This past August 16th I headed out solo to ski off Ruth Mountain and video Andrew Eckels, Ben Gregory, and Woods skiing off Icy Peak. Below is what Andrew had to say about their BIG adventure.
Ben and I left Seattle Wednesday night to get our August turns, planning on checking out Ruth mountain and Icy peak with our friend Woods. We got to Woods’s place in Glacier after midnight, and decided to go sleep at the trailhead so we could get an early start. Once we got there, all of us were amazed by how bright and beautiful the stars were. Woods proposed that we should stay up and hike through the night, and get to the Ruth arm for sunrise. Ben and I were sold, so we took off, enjoying views of silhouettes of mountains beneath the milky way. We climbed the steep goat trail just beyond Hannegan pass in the pre dawn light and enjoyed one of the best sunrises I’ve ever seen.
After a four hour nap we were on our way again towards the summit of Ruth. Once there we discovered that the way down would not be as easy as we had hoped. We skied the east slopes down to a chute that we thought was the only way to Icy (turns out Fred Becky recommends traversing beneath the west side of Ruth).
Mt. Shuksan as seen from Ruth Mtn. Mt. Baker Ski Area and Table Mtn. )far right/center).
We decided we might as well try down climbing it, and while it was very careful work, that got the heart going, it was within all of our comfort zones. From there the route was easy to Icy. We stopped short of the summit, because the nice face that looked awesome to ski, was terribly exposed, and we didn’t have crampons or axes. From our highpoint we skied the best run of the day, enjoying a beautiful line with small soft sun cups, and didn’t stop until we got to the bottom.
Icy Peak as seen from Ruth Mountain
On our way back, climbing the chute took some time, but Ben kicked awesome steps, and the up climbing was easy. We made it back to the car just after dark, stoked, satisfied, and tired.