Elko County Highpoint Trip Report

Ruby Dome

Date: August 13, 2006
Author: Scott Surgent

I met Ben Knorr at the gate early in the morning, both of us with grand plans to tackle the mighty Ruby Dome. As it was a Sunday and I did not have a key, we had to walk the road up to the 'usual' trailhead. Three hours and three miles and 3,300 feet elevation later, we arrived at Griswold Lake where we took an extended breakfast break.

As we started up the talus and ledge systems, we spied another couple also making their way up - using a different route. We met up and discovered we all had the same goal in mind: to stand atop Ruby Dome. So we teamed up into a group of four. The couple was Kevin and his sister-in-law, Sunshine, both of Elko. Kevin's a gold miner and Sunshine is a writer for the Elko paper. Neither had ever climbed their 'home' mountain before.

We achieved the saddle at 10,140 feet and descended a bit into a broad talus and grass basin, generally working our way below Ruby's north face and away from the line of attack as suggested by past visitors (we had Mike Coltrin's and Adam Helman's reports with us). Instead, we worked our way up the steepening talus slopes toward the saddle on Ruby's east side, actually meeting the ridge about 100 feet above the saddle.

Here we met with some very steep, very exposed class 3 scrambles and moves, sustained for about 200 vertical feet, coming to a narrow point on the east ridge of the summit. To this point we had climbed 5,300 vertical feet and were not sure if we would be stopped here but Ben went ahead and said it looked good, if narrow. The final 100 vertical feet was along a gentle grade, a very narrow talus catwalk, maybe 3 feet wide in places. In time, the summit was ours! A grand reward for a long grueling hike and climb.

My 17th and final Nevada cohp, and Ben's first (of seventeen, we assume). The first also for Kevin and Sunshine, both of whom seemed intrigued by the concept of cohping.

The hike down went slow as we had to take the talus sections slowly and we were all tired and lagging (and thirsty and hot). We finally egressed late in the afternoon and Kevin kindly gave Ben and me a ride to our vehicles at the gate.

Thanks to Ben, Kevin and Sunshine! I stayed the night in Elko and drove back to Salt Lake the next day.