Made my first climb of Dromedary Peak via Lake Blanche and the north ridge. This was my first hike with the Wasatch Mountain Club. After doing many of the easier peaks by myself, I started going with the WMC on many of the tougher peaks.
My friend Dan decided to join me, and we drove out to the Big Cottonwood park and ride to meet the group at 6am. The leader, John and one other woman whom I have forgotten the name of met up and headed for the Lake Blanche trail. We made quick time up to the scenic lake (3 miles, 2700 vertical feet) where I had been several times. I pulled out the old, big ass video camera I had dragged up Broads Fork Twin Peaks just one week earlier and shot some footage. The sun was just coming up over Monte Cristo to the east.
From here out, the route was all new to me. John led us down a hundred feet past Lakes Florence and Lillian, crossed a stream and began the steep haul towards Dromedary’s north ridge. The hike up to the ridge was steep but not particularly difficult save for the occasional hidden holes in the weeds that you would step into that twisted your ankle if you weren’t careful. The last ten feet to the ridge involved climbing an oddly angled slab of rock that warranted some caution. From here (10,000 feet) you can see into Broads Fork (where you can also get on this ridge from). From here, the Broads Fork Twins had a pyramid-shape that I had not seen before and a few snowfields clung up against Sunrise Peak’s north face.
We climbed up the gentle ridge slowly. Many of the rocks are angular and require careful navigation around and over even though there is no exposure. After 600 feet of gentle climbing, the summit block of Dromedary rears up. The lady, new to the state, was having trouble with the altitude and elected to stop here. John, Dan and I continued. The normal route from Lake Blanche either ascends from the lake directly to the notch in the east ridge, or traverses from 10,600 where I was east to the same notch. John had been on Dromedary several times and knew of a route up the steep slabs that make Dromedary’s north ridge though I’ve never seen it discussed in a guide book. I’m glad he knew a route because I’d have never found it. We weaved in and out, over and around several slabs with moderate exposure and finally reached the summit.
The views were somewhat obscured as it was an overcast day. To the south, the high peaks around Lone Peak and the Pfeifferhorn were socked in clouds, though the view down Tanners Gulch was startling! Much to my dismay, I had left my regular camera on earlier and killed the battery. Fortunately I had my bulky video camera and shot some good footage, including a mountain goat just below the summit. Sunrise Peak looks quite formidable from Dromedary, as does the whole of the Cottonwood Ridge to the east. The three lakes of Mill B South Fork looked tiny 2,000 feet below.
Another lone hiker arrived from the more traditional route and decided to take our route back down. We didn’t stay long as it was windy and we feared the dark clouds to the south could quickly envelop us. The nameless lady was feeling better and made it down with no trouble. Nine hours, ten miles and five thousand feet later Dromedary was done.