Ruby Peak Central Route on Ruby Wall

Tom's Place, California

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The Ruby Wall is one of the most impressive walls in the Sierra backcountry. Galen Rowell was the central figure in route development of the Ruby Wall. Rock Creek Canyon has long been one of Galen’s favorite places, and this wall is an obvious climbing objective. Forming the backdrop to the Ruby Lake basin, the Ruby Wall is actually composed of four separate walls. The first on the left is bordered by a broken alpine ridge that culminates in the summit of Ruby Peak. The second is the most monolithic wall and home to most of the established routes. The third offers a series of fine crack systems that go nowhere near the summit, while the fourth (right) wall is more broken and leads to the sandy slopes below Mono Pass. On the main (second) wall, the defining features are a prominent arete bordering the left side, twin dihedral systems in the center, and a diamond-shaped patch of orange rock high on the right side of the wall. Rowell and Mike White climbed a route up the center of the wall in 1982. Their route starts below and to the right of the dihedrals and follows steep cracks up toward the crest. Rowell noted, “The climb begins near the middle of the wall in a chimney system that is not obvious as seen from the lake. Continuously challenging pitches of 5.8 to 5.10 led us to the where a scary ramp slanting leftward allowed us to traverse into the easy summit dihedral two pitches below the top.”

Ruby Peak: Central Route on Ruby Wall Professional Review and Guide

"The Ruby Wall is one of the most impressive walls in the Sierra backcountry. Galen Rowell was the central figure in route development of the Ruby Wall. Rock Creek Canyon has long been one of Galen’s favorite places, and this wall is an obvious climbing objective. Forming the backdrop to the Ruby Lake basin, the Ruby Wall is actually composed of four separate walls. The first on the left is bordered by a broken alpine ridge that culminates in the summit of Ruby Peak. The second is the most monolithic wall and home to most of the established routes. The third offers a series of fine crack systems that go nowhere near the summit, while the fourth (right) wall is more broken and leads to the sandy slopes below Mono Pass. On the main (second) wall, the defining features are a prominent arete bordering the left side, twin dihedral systems in the center, and a diamond-shaped patch of orange rock high on the right side of the wall. Rowell and Mike White climbed a route up the center of the wall in 1982. Their route starts below and to the right of the dihedrals and follows steep cracks up toward the crest. Rowell noted, “The climb begins near the middle of the wall in a chimney system that is not obvious as seen from the lake. Continuously challenging pitches of 5.8 to 5.10 led us to the where a scary ramp slanting leftward allowed us to traverse into the easy summit dihedral two pitches below the top.”"

Activity Type: Climbing
Nearby City: Tom's Place
Class: Class 5 - 5.5
Local Contacts: John Muir Wilderness
Local Maps: USGS Mt. Morgan, Mt. Abbot
Grade: Grade IV
Driving Directions: Directions to Ruby Peak: Central Route on Ruby Wall

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May 2018