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|Conditions Information||Posted By||Posted On|
|2015-08-09||Route: Kelso Ridge
Info: Summit(s) in great shape; ridge in great shape; dirt road in great shape. I popped up on Sunday afternoon and was able to drive my Prius all the way to the upper lot. By that point the lot was mostly available. I started at approx 3:00 pm. I made it to the mine in ~40‘ from there up Torreys in ~70‘. The only part that gave me hesitation was the area leading to and across the upper white rock, but it‘s quite reasonable. Then ~25‘ to Grays and ~45‘ down.
|2015-07-29||Route: Kelso Ridge
Info: No snow on the ridge, no wet spots. The ridge is ready for climbing! Loose rock all over the ridge, but I am sure that is nothing new. More info and pics can be found here: https://everythingoutdoorscolorado.wordpress.com/2015/07/30/kelso-ridge-torreys-peak/
|2015-07-25||Route: Kelso Ridge
Info: Dry the whole way up the ridge. Found a tiny patch of snow just below the knifes edge, but very easy to cross. Only other snow is a small patch high on the saddle between grays & torreys. Both summits are crowded as usual, and parking fills up very early.
|2015-07-18||Route: Kelso Ridge
Info: Of the two snowfields mentioned in the previous report, the first can (and probably should, as it‘s getting icy and dangerous) be avoided by simply staying high on the ridge to the right, and the second has melted out. The standard descent route still has about 50‘ of very trenched snow just below the G/T saddle; it‘s a tad slick, but the trench is so deep at this point that it would take a lot of effort to fall out of it. Otherwise, all routes and trails were free of snow and dry.
|2015-07-15||Route: Kelso Ridge
Info: Same snow fields as mentioned in reports from July 11th - the first one is just before Dead Dog comes into view, the second immediately after the white gendarm post-knife edge. I crossed these around 7am, and they were soft even that early in the day. I did not have trekking poles or microspikes, and I felt safe on the crossings.
|2015-07-11||Route: Kelso Ridge
Info: Route is generally in good shape, and BUSY! Must‘ve seen 50-100 people ascending the ridge today. There are two snow crossings--not counting the one mentioned in the Grays conditions report). One is a horizontal traverse of a steep residual snowfield, where steps have been kicked in. I crossed with only a trekking pole, but some might want microspikes and axe for this crossing, particularly earlier in the morning, as the runout is quite severe. The second snow crossing is right after the white gendarme after the knife edge as you ascend the first few dozen feet of the final climb of Torreys, and the same can generally be said for this crossing as for the last. There is no residual snow from the precipitation earlier this week. Other than that, the route is mostly dry, and all fun!
|2015-07-06||Route: Kelso Ridge
Info: Kelso ridge is snow-free except for two spots. One is a gully just before the knife edge (photo 28 in the route description I think) -- if you make your way to the right side of the ridge here, there are a few alternative scrambling routes which can be used. The other is just after the white rock; this is about a 15 foot patch of snow which has good steps kicked in. My brother used his trekking poles here, but I did not. The shortcut from Torreys down to the standard trail has a large but not exposed or steep snow crossing. There is a glissade route carved into it about halfway through, but be sure to secure all your belongings if you use it because the guy in front of us lost his phone.
|2015-07-04||Route: Northwest Face "Tuning Fork"
Info: Proven it is doable if you start climbing the couloir after 9am.. But certain you want to start probably before 6am to have continuous hard snow. The top of the couloir ended at 14000 ft so a little boulder field work to get to the summit. Descending is very pleasant, soft corn throughout the route.
|2015-07-03||Route: Dead Dog Couloir
Info: Went up Dead Dog early yesterday. Hit the trail at 4 (a little late. missed my alarm, thankfully my partner woke me up). Bottom of the couloir just past 5. Started our ascent at 5:30 and I topped out around 8. Had a good freeze the night before considering the time of year. Snow was ok at the bottom, pretty good in the middle, and soft at the very top (past the grey rock where you go right). A good amount of rockfall on the way up, so keep left as best you can and cross the runnel as early as you can as it gets deeper the farther up you go. My partner topped out at just past 8:30, and that‘s about as late as I would want to do it. Probably would want to start up the couloir around 4 if not earlier. Never sunk past my ankles, although the crampons didn‘t bite as well as I would have liked. Bottom third of the couloir is pretty well melted out (see picture). Don‘t follow the footprints blindly, be prepared to make your own route. Some of the prints went the wrong way up the couloir and we could see them on the approach trying to figure out how to get up. Dead Dog won‘t be in much longer, so get up their quick!
|2015-07-03||Route: Kelso Ridge
Info: minor snow above white rock, took the cutoff on grays for the descent with very minor snow still left. I did fine in boots (no poles or microspikes). Dead dog is melting out on the apron, maybe a handful of days left.
|2015-06-28||Route: Kelso Ridge
Info: Hiked Kelso Ridge Sunday and found the same conditions as last week‘s report. Go get it
|2015-06-27||Route: Northwest Face "Tuning Fork"
Info: At the risk of excessive reporting (given that there was a Tuning Fork update just 2 days ago), I‘m still including this as skier-specific info. The Fork is still indeed quite skiable, and as the previous report mentions, the climber‘s left fork connects to the summit ridge of Torrey‘s, while climber‘s right stops maybe 100-150‘ shy of it, with a bit of loose class 2+ or so rock in between. We car-camped just below the mud pit, and started hiking around 6 AM, summitting around 9:30. Had to wait about an hour for the snow to get soft enough for comfortable skiing. That said, we (actually!) had a solid freeze last night evidenced by thick frost buildup on the car in the morning. The snow going up was quite firm and icy for most of the ascent, and we were pretty happy to have crampons at that time in the morning. We climbed the left fork, which is more direct and has a good boot pack starting about halfway up. This fork is a bit steeper and narrower in a few sections, and the very top is getting pretty thin and rocky - guessing it doesn‘t have too many days left. All in all, amazing conditions for almost July. Oh, the stream crossing. I don‘t know...maybe there‘s a way to do it without getting your feet wet. I honestly wouldn‘t think too hard about it, just bring a light extra pair of shoes and socks and cross it right below the TF. It‘s a simple crossing, and going this way allows you to follow the remnants of the road most of the time instead of shwacking through the willows, greatly speeding up the approach time. Just my $0.02.
|2015-06-26||Route: Northwest Face "Tuning Fork"
Info: My dog and I did Tuning Fork today. The snow is still in great shape...a little sloppy at the bottom, mostly firm (with bootprints!), continuous to the ridge in the left fork. Get on the snow ~0530...it‘ll be great.
|2015-06-24||Route: Kelso Ridge
Info: Sorry, no pics - I didn‘t bring a camera. But Kelso is totally good to go! I went in my trail runners and it was 99% dry. The last 25ft to the summit is still snow, but kicking steps up it is no problem at all. In fact, I mostly just used the old steps from other people rather than kicking my own. The descent trail off Grays was still really patchy with snow, so bringing an axe for the massive glissade from the saddle could be well worth it (I sure wish I had). Go get it!
|2015-06-20||Route: Dead Dog Couloir
Info: Hey guys, skied dead dog today and it was fantastic! Conditions are deteriorating fast. There is one 5 foot deep rut running until about half way up. We left the trailhead at 5:20AM, summited at 8:30AM. Snow was already REALLY soft at the time we skied (8:50AM). I am not very conservative, but would not recommend skiing this anytime after tomorrow. I‘ve attached my gopro video to take a look at. Ill have a trip report up tomorrow with some pics. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_xwArH7SeCs WATCH IN HD
|2015-06-20||Route: Northwest Face "Tuning Fork"
Info: You can drive all the way to the end of Grizzly Gulch Rd. At least to the downed trees. There is a pretty nasty mud pit with a steep drop. I suggest stopping here. High clearance 4x4 only. The snow in the morning was firm at around 6:30 am. Snow was in great shape at 11:00 am. Weather was sunny and warm with a slight breeze. Expect a creek crossing after leaving the road to get to the snow. It‘s high right now. There‘s a good chance feet will get wet. Snows melted back about a 1/4 mile off the end of the road. Just a little easy bush whacking. Snow held up great but got wet at the bottom. You can still make good turns all the way.
|2015-05-31||Route: Kelso Ridge
Info: A lot of snow on the overall route, the knife edge was buried.
|2015-05-21||Route: Emperor Couloir
Info: Be careful out there folks (not my report, from CAIC yesterday): link http://avalanche.state.co.us/caic/obs/obs_report.php?obs_id=35991
|2015-05-16||Route: Kelso Ridge
Info: Made it up to the Y in the road before hoofing it. Kelso Mountain is loaded with snow, so took winter bypass. Kelso Ridge is snow covered whole way. A few tricky corners hugging the rock while delicately traversing snow slopes. Knife ridge a piece of cake since it is three feet wide right now. White rocks tricky.
|2015-05-02||Route: South Slopes
Info: Standard route is almost 100% snow from summer trailhead to summit. Above 13K, some rocks poking out and snow coverage averaging up to 12-18 inches sitting on bare ground. I did not ski it but Dead Dog appears to be in. To avoid areas of concern on Kelso Mtn, I followed a snowmobile track from the summer TH up the bottom of the valley to meet the standard trail near where this pic was taken. Anecdotal: two climbers I spoke to went up Kelso Ridge and said that it was "more technical than they expected."