TBT: Middle Ruby Range Traverse

(Last Updated On: September 13, 2017)

This post is part of a Throwback Thursday series featuring trip reports that we haven’t had a chance to write about until now! Look for them at least every other Thursday!

The Ruby Range Traverse in Crested Butte refers to a traverse on a ridge line that travels over several different peaks between Purple Mountain and Ruby. Normally covered from north to south, after Purple, the ridge line extends to Augusta, Richmond, Hancock, Oh-Be-Joyful, Afley, Purple Peak, Owen, and then finishes at Ruby. In mid-September, my friend Susan and I completed a traverse of the northern most peaks. After that, we set our sights on another part. This hike would take us over Afley, Oh-Be-Joyful, and Hancock- a part I have termed the “middle” Ruby Range traverse.

It was Susan who came up with the vision of how to complete this hike. We drove to the bottom of Mount Owen and approached the edge of Scarp’s Ridge. From there, we dropped into the basin between Purple Peak and Afley, and then climbed Afley. After, we continued to Oh-Be-Joyful and Hancock and then descended the Oh-Be-Joyful Pass trail and followed that to the Blue Lake trail. When the Blue Lake trail split, we headed toward Star Pass and then traversed our way over to the high point on Scarp’s Ridge. From there, we followed along Scarp’s ridge until the bench that lead us back to our car at the bottom of Mt. Owen.

We got an early start. Afley seen from Scarp’s. We ascended a couloir that leads up to the left ridge – the same couloir that most people climb when they ski the mountain.
Hiking the Ruby Range traverse near Crested Butte, CO.

Looking down toward Blue Lake and over toward Star Pass (the notch in the far ridge line).
Hiking the Ruby Range traverse near Crested Butte, CO.

Susan climbing up the couloir, which had a few treacherously loose sections.
Hiking the Ruby Range traverse near Crested Butte, CO.

Susan on the ridge line to Afley.
Hiking the Ruby Range traverse near Crested Butte, CO.

So, as it turns out, there really wasn’t a person standing on the summit for an hour πŸ˜‰
Hiking the Ruby Range traverse near Crested Butte, CO.

A view looking southwest from Afley – Beckwith and Marcellina mixed with colorful fall hues.
Hiking the Ruby Range traverse near Crested Butte, CO.

Marcellina and the Raggeds.
Hiking the Ruby Range traverse near Crested Butte, CO.

Looking north from Afley.
Hiking the Ruby Range traverse near Crested Butte, CO.

The rest of the Ruby Traverse, north of Afley.
Hiking the Ruby Range traverse near Crested Butte, CO.

The rest of the southern Ruby Traverse- Purple Peak, Owen, and Ruby (hidden).
Hiking the Ruby Range traverse near Crested Butte, CO.

From Afley, we continued on toward Oh-Be-Joyful. This section of the ridge line was fun.
Hiking the Ruby Range traverse near Crested Butte, CO.

Hiking the Ruby Range traverse near Crested Butte, CO.

Hiking the Ruby Range traverse near Crested Butte, CO.

Hiking the Ruby Range traverse near Crested Butte, CO.

Hiking the Ruby Range traverse near Crested Butte, CO.

Susan enjoying a snack on the summit of Oh-Be-Joyful.
Hiking the Ruby Range traverse near Crested Butte, CO.

A look back toward Afley and the ridge line we followed.
Hiking the Ruby Range traverse near Crested Butte, CO.

The sky was blue when Susan picked me up in the morning. But, it quickly turned to gray. As we stood on Oh-Be-Joyful, we watched snow squalls engulf surrounding peaks. The temperature was rapidly dropping. We knew we had to keep going. On to Hancock.
Hiking the Ruby Range traverse near Crested Butte, CO.

Susan on top of Hancock.
Hiking the Ruby Range traverse near Crested Butte, CO.

Looking back toward Oh-Be-Joyful and Afley.
Hiking the Ruby Range traverse near Crested Butte, CO.

Susan descending Hancock with Richmond behind. Oh-Be-Joyful pass trail descends from the treed area on the ridge just below.
Hiking the Ruby Range traverse near Crested Butte, CO.

As we descended Oh-Be-Joyful Pass, we were happy to be protected from the prevailing wind for a while.
Hiking the Ruby Range traverse near Crested Butte, CO.

The upper bench of the Oh-Be-Joyful valley.
Hiking the Ruby Range traverse near Crested Butte, CO.

We made our way through the valley quickly and then began to make our way over to Star Pass.
Hiking the Ruby Range traverse near Crested Butte, CO.

Susan ascending Star Pass, as the sun started to show itself once again.
Hiking the Ruby Range traverse near Crested Butte, CO.

Blue Lake, Purple Peak and Afley, as seen from near the top of Star Pass.
Hiking the Ruby Range traverse near Crested Butte, CO.

From the top of Star Pass, we wrapped around the ridge on an unmarked climber’s trail that heads to the Scarp’s Ridge high point.
Hiking the Ruby Range traverse near Crested Butte, CO.

The views from the Scarp’s Ridge high point are always amazing – The Oh-Be-Joyful valley and the three peaks we traversed.
Hiking the Ruby Range traverse near Crested Butte, CO.

It was there that we saw it…. The big mound of white. Susan claimed it was a mountain goat, but this was coming from the same person who confused a deer for an elk just hours before. Nevertheless, the binoculars came out. And sure enough, it was a mountain goat.
Hiking the Ruby Range traverse near Crested Butte, CO.

He let us come fairly close before deciding he needed to keep a fair lead on us. But, every time I yelled his name, “Goatie” he turned around. I’m sure he knew he was posing for my pictures πŸ™‚
Hiking the Ruby Range traverse near Crested Butte, CO.

Hiking the Ruby Range traverse near Crested Butte, CO.

We continued along Scarp’s ridge until we reached the bench above Robinson’s basin, and followed that bench back to our car.
Hiking the Ruby Range traverse near Crested Butte, CO.

It was a beautiful hike over much varied terrain. We felt glad to accomplish yet another goal. Thanks to Susan for the vision to put together the middle Ruby Range Travers! But, admittedly, being up there made me wish for snow. Maybe it was the snow squalls that kept popping up around us. Or maybe it was the fact that we found the couloir up Afley much easier to climb with snow than without. But, either way, I seem to be wishing for winter more and more each day πŸ™‚

Brittany Walker Konsella

Aside from skiing, biking, and all outdoorsy things,Brittany Walker Konsella also loves smiles and chocolate πŸ™‚ Even though she excels at higher level math and chemistry, she still confuses left from right. Find out more about Brittany!

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Summary
Middle Ruby Range Traverse
Article Name
Middle Ruby Range Traverse
Description
The Ruby Range Traverse in Crested Butte refers to a traverse on a ridge line that travels over several different peaks between Purple Mountain & Ruby Peak.
Author

Brittany Walker Konsella

Aside from skiing, biking, and all outdoorsy things, Brittany Walker Konsella also loves smiles and chocolate :) Even though she excels at higher level math and chemistry, she still confuses left from right. Find out more about Brittany!

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