Peak Name: Dallas Peak

Peak Height: 13,809'

Location: San Juan Mountains, Colorado

Trailhead: Mill Creek

Difficulty: 5.7

Round Trip Stats: 7 mi, 4560 ft

Date Climbed: 3/19/2017

Dallas Peak is Colorado's toughest Centennial thirteener, at least from a technical perspective. In winter the infamous fifth class summit difficutlies are well guarded by thousands of feet of steep, avalanche prone slopes. The one thing a winter ascent of Dallas does have going for it is relatively easy access.

Conditions on this last weekend of calendar winter were exceptionally dry and stable, except for significant wet slide activity later in the day. Dom and I got a 3am start to beat the heat, were on the summit shortly after 8, and back at the car around 11. It felt like a May climb.

We followed more or less the standard route, making using of Stan's Shortcut on the approach. However, we did not do the normal fifth class finish on the north side. Instead we climbed a harder but drier line on the south side in the vicinity of the normal rappel line. I've read it goes at 5.7 and wouldn't agrue with this rating, although it's certainly not sustained at 5.7.

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