Ascent of Dollar Lake Peak on 2010-08-10

Climber: Michael Wanberg

Others in Party:James Robinson
Date:Tuesday, August 10, 2010
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Dollar Lake Peak
    Elevation:9080 ft / 2767 m

Ascent Trip Report

We set out just after 9am from camp below Dollar Pass, quickly gaining the pass. We mosey-ed over toward Dollar Lake, then angled toward, and up, the NE ridge. The wind was blowing really strongly from the west-sw, so we tried to gain a bit of shelter by staying just below and to the right (looking up) of the ridge. This ascent was super straightforward and about as easy as a non-trail peak can be.

We continued across the ridge to the west, as our plan called for continuing on to Petes Point, then south over Petes-Sentinel Peak and possibly on to Sentinel Peak for a moderately ambitious day. We reached the pass west of Dollar and had begun our ascent of Petes when James realized that he had lost his vest off of his pack. Unfortunately the vest had a few important items in it, so we decided to look for it before continuing on. I figured we'd find it pretty quickly and then resume the trek. James headed back up the Dollar ridge while I skirted to the north, hoping to locate the vest if the wind had driven it off the ridge. After checking the pseudo bowl as well as I could, I headed up the north 'face' of the subpeak west of Dollar to meet up with James. From there, we decided to split up once more, Me to return to our packs (which we'd left at the pass west of Dollar) and James to continue on to the main summit of Dollar.

James reached the summit, but was still unable to locate his vest; he radioed me that he was going to continue NE down the ridge. I had noticed that some taller clouds (read: potential thunderstorms) were moving in, and concluded that taking a chance at Petes after James rejoined me would likely lead to being caught out on the ridge by the approaching storm. I suggested that we meet up at the junction of the trails from our respective passes to the north toward Aneroid Lake. James agreed, and I loaded some of his things into my bag, then set off down the trail with both packs.

After meeting up on the trail, I handed James back his pack and we returned to camp. The storm clouds had held off longer than I had anticipated, and James decided to head back up to look again for his vest. I relaxed in camp for a while and checked in with him via radio intermittently, advising him to head back when the wind picked up once more. He made it back and we started an early dinner a few minutes before the suspected storm arrived. We cleaned up the pots and strung up the food in a frenzy as the skies opened up with lightning and rain on us.

We'd had intermittent lightning on the surrounding peaks and ridges the night before, but this time the full furry of the heavens were unleashed on us. After the first few strikes it was impossible to tell which direction the lightning was coming from, or how far away it was. All I know for sure was that it was CLOSE! The strikes were coming every few seconds for 20-30 minutes, and the thunder merged into an essentially unending roll. It was the most spectacular lightning storm I've ever witnessed, and I wasn't even watching it!

This was James' first peak, although by the end of the day he'd actually summited it three times, all from the pass elevations. I told him he had probably climbed that peak more times in one day than anyone else in history! : )
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:2500 ft / 761 m
    Total Elevation Loss:2500 ft / 762 m
    Round-Trip Distance:7.3 mi / 11.7 km
    Grade/Class:Class 2
    Quality:4 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail, Open Country, Scramble
    Gear Used:
Ski Poles, Tent Camp
    Nights Spent:2 nights away from roads
    Weather:Pleasant, Very Windy, Partly Cloudy
Clear during ascent, powerful lightning after return to camp
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:1000 ft / 304 m
    Distance:1.2 mi / 2 km
    Route:To Dollar Pass, then east ridge
    Start Trailhead:Camp at 8080' in Bonny Lakes basin  8080 ft / 2462 m
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:2500 ft / 762 m
        Loss Breakdown:Net: 1000 ft / 305 m; Extra: 1500 ft / 457m
    Gain on way out:1500 ft / 457 m
    Distance:6 mi / 9.7 km
    Route:see TR
    End Trailhead:Camp at 8080' in Bonny Lakes basin  8080 ft / 2462 m
Ascent Part of Trip: Aneroid Mtn 2010

Complete Trip Sequence:
1Dollar Lake Peak2010-08-102500 ft / 762 m
2Aneroid Mountain2010-08-113902 ft / 1189 m
Total Trip Gain: 6402 ft / 1951 m    Total Trip Loss: 6402 ft / 1951 m

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