Route: West Ridge from South Fork Animas River
Posted On: 2020-08-27, By: supranihilest
Info: From Silverton take CR2 to CR25, then take the left, lower split on CR25 to the trailhead. 4WD not necessarily required, but high clearance required. From the trailhead take the trail up the creek and cross the creek on a small, three log bridge part way up. Continue on the trail as it fades in and out, until you come across a steep talus gully on your left with a cliff at the top. There will be a ramp just ahead of you; take the ramp and then follow the drainage up into a bowl below Dome. The bowl is full of awful, loose talus. Ascend it to the saddle with Dome (very loose Class 2) then turn left and ascend the Class 2+ ridge to the summit. Reverse your route. The descent sucks because of how loose everything in the bowl is.
Route: From Tower Mtn Cataract Basin
Posted On: 2019-09-14, By: IHikeLikeAGirl
Info: Just a note for the average hiker/peak bagger on the west ridge of Dome...it is no C2 cake walk. We did East Storm-Tower-Dome. The west ridge on Dome requires much care to ascend. You gain 670+ feet in less than a quarter mile (similar steepness to South Maroon's ridge, minus the trail), on super loose talus or, if you stay ridge proper, it is solid-ish, fractured rock, with much rubble. Just left of ridge proper is a loose mess of talus/scree. I preferred ridge proper, but test every single hold and stay out of each other's fall line. One partner took a short ride on a talus slide and I had a basketball sized chunk of rock break off while transferring my weight to another foot hold. We all 3 kicked down a rock or 2 (or 3...), at some point. Doable, but just take care and do not expect a typical C2 talus hike, it is tedious and you will be scrambling for much of it. We descended the north ridge, then NE ridge. MUCH better, more stable, embedded rock, even saw a couple of cairns. The downside, is there is a wide band of cliffs once on the tundra (depending on where you try to drop) and then there is an annoyingly steep tundra and forest descent to the South Fork Animas River. Looked like staying on the north ridge may have been the best option, cannot say for certain. We all agreed that Dome took more care than East Storm, which we weren't expecting. Photo 1: West ridge, steeper than it looks. Photo 2: North ridge, this was the only part where we were not easily walking on solid, embedded talus/rock Photo 3: There is a cliff to the hiker's left, we kept heading to the right until we found a tundra path down Enjoy!