Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado

Mount Meeker

Dream Weaver Couloir:

Matt flew out from Utah for a long weekend over Father's Day in June of 1996. We had both read the description of the Dream Weaver couloir in the Roach guidebook to Rocky Mountain National Park, and we were ready to give the route a go. It sounded like fun; moderate alpine snow and ice in a grand setting.

We headed off to the Long's Peak trail head and cruised up the trail. The approach was familiar, but still pretty stiff, and I was glad when we reached the cut off to Mount Meeker and the Dream Weaver couloir. We hiked about 2/3 of the of the way up the moraine to the couloir, and made our camp next to a huge boulder. We had started the approach in the morning, so we had lots of daylight left to wander around and check out the scenery. We bivied under the stars, and awoke early. We trudged up the last bit of the moraine to the beginning of the couloir, roped up, and began the climb. The climbing was a mix of step kicking up snow, scrabbling up rock, and occasional front pointing on ice. The climbing wasn't difficult, and we soon realized we had brought way too many ice screws. I think we may have placed only 2 pieces of protection on the entire route. The weather was beautiful, with blue skies and warm temperatures, but the environment in the narrow couloir was shady and cool. The view was spectacular, although the narrowness of the couloir gave a somewhat cropped perspective when looking out and down. The higher we climbed, the more interesting the climbing became. The climb was pretty long, gaining a lot of altitude, and we were pretty tired, particularly because we moved rather quickly over most of the climb.

Approaching the couloir, and climbing in the couloir. (Click on pictures for larger versions.)
We reached the summit slabs, and made our way up and to the top of Mount Meeker. It was a glorious day, and we stripped off our warm clothing, that we no longer needed now that we were out of the confines of the shady, snow-filled couloir. There was a bit of traversing across the summit ridge, and then some delicate traversing and down climbing across large granite slabs as we headed down to the Loft, our descent route. When we reached the Loft, we found it about calf deep with soft snow. It looked to be just about the perfect angle for an avalanche, so we were a bit intimidated by the descent. We ended up traversing across it as high as possible, then carefully descending down the far side, sticking as close as possible to the rock wall. This descent, given our fear of a slide, was more scary than any of the climbing we had done on the Dream Weaver itself. We reached the bottom of the Loft, and rappelled down the final section, over a half frozen waterfall. Then we quickly put as much distance as we could between ourselves and the run-out zone of any potential avalanche coming off of the Loft.

The trek back to our camp was uneventful, and we arrived, bagged our gear, and headed off down the trail. It had been a successful trip in every way. We had achieved our summit goal, climbed the route in good style, and had great weather. We hadn't even had any route finding difficulties, which was a first for us, I think. I guess it helped that our route ascended a very narrow gully, but with Matt and me, you never can be certain we won't get lost.

I saw Matt off at the airport the next day, but we were already planning our next trip together. We had our eye on the North Ridge of Spearhead, another of the Rocky Mountain National Park's classics.