Peak(s):  Dallas Pk - 13,809 feet
Date Posted:  08/04/2009
Modified:  08/05/2009
Date Climbed:   08/01/2009
Author:  Nice Axe
 Dallas Peak-Party of Three   

Itinerary: Standard route w/ rockclimb (5.3) to the summit of Dallas Peak (13809') from Mill Creek TH
Who: Nice Axe (Amy), scotthsu (Scott), and bun in the oven (20 weeks)
Elevation climbed: ~4800'
RT mileage: ~9.3 miles
Time: 9 hours (including 30 minutes on the summit)

As the 100th highest ranked peak in CO and with a technical rock climb (5.3) to the summit block, Dallas Peak has been on our list for a long time. After spending the last weekend at home due to poor weather, a perfect forecast made this trip a go and we were itching to get out.

We slept at the Mill Creek trailhead the night before and started hiking via headlamp at about 5 after 5 am. The Deep Creek trail and the turnoff to the Sneffels Highline trail were very easy to follow in the dark. We arrived at the ridge at ~10,620' around dawn and were rewarded with a nice view of not only Dallas but also the Wilson group. Stan's shortcut was imperceptible, at least to our untrained eyes, and we opted to stay on the main trail. It was quick hiking.

(Left) Dallas in the background, (Right) Wildflowers:

As described by Roach, we left the Highline trail below Dallas' south face and although we were "only 0.6 miles from the summit ...your adventure has just begun."

One of a few third class sections on the ascent:

Traversing above the first cliff band:

Above the first cliff band, this image shows our route up & around the east face. The route was easy to follow through here.

More scrambling on the east face:

Scott on the first 4th class section:

Scott navigating the second 4th class section to gain access to the 5th class summit pitch. This was exciting climbing without a rope and with hiking boots on:

On the north side of Dallas, negotiating the downclimb to the start of the 5th class pitch: (Note: Roach's description of the start of the 5th class climb is hooey. No offense Gerry. We only descended 30 feet or so, not 60.)

Scott eyeing the final pitch, planning his attack:

Roped up. Scott starting the 5.3 pitch to the summit. Climbing shoes would have made this trivial. We were reminded of (and humbled by) the days when mountaineers routinely ascended pitches harder than this in nothing more than leather boots, hemp rope, and a few pitons.

Scott enjoying the spectacular views from the summit:

For a second, we entertained summiting T0 (shown left of center) on this perfect weather day, but couldn't stomach a scree climb. We'll return to ski that one!

Telluride's mountainous fortress - the Wilson group and Lizard Head:

Sneffels, Teakettle, Coffeepot, Potosi, and Uncompahgre:

After 30 minutes of soaking in the views and a leisurely lunch, we prepared to rappel:

The airy first move:

This shot of Scott & me was taken by member Warg. Thanks!

Scott rapping into the hole:

My turn!!

Here is a shot I got of Warg and his buddy ascending the 4th class section. There were some handy rappel slings at the top that made for a nice anchor if needed.

Another convenient set of rap slings made it possible to rap the other 4th class section. Including the rappels, we made it back to the car in 3h 20 m. One final look back:

The wildflowers are still in full bloom:

We couldn't have asked for better weather for this summit, although it was a little hazy up top. I loved this route; it has a lot to offer! If interested, check out the Chronicles of a Pregnant Weekend Warrior:

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26

Comments or Questions
Baby on Rappel!
08/05/2009 03:07
Heck with those ”baby on board” signs... this little adze is really getting out there! Great report - looks like the three of you made short work of that peak. Thanks for all the great climbing notes too... this one‘s on my list for next year.

Great timing!
08/05/2009 13:59
Thanks for the TR and beta, I‘m heading down this weekend to give Dallas a try and this info is really helpful. Congratulations on a successful summit and congrats on the upcoming baby!

Nice Axe
Little Adze
08/05/2009 14:41
Thanks Scott for filling in the climbing notes.

Susan, LOL! I love it! Congrats on Mt. Wilson!

Thanks SuperPolok, and good luck on Dallas. I hope the weather gods smile upon you. This peak rocks; you‘ll have a blast!

nice description
08/05/2009 15:13
of a classic climb Amy and Scott. We (me and the Parrs) were just talking up Taos sunday and thought about you guys and the solid last weekend we had down there. Intrawest, unfortunately, got rid of the 2 free Taos days, but we still plan on getting down there again regardless, tough to pass up on. Ran into Matt in Sedona the weekend before and, we too, talked about some skiing adventures as we sat there in the 100 degree desert heat. Funny how has made the world seem both a lot bigger in a way and smaller too.

From your pics, it looks like a rappel is mandatory from the summit, Moccasin Man or not. Nice work.

Chicago Transplant
08/05/2009 17:33
Congrats on the ”bun”, I love the nickname Little Adze! Great report on this climb, this will provide very useful route info for when I head up there, hopefully sooner rather than later

Nice Axe
Thanks to all for the congrats :D
08/05/2009 19:45
Hey Lord & Sur: Good old days at Taos! Yes, we‘ll have to repeat this season.

del_sur, we were just talking about RGP. Hope to see you soon!

Thanks Transplant, I hope you get up there soon. Scott & I were asking ourselves, now why didn‘t we do this route sooner??

Very Nice!
08/06/2009 01:00
Great job you guys. You incorporated some awesome photos, Amy. The one of Scott scouting the route is first class. Nice work on lead, Scott.

08/06/2009 03:44
Congrats guys, that‘s a sweet heap to be sure. Congrats on the baby Amy. He‘s getting an early start out in the BC .

Same day summit!
08/17/2009 02:59
Great report, Nice Axe! Saved me the effort. Sure was a great day for climbing. Rather than adding a report I will just add a few comments. Malcolml1 and I missed the grassy ”bench” due south of Dallas. From the SE we headed just right of a ”black gully” and ”black cave” and found some good class 3 (maybe some class 4) routes up and then back west to what must have been the standard route. Coming off the top we did indeed have rope to spare (60m) going over the chockstone - and a fun repel as well.

No disrespect to Roach, but I must say that we also had some difficulty with his route description. What seemed obvious to us ended up working out just fine.

nice work, nice axe
09/03/2009 09:29
u2 scotthsu

bun in oven huh? wow, congrats that‘s great! you should start doing these peaks barefoot and really make me feel lazy.

looks like quite a peak, add it to the list....

Nice Axe
Barefoot? LOL!
09/03/2009 13:32
ok, even I‘m not that crazy! I have plenty of foot problems already! I‘ll leave that to the hobbits or the next pregnant chick! I‘ll look for your TR on Dallas!

climbing notes
11/30/2010 17:20
Thanks to PKelley for some recent route beta that allowed us to trim our load of snow gear and unnecessary trad gear. We ended up taking one 60m rope, 5 slings, about 5 nuts (to ~1.5"), the 4 smallest tri-cams, 3 medium hexes (to ~3"), and rap gear (not used since there were already two slings with 2 biners on the rap station, all in good shape). I placed 3 pieces total: a large nut to protect the belay, a small hex in a horizontal crack at the crux (about 10' up), and a pink tri-cam in another horizontal crack about halfway up the climb. I slung a sharp rock sticking up about 10' SE of the summit to anchor myself while belaying Amy up. There is loose rock on the climb so be careful! For the pretty dramatic rappel, a 60m rope will reach the ground below the car-sized chockstone. We went under the chockstone, but Warg informs me that they went over top of the chockstone and also made it to the ground with a 60m rope.

We purposely left the rock shoes behind to save weight, but I felt that the crux moves on the summit pitch would have been much more enjoyable with rock shoes. It is a long way to bring rock shoes for one or two moves, though. For bold & experienced rockclimbers, I‘d say there‘s no problem free soloing the 5.3 summit pitch (when dry) and just bringing gear for rappelling (or not, like ”Moccasin Man” in Roach‘s book).

The Sneffels Highline trail is quite spectacular, zigzagging up and then contouring above steep slopes. It's hard to tell from Telluride that there are beautiful high basins lurking up there.

Also, Jagged and Dallas are often referred to as the 2 hardest peaks of CO's top 100. Now having done both, I think although Jagged requires more overall effort, Dallas (though still easy at 5.3) is the more technically difficult one to summit.

01/19/2011 03:38
Way to go, party of three!!! Dallas looks like a blast.
Amy, I hope you have enough left for Rio Grande Pyramid...
I‘m back from Arizona and will shoot Scott an email today.

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