Peak(s):  Ruby Mtn A  -  13,277 feet
Date Posted:  04/17/2020
Date Climbed:   08/13/2019
Author:  CUaaron25
Additional Members:   Venni22
 Quick and Dirty!  

Quick and Dirty
Peak: Ruby Mt. A
Trailhead: Argentine Pass
Date Hiked: 8/13/2019
RT Distance: 3.62 miles
Partners: Venni22

The summer of 2019 was about to head into the rear view mirror and Nick and I hadn't been able to coordinate an after work 13er trip yet. We'd both independently hiked a few peaks after work but hadn't been able to align our schedules with the weather to pick up one together. Finally things fell into place on a Tuesday and by 4:30pm we were in the Mammoth lot loading into Nicks jeep and a few minutes later were were on I-70 headed for Ruby Mt. A. We were both in high spirits lamenting all the other perfect afternoons that had eluded us due to meetings, personal commitments or weather. As we got closer to the Argentine Pass Trail head one or two suspect clouds were starting to hang above Ruby. Even when it's foretasted to be bluebird, we can't catch a break. We agreed they weren't going to turn into anything and quickly changed out of our work clothes and started up the Peru Creek Road

Almost immediately we passed the locked gate at the Shoe Basin Mine. As we hiked up the road we noticed that all the rocks in Peru Creek were stained powder white and couldn't figure out why. I kept asking Nick if he thought there were fish in there, knowing secretly that even if there were, they wouldn't be trout, they'd be whitefish and they'd be hideous! (Pause here for virtual laughter. Oh you didn't think that was funny? Well keep reading, maybe my next joke will get you or perhaps this mid trip report sidebar about how funny the jokes are might make you laugh). Later we would learn that the basin is part of a Superfund site and designated as a wildlife restoration area. Turns out, its a major stop for the Migratory City Park Pigeons from Denver who make an annual pilgrimage West in the late summer/early fall to California for the winter. Lucky birds, for the next few months they'd be hanging out in Santa Cruz, surfing and wearing cargo shorts and sandals whenever they want. Meanwhile our summer is about to slip away into the cool grip of autumn.

Whitefish creek also known as Peru Creek on some maps.

After about 1/2 mile we turned left following the old mining road referenced in the east ridge route for Ruby. In almost every description I've ever read anywhere for any peak, they always reference these type of turns as 'at the old mining road' to this day I can't help but second guess myself at every road that in my heart/mind, I already know is the correct road. The internal struggle goes something like this... "What if this is the old mining driveway? What if the old mining road is actually 100 yards further up? Well if that's the case, then I've just wasted all this time walking up the old mining driveway. Do I really have that kind of time? What if while I was wasting all this time the weather rolls in???" Me second guessing these types of decisions isn't your problem, it's mine but its real and it happens. THANKFULLY it was indeed "the old mining road "and we followed it for another 1/2 mile before turning right again. To be fair, we hadn't read the description thoroughly, despite the fact that it's very clearly documented on this site and it's a whopping two paragraphs! Who has that kind of time though? It's not like I'm stuck in self isolation.... YET!

We did though have a pretty good idea of what we were supposed to do based on looking at the route map. Our rush to get to the trailhead, summit this mountain and shatter every FKT know to man on Ruby quickly dissolved into two grown men taking photo after photo of wildflowers. Turns out, we were just in a rush to leave Denver not in a rush to end this hike.

Those paintbrushes tho!

Seems fine...

My wife says this flower is a Subalpine Fleabane. I think it's a Erigeron Leiomerus. Are we both wrong? Help!

Worth the price of admission!

After far too many photos of flowers we continued on to the east ridge. The ridge does look fairly ridiculous from a distance, especially for an after work goof around. The closer you get though, the path becomes pretty clear. In general I remember not really being on the ridge proper all that often in the lower section but eventually we were off/on/off/on/off the ridge (not overwhelmingly far though) finding the best way up that suited us. There were a couple skinny sections on the ridge but nothing that isn't manageable within the boundaries of its 2+ rating.

If memory serves correct, this was the most interesting part of the ridge.

I guess this Captain Morgan pose was also neat....

Once we reached the top of the ridge there was a minor dip but we could see that the summit of Ruby was basically level with where we were standing. The sun was starting to dip into the western sky and I was incredibly happy to be standing at this exact spot. Specifically, I remembered thinking of how fascinating it was to see all of these peaks bathed in shadow and light on the 'wrong' sides, since most of the time we're off these ridge lines by noon.

Shadow and light from a different angle. Also, a face only a mother could love!

Ruby Mt. summit. So that's why they call her ruby!

We told a few jokes and decided to get down before we had to pull out the headlamps. I can't figure out how to upload the video, candidly, I didn't even try but you already knew I wasn't going to try! Here's a picture of the laugh before I tell you the joke. I know, total spoiler!

Doesn't my joke seem funny? I'm sure it was.

Pretty sure the actual joke went something like this...

Two muffins were in an oven.
The first muffin looks over at the other muffin and says: "Dude it's hot in here."
The other muffin looks over and says: "HOLY SHIT! A talking muffin!"

Don't be a S Q U A R E top!

If you're standing on top of Ruby there is a very distinct, yet lower bump to the southeast. We went there and headed directly down the southeast ridge. On the left side of the ridge there's entirely too much scree or at least what looks like entirely too much scree to descend safely, so we pretty much stayed on the ridge until it opened up into a meadow and we picked our way down some indistinct trail to the jeep.

But seriously, are there whitefish in there?

Side note: it's a decently steep decent off this side, so if your knees are prone to hurting on the downhill, like mine are, the optimal choice would be to go back the way you came. With this descent we ended up on the road about 100 yards below Nicks jeep and our day was over. Happy Tuesday! (If you're reading this any other day than Tuesday just pretend it's Tuesday, ALSO, here we are again in the sidebar trip report section. How are you doing? Your hair looks great! Don't cut it yourself, hopefully your barber is open again before you have to look at yourself in the mirror and fail at cutting your own hair!) :)

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22

 Comments or Questions

04/18/2020 02:58
Reminds me of a hike. I thought we saw a pileated wood pecker? but we didn't !?
Enjoyed the muffins talking joke
Always! remember, when you are on a long hike or a short one. " Telephone poles, because motor cycles don't have doors. "
let that marinate


Cool report
04/18/2020 16:34
It's always fun seeing peaks from a new perspective - I climbed Ruby via its south slopes 11 days after you, then went up Grays' south ridge and over to Edwards and McClellan. This looks like a nicer way up Ruby than the way I took, and I dig the wildflowers. Thanks for the fun report.


Very cool
04/19/2020 08:25
Nice outing buddy with a good report and pictures!


04/19/2020 19:27
The flower you were asking about is a DPC (Dang Purple Composite), which is a close relative of the DYC (yellow) and the DWC (white). Members of family Asteracea, aka Composites, are notoriously difficult to identify. Usually you need a botanical key and a microscope to positively identify them. One or both of your ID's may well be correct (I don't know, maybe you gave scientific and common names for the same species), but without actually going through the tedious process of keying it out, I wouldn't place or take any bets on it


04/20/2020 08:15
Thanks CORed! We were sitting and looking through all the flowers that look like this in the Rocky Mountain region and hadn't realized that there were soooooo many that basically look the same!

Vadiiiim! Good to hear from you. Hike soon, hopefully!

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