing into the two weekend days which will end with the Salem folks returning around 3am Sunday night. There is a potential to move this climb to July 4th-7th in order to accommodate a longer climb schedule and prevent driving home late. This will depend on who joins the climb and their flexibility of having Thursday-Sunday off work.
Ruth Mountain - Ruth Glacier SummitPost link
Icy Peak via Ruth Mt. SummitPost link
Driving distance: 700 miles RT.
Hiking distance: 20+ miles RT.
Nooksack cirque from camp, Icy Peak/glacier (L), Shuksan (R) in clouds