Some people call this the Triple Traverse, but since Wes and I had done Broad’s Fork Twins a few weeks earlier via Ferguson canyon and the Storm Mountain ridge, and also because Wes had to work til noon, we skipped the Twins and just did Sunrise and Dromedary Peaks this time. So, I’ll call it the double traverse.
To be honest, I feel like I am running out of peaks to do in the Wasatch. It’s kind of funny because it seems like there are so many. However, the more time I spend in the mountains and improve my skills, I am finding that there are more technical and exciting routes up some of the peaks I have already done. There are also winter accents and ski descents to be done as well. So, the fun might never end.
Sunrise and Dromedary happen to be two peaks in the Wasatch that I had never done until yesterday. We came up the Broad’s Fork trail to the saddle, traversed the two peaks, descended the north face/ridge and cut east below Sundial Peak and along Lake Blanche.
If you have done the Broad’s Fork Twins you know the beginning of the route. You follow the standard trail up from the S-Curve, through the trees and eventually cross a bridge. The trail is steep and eventually flattens and comes to a lake. From here you can see Dromedary and Sunrise far off to the East.
The trail takes you around the left side of the lake to some cliffs that you navigate easily to the left side of a steam among some boulders. Soon you will hit a boulder field and the ridge of the two peaks towers above. You turn south and head upward toward a low point on the ridge.
After a while (about an hour from the boulder field) we hit the ridge. To go to the twins you take a right (west) on the ridge. We turned left and began up a pretty steep face. There were some really fun exposed sections here. We dropped down and back up and were on Sunrise peak in what felt like no time.
We read the summit log for a bit and signed our names before doing the big drop down a slabby, loose rock face to the low point between the two peaks. At this saddle you kind of hit a wall. We dropped down the left (west) side gully and regained the ridge with a few low 5th class moves.
We tried to stay on the ridge proper as much as possible. This provided the most exposed and fun climbing on the ridge. I didn’t think this part was 3rd class, but you can easily avoid the more difficult sections of the ridge by staying just east of the actual ridge. This climbing looked more like 3rd class, or even less.
From the top of Dromedary, we dropped off the north face sticking to a main spine that created a few gullies that were easy to route find. We came down and were almost on the ridge that separated broad’s fork basin from the sundial basin. We avoided cliffs by following the general path of least resistance, which traversed mostly north and followed a series of gullies just east of Dromedary’s north ridge.
After a little while we hit a relatively flat boulder field that brought us to some smooth red slabs, broken up by patches of green. We tried to stay on the rock as much as possible to avoid the bushwhacking. This played out well for us and we eventually dropped off the rock onto a large log that took us across a stream and just below the dam of the lowest lake under Lake Blanche.
The trail appeared here and we easily navigated to the familiar north side of Lake Blanche and Sundial just as the sun was beginning to set.
After a break for food and water we headed down the main Lake Blanche trail, jogging a good portion. Soon it was dark and about an hour after leaving the lake we were on the paved trail leading to the parking lot at the S-curve.
When Wes and I were done, we were pointing out how problem free the hike had been. We felt lucky to have had such a smooth ascent and descent with no real knowledge of the way down. We thought this may have been one of our most problem-free adventures and was one that was fun enough that we might just actually do it again.
The ridge traverse itself is one of the more fun ridge lines I have crossed in the Wasatch. If you stay on the proper ridge as much as you can, you are in for some really fun, exposed 4th class / possibly low 5th class moves!
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