Thursday, November 8, 2007

Trip Report: Mt Meeker via Dreamweaver

Here's a Trip Report from a climb I did earlier this year. We had hoped to do Dreamweaver, again, this weekend but this warm stretch of weather has us considering other options.

Trip Report: Mt Meeker 13,911 feet via Dreamweaver
May 20, 2007
11.1 miles round trip, descent via the Loft
4,511 ft vertical gain
Class 4-5.4, Steep Snow/Ice

This Rocky Mountain climb is worthy of its reputation as a fun, moderate mixed route. Spring is often prime season to cruise up. It's also climbable late in the year depending on conditions.

For this trip I met my climbing partner at the Longs Peak trailhead at 4:30 am. The trail held some intermittent patches of packed snow, but was mostly clear all the way to Chasm View.

Longs Peak stands as a stately sentry watching over the Chasm valley. We took our time to soak in the magnificent scenery and alpine splendor on our way over to the base of the Dreamweaver couloir.

After a brief break to gear up, we began our climb at 7:30 am. Not knowing what we might encounter I decided to take one rope, a few cams, and 2 axes for each of us. Feeling right at home on the white neve, we immediately began blasting up the steep pitch. We marveled at the perfect conditions and continued on up.

At the first constriction we decided to place an anchor and then motored over some 5th class rock. It lasted less than 10 feet then eased off. My climbing partner and I continued our ascent, being sure to look out behind us beyond our safe cocoon – the mighty and beautiful Dreamweaver couloir. With views of the Flying Buttress, my imagination ran wild, tricking my eyes into seeing friendly rock faces keeping watch as we gently wandered up the slope.

At one constriction, the couloir narrows to about three feet in width and thrusts sharply upward into steep ice-covered rock. After swinging our tools and cramponing a bit, we were up over the second crux onward to the last mixed section.

Before we knew it we were on the summit. How did that happen so quickly? The climb was so much fun! Relaxing on top of Mt Meeker, we watched as high dark clouds blew around.

The standard descent is the Loft and if conditions are right, one can glissade the bottom portion. All in all a great day in the mountains.

Click here for trip pics