I had been concerned about doing Dallas solo so I contacted Bob Reimann who I knew still had to climb it to complete his highest 100 summits. The trip was on and our group of five proceeded to Telluride.
Sept 1 01: We drove to Telluride and parked at 9420' near the fence at the city water treatment plant then backpacked to a camp at about 11400'. The next morning we carefully followed the Roach guidebook for the classic East face route. The route finding with the guidebook instruction was complicated but with all heads working together we felt that we were exactly on route all the way. The route ascends a south facing slope an goes around and up the east then skirts around to the north face for the final summit block. The descent id directly down the east face from the top. The lower mountain is all harder class 2 and the upper reaches become a solid class 3. The bit of loose rock did not present any problem. Then one has to go up some easy rock up the east face which Roach says is class 4. Little exposure and we found some slings at the top of the pitch. At this point we found the big chockstone (really big), and found the class 4 move get up a narrow place and up on a big rock. The darn thing was real hard and with my crummy mountain boots I had to have a rope thrown down. I just grabbed the rope and went up. So much for my rock skills. The guys who climbed up this place smeared and stemed to the opposite wall and had enough grip with the smear to pull them selves up. Several of us had the same problem I did, and used the rope for a hand hold. This place had a fall potential of 5.0'!! From the rock we went across some ledges to a place above the north face where we waited for a party of 4 ahead of us. The summit block from there is rated at 5.3 but seemed much harder to me (I guess my lack of practice muddies my judgement). From the start of this final pitch there is excessive air below. All of us went up on belay and nobody had any slips but it was very cold as the rain from the night before had frozen and everybody complained of cold fingers. On top the area was large enough for everyone with room to spare. The climbers kept coming until the head count was 13. The descent is a rappel from an huge rock which had several new 1" webbing and an accommodating rap ring. We used two ropes and rapped thry the hole under the big chockstone. Free most of the way. The book is very close at 85' for the rappel. On the descent we rappeled down the 4th class east face section and were back to camp in time to pack up and walk out to the cars. We got hammered with a severe thunder/lightning storm on the way out. Such it is in the late summer.
The climb is a good one and previous reports from other climbers I decided they were exaggerated. I was prepared for a much more difficult effort. Now dont get me wrong, this climb is not one to be missed. It required lots of exertion with the packing of rock gear, helmet, ropes etc., and the summit block is sure a kick when you look down. Then the rap from the top is also one of the best.
Dallas was Bob's last summit in the top 100, and we celebrated. Congratulations Bob. Thanks Bob for organizing the trip and belaying me up the summit block.
And I have 4 to go for my 100 list. I will have to solicit a lead climber to finish. What else is new :-) Pigeon. Turret, Thunder, & TK. Any volunteers?