Ruby Crest Trail To Wines and Lake Peak

(PART 1 of the trip; see PART 2 and PART 3)

pics by Harlan W.S. & M Ali H
Aug 2-4, 2010

 

The LVMC (Las Vegas Mountaineers Club) planned a 9-day hiking, backpacking, and road trip from August 2 through August 10.The trip wasbroken into three parts or goals, and would require nearly 2000 miles of car travel.

 

The first part was a climb of two mountains in northern Nevada, with the main goal of climbing Ruby Dome near Elko. The second was to climb Borah Peak in Idaho. The third was to backpack into the High Uintas of Utah, and climb King’s and Gilbert’s peaks. There would, over time, be 6 people on the trip: Joel (the organizer and leader), Justine, Henry, Ali, Harlan (me) and Mike.

 

This page describes an alternative to the first part of the LVMC trip. While Joel, Henry, and Justine went to Diamond Peak and Ruby Dome, Ali and I would go instead to the Ruby Crest Trail.We arranged to meet the evening of Aug 4, in the Thomas Canyon Campground in the Ruby Mountains, after the others had climbed Ruby Dome. This alternative was motivated by my two weeks of illness, and Ali’s four weeks of visitoritis; in addition, Ali and I had already been to Ruby Dome. I hoped that 3 “gentle” days of backpackingand day hikes would mend our bodies for the efforts ahead. I was coughing throughout the trip, and am still coughing occasionally a week later, but I survived.

 

At the end of this part in Nevada, we joined the others for Borah and the High Uintas.

 

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On the first day (red track), we simply backpacked S from the Lamoille Canyon, over Liberty Pass, to a camp on the SE side of Liberty Lake.On the 2nd day we took a 10.9-mile day trip to Wines and Lake Peaks (blue track).On the 3rd day we just packed out, went into Spring Creek to replenish supplies, went swimming, and waited to meet our compatriots at the Thomas Canyon campground.

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The night of Aug 1, we stayed at Thomas Canyon.The shade was not that great, but the scenery was good.

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Fireweed near the campsite.

 

 

 

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Scenery from campground, next morn, Aug 2.

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By mistake, we started up the stock trail, then cut east to the hiker trail, which was more shaded. View N.

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The hiker trail is in woods. The stock trail joins the hiker trail near Lake Lamoille.

 

 

 

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Larkspur.

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Scarlet Columbine.

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Bluebells.

 

 

 

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Monk’s hood.

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Monk’s hood.

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Below Dollar Lakes.

 

 

 

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Cinquefoile.

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Bluebells.

 

 

 

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Parry Primrose.

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Lupine.

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A Dollar Lake.

 

 

 

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Lake Lamoille.

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Bistort.

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Avens, a rose.

 

 

 

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View NW from trail above Lake Lamoille.

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View N at Liberty Pass. Lake Lamoille is to L; behind it is Snow Lake Peak, a class 4/5 climb.

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Moss Campion.

 

 

 

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Penstemons.

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Liberty Lake, with Lake Peak behind at L.

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Ali near Liberty Lake.

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My camp, a bit farther away.

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Reflection in lake, next morn (by Ali). This day (Aug 3) we took off for a day hike that ended up with 10.9 miles and 3200’ accumulated gain.

 

 

 

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Elephant’s head, on Ruby Crest Trail (RCT).

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Bluebells.

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Fauvre Lake.

 

 

 

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View to SW. We will cut around and behind the ridge at L.

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Onion.

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View NW as we hit the tundra.

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Wallflower.

 

 

 

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Probably a buckwheat.

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View from top of Wines Peak; Ruby Dome is high rounded mountain at R.

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Ruby dome is just R of this guy.

 

 

 

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Mountain Goats.

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Goats again.

 

 

 

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Ali’s shot of goat.

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King Peak (NV) in the distance (SSW); it looks formidable from this side, but it’s actually a walk-up from Overland Lake.

 

 

 

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Wines register.

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More Avens.

 

 

 

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Purple Fringe.

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Now I’m heading N on ridge to Lake Peak.I hit a gendarme, and decided to skirt the east side.

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Hmmmm.

 

 

 

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I look back S along the E side, which was exposed and loose. I followed a goat trail and was pretty safe.Ali popped over the ridge and asked if he could cut on the W side of the ridge, and I thought that seemed like a better idea.

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Lovely view N from Lake Peak; Castle Lake at L, Favre Lake at R.

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View S back over ridge.

 

 

 

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Wines Peak to SSW

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Ali got this nice shot of a Butterfly on moss campion flowers.

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P1000966Quartz crystals by Ali.

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These spiky plants were on the lower tundra, and had greenish flowers.

 

 

 

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Now we head back.

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Larkspur.

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View across Favre Lake to nasty N ridge of Lake Peak.

 

 

 

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Tint cryptanth (forget-me-not).

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Tiny Penstemons.

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Damage from name-carving, fires on the roots, and random hacking has allowed bark beetles to kill these limber pines, which were probably hundreds of years old (may be thousands).

 

 

 

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Next morn (Aug 4), we hiked out, gaining 450’ to Liberty Pass. We passed many horse and mule groups carrying bow hunters.

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Another look at the nasty arÍte of Lake Peak.

 

 

 

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The double arch on Snow Lake Peak is visible to L.

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Tiny Penstemons.

 

 

 

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Aster.

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This strange flower was described by John Hart, but not identified.

 

 

 

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Probably a parsley/carrot family member.

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Wild Geraniums.

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View of Snow Lake Peak to S, as we leave Thomas Canyon.

 

 

 

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Ali swims at Thomas Canyon Campsite.

Joel, Henry, and Justine joined us that eve after 7 PM.

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Justine wakes up the next morn (Aug 5) at Thomas Canyon, after a hard day of climbing Ruby Dome from 500’ below the normal trail.The previous morn, Joel had to kick her to wake her up. I had meant to get a picture of her inert form (which looked like some huge larva), but woke her up, so I got this vaguely voyeuristic shot. Now we are ready for the NEXT PART of the voyage.