Was going to do Ruby but the road was closed 3 miles back from the pullout for the route. Decided to wing it and do Sourdough instead. We followed the trail up until it starts drifting east across some nasty slopes. We broke from trail and went straight up the south ridge (not difficult at all). We put on snowshoes somewhere around 5,000 feet. From here it is pretty straightforward to follow the connecting ridges to the summit. There is one section on the ridge that is kind of exposed and you are essentially walking on a big wind drift. Use caution. Epic views and a beautiful day.
Legendary views that were worth the significant effort it took to earn them!
That is one burly hike! Got to the lookout then headed for the summit. Found a good spot just down from the top did not appear many folks make the trek over there. Great ridge hike.
Did a 20 mile loop along the lookout trail, then down to Ross Lake, over the Ross Lake dam, along the north shore of Diablo Dam, and finally down back to the town of Diablo. Overall a very scenic and well worthwhile hike, though I can't say the steepness of the trail was very enjoyable. A note for people thinking of doing the whole loop: as of early October there is a washout near the powerhouse for the Ross Lake Dam. The signs will say that the bridge across the river is blocked off. We found the washout area to be a complete joke (they've already cleared the road and looked close to being finished), and the bridge is only blocked off with a ~4' tall gate that can be hopped very easily.
Cotton nazis, beware! Hiked this peak with cotton boxers (not my typical), 2L of water between two people (half my typical), and lastly 1 cup of peanuts/2 fruit leathers/2 oreos/1 summit beer between two people. Usually don't brag about being dumb, but this was a good undertaking for lack of preparation on a last minute Memorial Day weekend spur of the moment hike. Weather spit only slightly, clouded up here and there otherwise. Saw a large black bear grazing about .5mi above camp at mile marker 4. Shared the trail with maybe a half dozen others ... gorgeous overviews of Diablo and Ross Lakes. Up in 5.5hrs, down in 2 - fun climb!
This was an amazing hike. The views were stunning the meteor shower was awesome and the steepness of the trail made the the summit feel like one hell of an accomplishment. The turquoise color of Diablo lake is beautiful from the summit. It was also cool to see the old fire lookout.
When our summit party visited the lookout site, the entire lookout was covered in massive snowpack. In essence, Paul, Martin, and I were sitting on top of the lookout. Martin and I each walked alongside the snow-covered lookout but if we had tried to dig inward to uncover the outer walls or windows the overhanging snow would have buried us. There was SO MUCH snow up there. That same day, another group was on a nearby ridge and took a photo of Sourdough Ridge... and could not see the lookout due to the large amount of snowpack, either. This was very similar to when Steph Abegg visited the site several years ago.
EPILOGUE: I returned several months later with someone wanting to visit a lookout. This gave me a chance to "see" it, too, despite standing on top of the snow-covered lookout the first time.
Just A LOT of elevation gain!
Tough hike but huge payout.
had a great time and cool swim with Alexei & Adam, but i had nightmares about the bugs all night and new welts keep popping up on my arms and legs. do this hike in midsummer or without wind at your own peril!
Alexei, Curt and I went to the lookout first and then the official summit. It was too hazy to fully appreciate the views. The highlight of the trip was when we went swimming around in a tarn up on the ridge top.
Update: Came back September 22, 2015 on the way to Elephant Butte. See the trip report.
Very pretty hike. The summit views are outstanding. Got attacked by an agitated ptarmigan on the way up.
Lots of snow, and a warm day ... was down to shortsleeves and feeling pretty comfortable. Made it to just below the shelter and turned around due to the early hour of darkness. Moderately strenuous ... descent is fun on the knees. :)
A fun hike to the top, a lot of snow this year.
Awesome training hike, although a bit dull at the start. Camped out in blizzard along the summit ridge. Went up for the views, did not see a damn thing.
Long, somewhat dull hike. Steep trail, pretty meadows near top. Good panoramic views from top. Nice little cabin up there too.