After our twofer on Pacific and Atlantic, Christy and I headed to Leadville to try to ski Dyer Mountain. A neighbor to the 14er Mount Sherman, Dyer isn’t particularly interesting from a technical standpoint, but if you’re looking for a straightforward day with a very easy approach, this is the one.
We opted for the Southeast Face from Iowa Gulch. The mountains of the Mosquito Range, like the Tenmile Range to the north, are often very windy. As a result, good snow cover may be hard to find. This route often holds enough snow for skiing, and is fairly low-angled and therefore reasonable from an avalanche safety perspective.
The route is simple. From the start of the Iowa Gulch Jeep Road, skin the road for about four miles, to where it turns north to some old mine cabins. You’ll find yourself under some high-voltage power lines at this point, which actually show the way to the saddle between Dyer and Mount Sherman/Gemini. Follow the power lines for a bit, until you crest a small roll over on Dyer’s SE Face, and then scout the face for ski routes. Both the south and east ridges should have skiable snow, and on better years, lines more to the center of the face should be filled in as well. Pick your line of ascent/descent and go.
Unfortunately, we found ourselves in some pretty low visibility and high winds. The skiing was good, though; there were a couple of inches of new snow on top of a firm base. We imagine it would have been even better had it been a warm spring day. It would be a great corn run if you timed it right. Maybe Dav will get lucky when he comes here to check this off the list.