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Reports From the Field: Dreamweaver Conditions 20180604

The view of Mt Meeker on June 4th, 2018

Dreamweaver, Mt Meeker Conditions

CMS guide and Expeditions Manager Jayson Simons-Jones climbed Dreamweaver in Rocky Mountain National Park yesterday (June 4th, 2018). See and hear what he found.

The view of Mt Meeker on June 4th, 2018

I went for a quick morning jaunt up Dreamweaver today, and wanted to share what I found. Early Summer snow / ice route conditions are changing fast these days, so getting beta on the latest conditions is helpful. In short, I found the route to be in amazing shape, and super fun climbing. A true easy mixed alpine gem … read on for more detail.

The Approach

The day starts with an early morning start at the Longs Peak trailhead. The approach is about five miles to Chasm Lake. Earlier in the year, technical climbing starts with low angle snow climbing for 600 feet up the lower apron of the couloir.

This late in the spring, trail conditions were basically dry to the base of the couloir, except for a few avoidable snow patches on the approach talus field, and the standard sidehill snow slope crossing between Chasm Junction and Chasm Lake. This has a great track in it, and was still supportive and mostly firm upon my return around 0900, though a slip while crossing this would be quite bad and hard to arrest a fall.  

The Climb

The climb itself is in great condition … with a stair-stepped boot pack on the snow slopes, and about 4 or 5 short ice step / bulges that were all great climbing shape. Typically the crux of the route is found about half way up the narrow channel with a possible short pitch of ice and/or mix rock climbing, depending on conditions, but this year it has 4 or 5 short ice steps around AI2 and one easy mixed step at M2ish. The climbing is fun, interesting, and a great introduction to RMNP’s moderate alpine challenges. 

Up close on the first ice step of Dreamweaver
Up close on the first ice step of Dreamweaver
The view of the upper ice step on Dreamweaver, Mt Meeker on 6/4/2018
The view from the bottom of the upper ice step
The conditions on Dreamweaver's second ice step
The exit on Dreamweaver’s second ice step

The Descent

The Loft Ramp descent trail is currently a mix of hard snow and ice, and is quite exposed to loose rock from above and exposure below, so it’s not quite over. From here, the descent is currently a mix of soft snow plunge stepping down intermittent snowfields and loose talus and slabs, and the snow was softening on the descent at 12,000’+ on an easterly aspect by 0830. 

Great conditions right now, but definitely some complex terrain that requires some experience and technical skills to navigate safely!

About this Climb

Mount Meeker tops out at 13,911 feet, second only to its neighbor, Longs Peak (14,259′), in Rocky Mountain National Park. Meeker is part of the spectacular Chasm Lake cirque and offers some of the best alpine routes found on the Front Range.

Dreamweaver is one of RMNP’s classic snow couloirs that offers steep snow climbing with the potential of mixed ice and rock terrain. This route is a must for any aspiring alpinist looking for a classic route this summer.

Conditions are in right now, but with a seemingly early start to summer, time is ticking. Want to climb Dreamweaver? Book an “Alpine 2” guide day online.

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