At Camp II, the team began to prep for the scale up Lhotse Face, which Glass describes as “pretty much an unbroken wall of snow and ice that rises very steeply for 3 or 4,000 feet straight up.” About halfway up Lhotse Face, hacked into the side of the ice, sits a small cluster of tents: Camp III.
“Don’t roll over,” Glass jokes, half serious.
On the brink of Everest, Camp III manifests just how fragile life becomes on the mountain. One misstep, one wrong turn, and it could be over. Glass knows from personal experience.
After Clemson, he headed to the University of Nevada, Reno, to get his master’s in hydrology and work with Dale Johnson, professor of natural resources and environmental science. As Glass was finishing his degree, Johnson sent him a job posting to work as an ecologist for the federal government in Alaska.
That job turned into a permanent seasonal position where Dallas spent his summers on the Yukon-Charley Rivers National Preserve working for the Natural Resources Conservation Service. In the winters, he needed something to do, so after dabbling in some Lake Tahoe-area skiing, he thought of ski patrol.
“I’d only been skiing for three years, but I was like, ‘Whatever, I can do this,’” Glass says. “So, I applied to all these different ski patrols and wound up working at a ski resort called Mount Rose Ski Tahoe, which is on the mountains between Reno and Lake Tahoe.”
Ski patrollers are responsible for keeping the slopes safe: putting up ropes and signage and administering medical attention in the event of an emergency. If an avalanche threat is located, they’re also responsible for reducing that risk to the best of their ability, whether by intentionally using explosives to set off the avalanche or closing off areas so guests don’t accidentally trigger the snow slide.
About six weeks into his job at Mount Rose, a veteran ski patroller was caught, carried and buried by an avalanche. The incident, Glass says, was ingrained in his mind in “insane detail,” especially since he was one of the first to respond to the emergency. The patroller had to be airlifted to the hospital — he was badly injured but managed to escape with his life.
“After that accident, the patrol director, my boss, was able to secure funding for a position dedicated solely to thinking about snow,” Glass says. “And I became Mount Rose’s first avalanche forecaster.”
Glass was now responsible for watching weather forecasts and studying the snow pack in an effort to predict when and where avalanches might occur, and how intense they might be. Differences between each layer in the snow pack are what cause avalanches, so the bigger the difference, the bigger the danger.
I have heard Dallas speak to a group of Boy Scouts and he did an awesome job. He would be a great speaker to any Clemson event and a tremendous spokesman for Clemson
I second that. Dallas is an amazing adventurer and endurance athlete.
What a great article about a great man. He was just a young man when I knew Dallas back at Clemson. He was so dear to me and for years I wondered what he was up to. I recently found him on IG and have loved seeing life from the mountains.
From the moment you meet Dallas, you know a few things… he is wise, he is southern and he is a gentleman. Even now in this brave and exciting career that Dallas has built for himself, I can see those things so clearly. People trust and follow him because of his genuine southern kindness. It’s is real. Thank you for spotlighting this story. This humble guy would never shine a spotlight on what he has done and learned and protected. What adventurous and very important work. So proud to call him a fellow Tiger.
Dallas is a truly wonderful human. I worked with him at Mt rose as a fellow ski patroller. It’s amazing to see that he has one on to do awesome and inspiring things in his life. Proud to know him!
Congratulations Dallas. Its an exceptional achievement. Yesterday I was watching an inspiring Indian telugu movie named ‘Poorna’ based on true story of the little girl who conquered Mr Everest at the age of 13. Mt Everest keeps inspiring normal people to become heroes.