The Ruby Mountain Range in Nevada is a narrow range that runs for about 60 miles east of Elko. It got its name back in the days of the gold rush when soldiers panning for gold found garnets, which they mistook for rubies.
This mountain range features 10 peaks above 11,000 feet including the 11,387-foot Ruby Dome, along with endless opportunities for backcountry skiing and snowboarding.
At the heart of the Rubies is “Nevada’s Yosemite” (Lamoille Canyon), a U-shaped canyon featuring hanging valleys, towering peaks and year-round snowfields above it.
The only way for skiers and snowboarders to access the Rubies is via helicopter. These aircraft are equipped to carry up to five skiers at a time, though it is sometimes necessary to split groups based on ability levels and weight factors.
However these helicopters are hands down the ideal way to find the best possible snow and a great way to meet some interesting people sharing the thrill of backcountry skiing with you and your friends.
The Ruby Mountains offer stunning corn and powder skiing and at the times when storms, high winds and other weather factors make flying difficult or impossible, the availability of snowcats and cat-specific terrain is usually still accessible.
Snowcats are based at an elevation of 7,400 feet, which is around 1,500 feet above the valley floor which is usually below the cloud level even during a storm. This allows for a great day of skiing as snow accumulates throughout the day during the storm.
Due to the cost of helicopters and their maintenance, as well as the need for experienced pilots and guides, helicopter skiing is expensive, but the Ruby Mountains Skiing Experience offers more than three decades of backcountry-life experience to ensure the best skiing outing possible.
To check prices and dates available for 3-day trips visit their website. If you’re interested in a single day heli ski trip, contact them directly by phone at 775-753-6867.
Photo credits: Matador Network