In the past few years I have read several great blog posts about skiing the Ruby Mountains. I had also talked with Roch Horton and he said that running the Ruby Mountain Traverse was one of the greatest long distance, remote runs he had ever done. He compared the mountains to a cross between the Alps and San Juans. Since the Elk Mountain Traverse run had been canceled for 24 August, we had a free weekend. Brent and Emily were excited to go with and Brent would shuttle the car and then run in to meet us. With all of our busy work and travel schedules, we somehow managed to pull together the logistics for the weekend on we were on the road Friday after work. After a mandatory liquor store stop in Wendover, we reached the Harrison Pass Trailhead around 9PM. We camped just off the pass in a beautiful clearing had an early night anticipating an 8-9 hour run the following day.
Starting out from camp
We quickly settled into an easy pace enjoying the scenery and chatting the miles away. The scenery was amazing so we spent lots of time looking around in awe.
Emily running out of McCutcheon Creek
Chad & Emily on the pass between McCutcheon Creek and South Fork Smith Creek
We were expecting about a 10 mile section with no water. We talked about not passing up water without filling. Well, we did pass up our last water option as the next 2 springs we were planning on using to refill were dry. This meant that in the heat of the day we had 16 miles without a water fill. At about mile 9, we realized we were in trouble. We each had about 6 oz of water left and had no idea how long we would have to ration this (it turned out to be about 2 hours. We were lucky to have some shade and a good breeze or we really would have been in trouble. Brent run in to meet us at about mile 26 and was able to share some water with us, but we still had another 4 miles to go before we could fill.
Red and Brown Emily running along the ridge somewhere arounf peak 10,200′ and 10,600′.
Brent posing by Liberty Lake after a quick skinny dip
Our 8-9 hour run turned into a 10 hour and 22 minute run. We were slowed down by the lack of water and I had a knee, foot, and back issue crop up that slowed me down for the last 15 miles.
Lamoille Canyon Trailhead
Exhausted and still very dehydrated, we opted for hotel room in Elko after the run. A shower felt great. We then stuffed ourselves with a great Basque meal at Star Hotel.
None of us slept well Saturday night (due to dehydration and over eating at Star Hotel). We were up Sunday and on the road to the base of Deseret Peak for for a few hours of rock climbing. It was my first day climbing of the year and it was great to get out.