|Peak:||Torreys Peak (14er)|
|Route:||West Ridge from Loveland Pass|
|Date of Information:||04/08/2012|
Tough, exhausting, but rewarding! That's how I would describe this route. I noted this in my peak conditions report for Grizzly D, but no extra gear was needed up to the Grizzly summit. We were able to get by with normal winter gear and hiking boots.
As far as the approach to Torreys summit goes, be extremely careful not to miss the trail! My wife and I somehow missed it from the saddle and bushwacking up scree and loose rock for almost 1600 ft. drained so much energy...energy we needed for the return to Loveland TH. We did regain the trail about 3/4 of the way up, but it was pretty brutal as we were constantly slipping and losing ground prior to that. The route was completely dry to the top, with the exception of a snow-filled gully that is avoidable. You must still be careful on the way down, even when on the trail. The rock and dirt is extremely loose. Given the state of the trail, I jumped into the snow-filled gully and just ran/glided down the whole mountainside...it was a blast! I can't imagine that gully staying filled with snow too much longer though.
The only spot where microspikes may have been useful was going up Grizzly D from the Torreys/Grizzly saddle. The terrain is pretty steep and snow covered. Coming down wasn't a problem, but going up could be rather difficult. That being said, my wife and I were able to do it with no problem by sticking as close to the ridge as possible on the way up.
Overall, this is one long haul! Definitely be prepared mentally and physically. My wife and I started to unravel a bit after we summited Grizzly for the 2nd time and saw the roller coaster hike we still had left to the Loveland Pass TH. We pushed through it though. As much as an accomplishment I felt when I finished this hike, I probably would not do it again.