Peak(s):  Crystal Pk A  -  13,852 feet
Father Dyer Pk  -  13,615 feet
Helen, Mt  -  13,164 feet
Post Date:  09/09/2008
Date Climbed:   09/06/2008
Posted By:  ozone

 Helen, Father Dyer, Cyrstal Peak Ridge   

Climbers: D_Baker, Persephone and Gary (ozone)
Start time 7am
Finish 2:30ish (mellow pace)
Round trip 9.5 miles
Weather, Sunny but cool and some wind.

When we were looking for info on this route it was pretty scarce so here is my first trip report.

The original plan for Saturday was the loft route on Longs but with the snow on Thursday night we decided to stay closer to home and find another scramble. We remembered a post from earlier this year when Bill mentioned this route as one of the best scrambles close to the Front Range. Roach's description was pretty spot on, although brief. (Crystal Peak; East Ridge) Bill and others had mentioned the route was more difficult then Roach's rating of class 3 with some unavoidable class 4 sections.

We left Woodland park at 5am Saturday morning and headed towards Breck. We parked just past the Spruce Creek TH and started the hike up. With a 4x4 vehicle with moderate clearance we could have parked at Aqueduct road and saved 2 miles of 4x4 road hiking. We left Aqueduct road and onto wheeler trail. After a short ¼ mile hike we left the trail and bushwhacked our way up Mt. Helen. The steep grass slope went on forever with several false summits


The "unrelenting steep" slope as described by Roach


From the summit of Helen the rest of the ridge to Father Dyer comes into view. Pacific can be seen in the back ground.

The ridge dropping off of Helen is pretty much class 2 down to the saddle but it is airy in places. At the saddle the class 3 really begins.


Looking back up to the summit of Helen


The ridge in front of us from the 1st saddle


A lot of fun class 3 ridge climbing

As we came to the towers we checked them out for a straight up and over approach but the down climbs on the other side seemed more then we were willing to tackle today. So we traversed around them as shown to the climbers left, this still involved a few class 4 moves down. Definitely the crux of the route


Our basic traverse route


Another pic of the traverse off the left side of the ridge.


After getting around the towers it was back up this section to the ridge.


The remaining ridge to Father Dyer was easy going, Father Dyer summit.


Looking back at our ridge line to Helen.


Another view of the ridge between Helen and Father Dyer from below near Crystal Lakes

After summiting Father Dyer we were off to Crystal Peak. The ridge from Father Dyer was mostly class 2 with a few class 3 sections if you stayed on the ridge.


Looking back up at the ridge from Father Dryer to Crystal.

We descended along the standard Crystal Peak route down to Crystal Lakes and back to the car. A great route very close to Breckenridge with some exposed sections and lots of fun scrambling.


Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):

  • Comments or Questions

Nice.     09/09/2008 20:46
Way to go! This is definitely one of my favorite climbs in the area.


great pics     09/10/2008 17:35
Would the ridge from Helen to Fathery Dyer work in the opposite direction equally well? looks like a great trip


Thanks     09/10/2008 18:19
I think it would work fine the other direction. You might find a few more difficult down climbs but there are plenty of options.

Bill thanks for the suggestion it was a great route


Thanks for the info     06/23/2012 00:22
Fortunately most mountains don't change much in 4 years
Planning on doing this route tomorrow. Looking forward to some fun scrambling!

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