By: John Vitz
The Ruby Mountains in north central Nevada were advertised by leader Bill Clifton as being our most beautiful desert range. Most participants in the Fourth of July trip would surely agree, if the qualifier "in the United States" were added. The Ruby Mountains, lying south and east of Elko, are about 100 miles in length and contain many fine peaks in excess of 10000 feet, impressive cliffs, lakes, valleys and streams. Lamoille Canyon, the main entryway to the range, is developed enough to contain a boy scout camp near the mouth and a campground about half way up. This area is heavily used by fishermen but many fine forest service trails lead into remote back country. A 46 mile long trail follows the main crest from Lamoille Canyon to a pass at the south end of the range. There are most surely unclimbed peaks in this range as well as beautiful country for the DPSer to climb and explore. The area's one drawback is that it is not a wilderness area (and it should be) and as such there is a certain amount of trouble with trail bikes.
Our first day was spent exploring the head of Lamnoille Canyon and climbing Peak 11133. There was plenty of snow remaining in the country over 8000 feet as the snowfall had been 150% of normal. The ascent was made up a gentle snow slope and the descent via a glissade to Island Lake which was still 3/4 frozen and then trail to the roadhead.
We camped that night miles from the summit of Ruby Dome in the flats to the southwest of the mountain. Ruby Dome lies considerably west of the main crest of the range on a high spur running westward from it. The next morning we crossed 4 to 5 miles of soggy grazing land to the base of the peak, crossed a stream, and ascended the main southwest ridge to its junction with the crest of the spur about a mile west of the summit. After traversing the ridge to the high point we glissaded into the bowl southwest of the peak and climbed slightly to the top of the southwest ridge and descended by the route of ascent. Probably a better route would be one from the north as it is now impossible to drive across the private land to the base of the southwest ridge. The high point of this beautiful range would be a more than worthy addition to the DPS list.
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