Ruby Dome & LVMC Backpack

Harlan W. S.
Sept 1-3, 2007

Adventures of the Ruby Slippers. Directions to Ruby Dome trailhead are at the end of page.

 

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100k topo map with GPS trace to

Ruby Dome (L, red) and the R

Fork or Lamoille Creek (R, purple

and blue).

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24K GPS trace for Ruby Dome hike,

Sept. 1. We started at the Spring

Creek Campsite. The route is initially

over a crude trail, then is class 2

(with low class 3), scrambling from

cairn to infrequent cairn.

Accumulated elevation gain is

~5100’, 10.5 miles RT.

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We head SE from the parking

lot, go through 2 small gates, and

swing L of the stream. Note the

cows on the distant hill. Cow signs

persist till ~8600’, and end at a

rough rocky stretch.

 

 

 

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View NW down Hennen Canyon,

above the cow country. Spring Creek

(town) is in the background.

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Griswold Lake at 9220’.

Since plants cover the bottom,

this “lake” is really a pond.

Supposedly there are fish at the

SE end of the lake, in the deeper water.

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The rough trail – often invisible—

travels on the E side near the lake,

then ascends at the base of a cliff

on the E side.

 

 

 

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Beyond the cliff, one turns ~90

to the L and climbs out of the bowl

on a faint trail between cairns.

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We’re nearly at 10000’; Griswold

Lake is in the background.

 

 

 

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At 10100’, view ESE. To R is

“Ruby Pyramid”, an 11200’ peak

just E of Ruby Dome. The Dome itself

is not visible. The saddle in the

center is the stopping point for the

star-crossed 2005 expedition,

which ran out of bottled oxygen.

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Now we head to the right up the

“west ridge route”. From the plateau

at 10100’ to this point, cairns are

sparse.

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View N. We’re at ~10650’.

 

 

 

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Self-portrait. Nyah Nyah.

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Panoramic view from summit.

The town of Spring Creek is to N,

at the L of photo.

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View NW from summit, showing

(roughly) the W ridge route.

 

 

 

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View E from summit. There is a

cruddy rock lip to this 70 slope;

the slope sits atop an immense

N-facing cliff.

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Who is Sammy the Dog?

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My foot STILL itches. You would

think my foot would get better some day.

 

 

 

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Leaving summit, view SW.

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View SE back to summit. N face to

L. There is a cairn at this point,

showing the way NE off the ridge.

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This is a class 2 section with

exposure, right below the ridge

crest.

 

 

 

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Ruby Dome is in back, L of

center. The W ridge route climbs

around the tor at R.

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Alan gets some advice from an

orthopedic surgeon.

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Somebody got carried away

with this cairn.

 

 

 

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That afternoon, Alan headed for

S Schell, while Ali and I camped by

the road in Lamoille Canyon.

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The next day, we backpacked up

In search of the LVMC group. We

expected to find them at the small

lake by the blue GPS trace; luckily,

we saw Beth fishing, and she

pointed us to the camp.

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View N as Ali hits ~7500’.

 

 

 

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Wild geranium?

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View S. Soon the trail will

disappear, and we will cross to R

(W side). The canyon has some rather

dense willow thickets.

 

 

 

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There are lots of dams from

bank beavers (i.e., they don’t

Build lodges).

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Our camp.

 

 

 

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View N from camp.

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Early next morn.

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Beth told us that this is a rare type

of benchmark – from the

Precursor of BLM.

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Lupine.

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The "trail", southeast from the Spring Creek Assn campground, provides easy access to Ruby Dome. Info on the campground is here: Spring Creek Assn .

To get to the Spring Creek Association office from Wells NV, travel west on i80 ~49 miles, then take exit 303 off i80 near Elko. Take the ramp south to state 535, then travel east (left) to Idaho St. Take Idaho St. south (right) to 12th street, then take 12th St. east (left) to 227. At a T in the road (at a light), turn left on 227, and continue ~10 miles to Spring Creek Parkway (left) and drive to #451, the association office, on the left side of the road (just before a Sheriff’s office). NOTE: there is a Spring Valley Parkway before your turn; do NOT go up Spring Valley Parkway!


The trailhead is on private land, and you must pay a $25 deposit per group, and $10/person/day for access.  You have to pick up a gate key at the association office; the office is open only Mon-Fri, 8AM to 5PM, so you will have to plan your time a bit carefully.  We left LV ~5:30 AM, made a few stops, and still got to the office by ~1 PM on a Friday.  Note the $10 fee is per day, NOT per night; so typically if you arrive in the afternoon, camp, and do the hike the next day, you must pay for 2 "days", or $20/person.  That may seem like a lot; but if you are driving from Vegas with three people in a car that gets 20 mph highway, gas alone will be about $45/person. 

The deposit will get mailed back to you, and you can drop off the key after hours, in a supplied envelope, through the office mailslot.  They don't take VISA, but will take a check or cash.

The best campsite may be at the trailhead; if you sleep in the car, the level parking lot will be a good place to stay, and there is a nearby space for 1 or 2 tents.  Otherwise, most of the campsites are rather lousy.  Cows occasionally get into the campground and leave cow patties; and some people leave trash.  The new outhouse looks clean.  There is little shade -- the lower shady spots tend to be popular with cows. There is a pretty stream in places, but remember that cows graze uphill, outside the fence.

The second night, you can camp on the side of the road on FS land, or in the USFS campground in Lamoille canyon.