Ascent of Dyadic Point on 2014-01-19
|Others in Party:||Anji Cerney|
|Date:||Sunday, January 19, 2014|
|Ascent Type:||Successful Summit Attained|
| Motorized Transport to Trailhead:||Car|
| Elevation:||4360 ft / 1328 m|
Ascent Trip ReportFor the previous portion of this trip report, please see the entry under Spectre Peak.
Unlike Tensor and Spectre, we had no GPS track to guide us up Dyadic. Fortunately I had read Bob Burd's Aqua peaks trip report and kept going into the Dyadic section, not realizing at the time we would be attempting it. Once down to the saddle, the first difficulty was identifying which subpeak was actually Dyadic Point. Having read that it was nearly as tall as Spectre (some say it might be taller) helped us figure it out, in conjunction with the topos on my GPS and some discussion.
Once at the base of the correct peak, Austin scouted around and didn't see anything that looked promising. We followed a ledge that lead to a 15 foot dropoff, and could find no easy way down. We eventually rappelled as I had a 30' section of cord that was just long enough, and my mountaineering harness, ATC, and some other gear we all shared. For an anchor, we used a Catclaw bush/tree, so I can no longer say they are completely worthless!
We continued, trying to find a way to get up that didn't require full trad gear. Austin pointed out a 25' chimney, then dismissed it and mentioned about scouting around for an easier way up. But I recognized the chimney from Burd's skimmed trip report as the one with a 6' long boulder in the bottom of it (more like 8' I suspect). Austin and Anji were dubious, so I climbed it and scouted ahead, seeing what looked like a way up. Anji didn't like the look of the chute, but easily climbed it, as did Austin. At the top I came to an exposed fin, and carefully smeared it and got atop it with lots of big air on both sides, quite aware that I was not on any sort of belay. Anji didn't like the fin at all, and said so, because the fin quickly transitioned into a true knife edge, maybe an inch wide at the top and brittle. There had to be a better way to the summit! As it turned out it wouldn't have gone all the way anyway, as there is a gap at the far end that would be more than any of us would be able to downclimb unroped.
Austin spotted me getting back down, which was exposed and sketchy; meanwhile Anji, who later told me she couldn't bear to watch it, found a way below the far side of the rock I was downclimbing that appeared to go to the summit. It was very exposed, but better than the fin. Austin and I followed, and the groove Anji had found became a very narrow squeeze in places. After a couple of more exposed areas we at last made the summit. The climbing on Dyadic is Class 3+ with exposure, perhaps even Class 4 in some spots. Certainly Class 4 up on the knife edge fin that wasn't really part of the route.
Elated, we relaxed, and for the first time I have EVER seen, Anji personally signed the register, saying this one was well earned! And indeed it was, and was by far the highlight of what had so far been a very fun outing. I regretted leaving my pack (and camera) at the base of the chimney, as the views were impressive. I did get a few pics from the crude camera built into my GPS, which I took with me, as I wanted the complete track. By now, the day was getting late, and we still had to get off the airy summit so we carefully worked our way back down and recovered our packs without incident.
By taking a route back toward Tensor, we avoided having to climb back up the short Class 5 wall we rappelled down.
Because our route up the rocky gully that morning had been so slow, and because those two other guys had started after us and beat us to the summit (and we were moving well), we reasoned the route Dennis had taken on the way back must be faster. So we skirted Tensor Peak aiming for this other gully, as the sun slowly crept toward the horizon. We knew when we decided to try for Dyadic that the descent would be in the dark, but we all had headlamps.
Here is where the trip started to turn not so fun. First off, my Black Diamond Spot headlamp had gotten a little wet in the morning when my hydration bladder leaked a little water on it. Now, some fourteen hours later, it was malfunctioning and unusable, leaving me literally in the dark for the entire descent. BD claims it it water resistant to IPX4 standards, but I would never count on one working in even a light drizzle again. My right knee, which I aggravated on Rabbit Peak a while back, got re-aggravated. Anji was having to stay behind me and use her headlamp to illuminate me from the rear. Meanwhile, Austin would turn around when he could and shine his light for me. The boulder hopping got more and more intense, and in spite of their gallant efforts to help me, I still slipped several times, eventually wrenching my already tired low back. After several nearly bad stumbles, I even suggested I might have to bivouac before I broke an ankle. But neither Anji or Austin had bivy gear, and wanted to press on, and so I tried to continue, in spite of the snail's pace I was holding with the lack of illumination, and back and knee issues just killing me.
It got worse, as the Catclaw became a problem, and the wash had steeper and steeper downclimbs, some which we had to bypass. At one point my left foot went through some sort of unseen hole, and I fell inwards, with my tibia levering against the boulder with my weight on it. At the time it happened, I was concerned I had actually fractured my left leg, but instead ended up with a badly bruised leg/ankle. Our progress down the gully, hindered by me, went from slow to crawling along. With the back and knee bugging me I was having to use arms for even the smallest step down, as jumping just hurt like crazy. This lead to a lot of extra fatigue.
After what seemed like an eternity, we finally hit the broad, sandy wash. I was able to make better time here, with only some occasional boulder hopping and Catclaw to slow us down. We reached the start of the old road about the time the moon finally came up. From the road it was about 3.5 miles back to the car, unhindered by plants or rocks. I had unfortunately not slept the night before, and was now going on 37+ hours without sleep, as were Anji and Austin. I was so tired I was actually falling asleep as we were walking down the road, but we still averaged 2.7 mph on the sandy track.
We reached the car at last at 11:25 PM, a good 16+ hours after we started. Driving home so tired proved an adventure as well. Anji took the first shift while Austin slept. I tried to keep awake and talk to Anji about anything, but she was falling asleep anyway, so we eventually parked and all went to sleep. I woke up shivering about 45 minutes later, and we drove on. Eventually Austin took over the wheel, and I took over for Austin when he started falling asleep. It took a lot to stay awake but we all made it home alright. I am convinced driving without falling asleep while exhausted and sleep-deprived is a vital mountaineering skill.
What a long day in the mountains! But I had fun for most of it, until the headlamp/knee/back/ankle issues the last few hours. I am still glad we did Dyadic Point, as it was clearly the highlight. GPS track is for our entire trip.
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