East Face/Dallas Peak
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Dougo rapping the gully with a storm on his heels
The standard East Face route up Dallas actually starts on the South Face and winds its way around the lower mountain to the right. A very explicit route description is available in Gerry Roach's "Colorado Thirteeners" book. Highly recommended is the variation Roach calls "Stan's Shortcut". Bushwack through the woods following Mill Creek and pass the beautiful waterfall on the right (east) side. Many parties take the shortcut on the way up and follow the trail variation on the way down. A two day backpack/climb is also possible.
Gain access to the South Face of Dallas where the fun really begins. Follow the path of least resistance up the face and aim for a gully on the west side which allows access to the upper part of the face. You will pass a strange ramp that looks like a killer ski jump. Once through the gully trend towards the right and uphill between two cliff bands, one above you and one below. This talus slope has the potential to be a real ankle breaker. The faint path through this area will lead you over a shoulder and eventually into the East Face. Follow the light (very light) climbers trail into the East Face gully system. Look for the path of least resistance to gain elevation up the East Face. You will be aiming for the East Ridge. Near the top of the gully a short 4th class face climb gains access to the upper part of the face. Less experienced climbers may need a belay here, and anchors are sparse. We used three knifeblade pitons only partially driven.
A deep and often snow filled couloir tops out on the crest of the East Ridge and gives access to the North Face. If snow conditions allow you can escape this couloir under a very large chock stone. Another option is to stay right and gain the North Face through a blocky groove (class 4). Some of our party needed a belay here also.
Once on the North Face proper, follow the ledges up and down to an obvious break in the summit tower. This line is technical and very, very loose. The first moves are the most interesting: up a crack and stepping across to another crack. One should take the time to lean out and look down the North Face at this point; the view is extremely exposed and very dramatic. Continue up the obvious easy route being careful not to knock stuff down on your belayer. The rest of the route is easy moves between blocky ledges. Be advised that it is very difficult to rappel this route or throw a rope down successfully. Parties with more than two on a rope should consider having the seconds self belay or use a tag line for each second. The wonderful and exposed summit is very loose and belay anchors are not very evident.
To descend from the top, find the large block on the northeast side of the summit tower. This block can be slung (25 feet of sling material requried) for a spectacular free rappel. This rap is one of the finest in Colorado for pure alpine beauty and breathtaking exposure. One 50 meter rope is sufficient but two are better; this allows you to rap all the way past the big chockstone. One 60 meter rope won't reach.
EDIT: The comments below indicate that one 60 meter rope is sufficient. LS
Slog down the rest of the route the same way you came up.
Standard light alpine rack with tricams being favorite, long slings and perhaps a knifeblade piton or two.
Climbing the summit pitch on Dallas East face.
BETA PHOTO: Summit pitch, 5.3, on Dallas Peak's North Face.
Climbers rapping down from Dallas.
BETA PHOTO: Summit block of Dallas Pk with car-sized chockston...
BETA PHOTO: Rapping off the east side of the summit block thro...
Dallas peak with climbers on its top as seen from ...
BETA PHOTO: Looking up the class 5.3 summit pitch. The crux i...
The start of the climb is this way. No rope needed...
From: Los Alamos, NM
Aug 3, 2009
rating: 5.3 3+ 10 III 9 VD 3a
We used one 60m rope to rap through the hole beneath the chockstone to solid ground. Another climber informed me that a 60m reaches the ground as well if you have to go over top of the chockstone.
Click here for TR.
From: Center, CO
Aug 7, 2011
2- #3 Camalots is all I should have brought and alpine draws. I climbed straight up to avoid the wandering 3rd class stuff that caused the rope to knock rocks on my belayer, better line, too.
From: Montrose, Colorado
Aug 19, 2012
About the shortcut - we took the trail up and decided for the shortcut on the way down. We just followed straight down from the peak, keeping close to the creek. If you stay on the west side of the creek you will get cliffed out. Stay on the east side of the creek and you will find a traverse - there is a clearly visible trail - which will lead you into the woods. The shortcut may not be that much of a shortcut after all. You have to cross many fallen trees, you will run into some marshes etc. Still fun way to explore. You will have to eventually cross the creek again on its west side, and go slighly east and continue down. You will run into a large meadow and the approach trail below it.
It is hard to get lost as long as you keep going down, you will eventually run into the trail.