Almost 14er Round 2
April 30 2020
Diego, his roommate Dakota, and I tackled Dyer Mountain this past Sunday. With the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic ravenging it’s way through CO, we resolved to stick to mellower terrain. The Dyer Mountain winter approach is a great compromise mountain as the pitches are fairly safe from an avalanche perspective, yet still challenging from a fitness perspective. Additionally at 13,855ft it’s considered one of the Centennial 13ers which was an added bonus. For context, the mountain in my previous post is also considered a Centennial.
The ski-able face of Dyer is South East facing so we started early in order to avoid the inevitable wet avalanche problem that manifests itself most afternoons in the Spring. We had been watching the weather and were anticipating a solid overnight freeze. When we arrived at the trailhead, or rather where the snow plow stops, we discovered the snowpack was basically a rock. Given that we’re faster on foot than on skins in our respective AT gear, we made the decision to boot pack until the snow softened which was about one and a half miles.
After skinning the rest of the way up the rather dull summer road, we began our attempt on Dyer. The ascent of the last two miles and 2000 vertical feet was fairly brutal. Unfortunately the wind may have been slightly underreported as well which resulted in us getting blasted. Upon reaching the summit, we hung out for a few minutes, took some pictures, and then headed down the shallowest slope we could pick out. The turns from the peak to the summer road were some of the better ones I’ve taken this season. The three mile sufferfest on rotten, soggy snow back to the car was less fun.
Given that Spring has sprung and our Governor has now enacted a ten mile recreation radius, this trip is likely the last time I’ll find myself on a pair of sled sticks this season. I couldn’t have asked for a better end to the season.
Below is the gpx route captured by my watch. Red indicates our ascent and blue our ski descent.