Ruby Ridge (Waterton)

Late June 2017

9.5 km round trip (off trail loop)

888m elevation gain

Waking up to the heat at Crandel Campground.  A quick drive to down for a waffle breakfast before driving up the Akamina Parkway to the trail head for Ruby Ridge at the Lineham Creek Parking Lot.

IMG_4760Ruby ridge, like any amazing Waterton hike, gives gifts of vistas, waterfalls and stoneformations from beginning to end.  And a variety of hiking terrain to please a scrambler and challenge a trail hiker. An off trail hike following ridge crests, the steep heads of valleys and some bush waking near the end.  If your wondering whether to take your map and compass then this hike probably isn’t for you.

IMG_4803The terrain of this hike reminded me of the Bull Creek Hills in K Country, but with the views of Waterton.  After following the main trail for about 20-30 minutes we decided to pick our way up the southwest face of Ruby Ridge through the open slopes and gaps in the red rock cliff bands. Ever more interesting views of Linham falls unfold westward up the valley.  The deeper views into the more majestic peaks of the Glacier National Park make their presence known and one can’t help but stop climbing and gaze into the endless peaks with Cameron lake sitting squarely in front.IMG_4739

The layers of ancient red and grey mud crumble.  Billions of years though the fingertips boot steps.  The climb continues, passing through scree slopes enroute to the summit ridge where, after cresting, the view north unfolds with Mt. Blakiston and the blue of Ruby lake wrapped in its cirque.  The summit piercing the dark cloud layer gathering around.

IMG_4743The view east is as impressive with the prairies echoing off into the endless space.  Clouds and sunlight cast shadows and patters on the eastern ranges.  The eyes have everywhere to look.

We continue walking north eastward along the ridge as it drops down to a col.  The route finding is easy and there are a few steps that require all four limbs to get down.  Small meadows and larch meet us at the col before we ascend the gradual slope leading to the second highpoint on the ridge.

IMG_4796After a lunch spot we continue southward, back towards the col and veering down into a wide valley.   Sheep rest in the red rocks.  Springs burst from the mountain side cloaked in native thistles and Forgetmenots.

We continue descending through loose scree to the base of a cliff band at the treeline.  After shooting a bearing to the parking lot we enter the forest and thrash through alder into meadows of bear grass.  Following dry ridges off trail through the forest is one of my favourite things.  We meet the highway about 200 m east of the parking lot.

 

IMG_4726
Lineham Creek Trail enroute to Ruby Ridge through the Bear Grass. Mt. Lineham at left.
IMG_4727
Bear Grass, a lily.

IMG_4729

IMG_4730
Looking back to Buchanan Ridge

IMG_4731

IMG_4736
Mt Lineham and Lineham falls at the end of the valley on the right.
IMG_4737
Ascending Ruby Ridge with Lineham Falls in the back ground
IMG_4739
Lineham Falls
IMG_4740
Ruby rock and Lineham falls
IMG_4743
Reds and greys
IMG_4744
And blues!
IMG_4749
Precambrian hoodoos
IMG_4750
Clambering through the loose screen
IMG_4752
Proterozoic Pillars
IMG_4757
Billions of years

IMG_4758

IMG_4760
Looking west towards the endless ranges and Cameron Lake
IMG_4764
Mt. Lineham and Lineham Falls to the west
IMG_4768
Cameron Lake and the peaks of Glacier Park, Montana
IMG_4770
Rock Gardens on the ascent
IMG_4771
Scorpion Weed (purple)

IMG_4772

IMG_4773
Our arrival at a false summit
IMG_4775
The summit #1 of Ruby Ridge, looking west
IMG_4777
Ruby Lake
IMG_4778
The scramblers route ridge connecting Ruby Ridge to Mt. Blakiston
IMG_4780
The view east to the prairies from Ruby Ridge Summit #1

IMG_4781

IMG_4785
Panorama from summit #1 of Ruby Ridge
IMG_4786
Panorama from summit #1 of Ruby Ridge

IMG_4790

IMG_4791
A view of the descent from the first summit to summit #2
IMG_4793
Small cliff bands were no problem
IMG_4796
Mt. Blakiston and Ruby Lake
IMG_4799
The rock gardens of the descent

IMG_4802

IMG_4803
The col between the two summits
IMG_4805
Mud flow stone
IMG_4806
Buchannan Ridge (this valley is not our descent route, we chose the next valley to the west

IMG_4808

IMG_4810
Ruby Ridge Col
IMG_4812
Looking back on peak #1

IMG_4816IMG_4817IMG_4818IMG_4820

IMG_4821
Ruby Lake and Mt. Blackiston from Ruby Ridge

IMG_4828IMG_4830IMG_4832IMG_4833

IMG_4834
Our decent followed the slope down into the valley to the left
IMG_4838
A spring with thistle and cow parsnip
IMG_4839
Alpine Forgetmenot, a pink one.
IMG_4845
Springs
IMG_4846
Springs into falls

IMG_4847

IMG_4849
Looking back up our descent route
IMG_4853
Buchanan ridge from our descent valley
IMG_4854
Vering westward we skirt the base of cliffs just above treeline.
IMG_4857
Entering the forest
IMG_4863
Back at the Parking lot after the bushcrash

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s