Dry Mountain

15-May-99 (via Beck-Kelsey Ridge)

By: Sue Holloway


What can I say except that I love ridges. Maybe that's because I struggle so in loose rocks, especially when I have to sidehill or go up chutes. So, it was with interest that I read Eric Beck's report of his climb with Lori, Joe and Toby when they found a pleasant ridge as a descent route off of Dry.

Linda McDermott and I had planned for several months to do Dry and Tin in mid-May. Most of our usual companions could not be enticed. What? Those peaks in May? Are you crazy? It'll be too hot... After reading Eric's report I told Linda I'd like to climb Dry up the ridge rather than the standard route; she was quite agreeable. Several others did end up joining us ... true believers that McDermott-luck would see that we had decent weather. Sure enough, the day before we left, a cooling trend settled in.

I had just purchased a GPS and thought this would be a good chance to practice using it and it was. Here are the stats: From the east, drive and park per the DPS Guide instructions. CLIMB/ROUTE C: Start hiking west on the easy terrain, following any one of the easy washes from the road. When you are directly north of point 4938, locate the large canyon that is at a bearing of 244. Continue toward that point, meandering over easy terrain to the mouth of the canyon. Once you have entered the canyon, continue around the toe of the ridge, heading north about 500 ft. (distance) to the easy slope that is now marked with a large duck (UTM I IS, 450724, 4081485) at elevation 6300' Gain the ridge and follow it over points 7944 and 7934. Between those points, take a look to the east and gaze down at the headwall that you have just avoided. From point 7934, descend down the ridge to the large N-S wash at the 7300 ft. level. From the wash, proceed W up a ridge which is followed to the top.

Our cumulative elevation gain that day was 6670' and it took our small group 11 hrs. 45 mins., including generous breaks and 40 minutes on the summit. To me, this climb is very similar to doing Panamint Butte from Towne Pass ... a beautiful, hands-in-pocket ridge run. Once on point 7934, identify Dry Mountain, taking care not to head for point 8626.

My thanks to Eric for initially exploring this route. I totally agree with his assessment that this is a fine, fine way to climb Dry Mtn. I highly recommend that this route be added to the next version of the DPS Guide as a primary route on Dry and I encourage other leaders to lead this route.

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