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Torreys Peak  
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Route  Conditions Information  Posted By   Posted On    Photos  Comments Likes Dislikes    
2012-04-25  Dead Dog Couloir  Dead Dog in great shape, seems to be fully consolidated with no avy debris though some sizeable rocks have fallen and are 6-12 inches into the snow. I went early since the forecast was for a low of only 29 at 13.2 kft. At parking lot before 5 AM and temp of 40 F. Snow solid and well frozen all the way to the base and up the route. At top at 7:30 AM. The snow was good in the couloir. There isn‘t much of a path initially but from 13.6k up there are solid steps in the RHS by the rocks which made the climbing easier. There were several skiers out as well with some coming up the trail at 10 AM going to DD and others. At 10 AM the snow was still pretty firm until you got below 12k ft. Snowshoes not required. It is probably safe to do this route later in the day but then you‘d miss the great sunrise photos. jimmtman   2012-04-26 1     Edit Delete 
2012-04-09  Dead Dog Couloir  I arrived at the winter trailhead a little before 6:00pm. Forest road 189 was definitely not suitable for 2-wheel drive vehicles yet, but likely any awd/4wd vehicle could make the summer TH. The walk from the winter TH to summer TH took about an hour over the rutted snow covered road. The hike from the summer TH to the base of Dead Dog was mostly over well packed snow that does not require snowshoes. I started up the couloir around 8:00pm. The snow was in good condition for climbing in the lower elevations. Between 13,500 and 14,000 feet the snow became much icier which made axe and crampon use a little trickier (Although this was around 10:00pm, so everything had froze again). At about 13,500 someone had carved out a ledge that made a convenient resting place. Above this there were some steps kicked in that made the remainder of the climb considerably easier. Once you make the ridge, the continuation of the Kelso route is rather simple to the summit. Descending from Torreys to the saddle is a mix of snow and rock. The hike down from Grays is packed snow trail that requires some sort of traction device. The route requires an axe, crampons, and helmet right now. Ricky   2012-04-12  0     Edit Delete 
2012-04-09  Dead Dog Couloir  Dead dog is in awesome condition right now. After reading other‘s reports from this weekend we decided to ski it a little later in the day so that it might be softer than what other people experienced. Definitely a good call...I skied from the summit at 12:30pm and the snow was just right. On the way up though there were was a LOT of rockfall...a few rocks came pretty close to me which was freaky, because unless you‘re looking up the couloir the entire time you‘re climbing sometimes they just fly past you and you don‘t notice until the last minute (by then it‘s too late to dodge out of the way). I‘d say climber‘s left the entire way up the couloir since most of the rocks seemed to be coming from the right side. It‘s almost possible to ski the whole way from the summit back to the trailhead (bridge) if you ski down through the willows and stay in the valley by the creek instead of following the summer trail back down. There‘s a few dry areas above that though, near where you split off from the summer trail and head towards Dead Dog. I was able to drive pretty much to the trailhead in the morning (I have a Subaru Outback) since the snow on the road was frozen, but around 1pm it was a slush-fest and I almost ran off the road a few times on the way down...I got very lucky and didn‘t get stuck. In hindsight I should‘ve parked lower down the road. But it‘s melting fast...I bet in a week or so most cars could make it all the way up there. I brought skins for my skis but never used ice axe and crampons are a necessity though. Image # 2 shows the ski off the summit, and the rest are self-explanatory. sstratta   2012-04-09 4     Edit Delete 
2012-04-08  West Ridge from Loveland Pass  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 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 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. rhinos00   2012-04-09  0     Edit Delete 
2012-04-07  Dead Dog Couloir  We were able to drive all the way to the trailhead. Walking from there required no snowshoes or traction devices. Once at the base of the Dead Dog we found the snow to be very hard. As we ascended there were several areas where the snow was bullet proof and very hard to get purchase with crampons. As the sun started heating the walls of the couloir lots of snow began falling down the couloir, this was also due to the high winds (measured on an anemometer at 40mph). We did not ski it, but those that did said it never softened up that day. CO Native   2012-04-08 1     Edit Delete 
2012-04-07  Dead Dog Couloir  We left our 2WD at the highway and hiked about half a mile up the road before being picked up. Despite the sign that says "Road is IMPASSABLE," we made it all the way to the summer trailhead in a Subaru Outback without issue. The route is in great shape; a little sketchy for skiiers but excellent for hikers. We traversed the saddle over to Gray‘s which, though windy, was no trouble. Crampons are a must for the couloir; microspikes highly recommended for the traverse/descent. Very little post-holing; snowshoes not required. ryankrameretc   2012-04-07  0     Edit Delete 
2012-03-25  Dead Dog Couloir  Dead dog is great right now for anyone looking to ski it. There is plenty of coverage and spring corn when we ripped it on Sunday! Stamper2773   2012-03-27  0  5    Edit Delete 
2012-03-17  Kelso Ridge  See Grays Peak update for road condition and standard route condition. Kelso Ridge is very dry with only a few areas of snow. The knife edge can be walked across, but take care going around the white granite rock just after. Microspikes can be helpful in the snowy areas but generally are not needed until after the knife edge and granite rock where the slope is snow-covered with talus sticking out for the last push to the summit. An axe would be helpful towards the very top but otherwise not too necessary. The south slopes route from Grays Peak is half hardpacked snow and half dry. Tony1   2012-03-17  0     Edit Delete 
2012-03-13  Kelso Ridge  Went up Torreys (Kelso) & Grays yesterday (03/13). Conditions are the driest I‘ve ever seen. Axe & crampons stayed in the bag. Micro-spikes very useful. Dead Dog looks to be in great shape. On the way down Grays I met 2 guys (father & son) that were going up Torreys to ski it. roland   2012-03-14  0     Edit Delete 
2012-03-10  Kelso Ridge  Kelso Mountain, Torreys via Kelso, and Grays: TH: Don‘t even bother trying to drive beyond the I-70 lot. Road: Hard pack (snow-mobile) or dry. Some skiers have been skidding down it. Kelso Mtn - Ascended the tedious East slopes (zig-zagged up grass tips). No signs of instability or avy concerns. Some out-of-state skiers climbed up and skied down the avy chute facing the summer TH thinking it was Dead Dog. Descended the S ridge to Kelso Ridge (the scrambly sections on the Kelso Mtn side are dry and the ridge is either dry or hard snow). Kelso Ridge - Excellent condition. Almost felt like cheating. Only used microspikes, but an axe could be handy in spots. Lower cruxes are essentially dry; most obstacles either climbed directly or bypassed to the right on ledges/gullies with good holds. No reason to venture near avy spots. Never felt the need to pull out the rope. Torreys/Grays standard routes - Hard snow pack. Microspikes or light traction highly recommended. No need for snowshoes. Oddly dry in the basin. No real avy danger. Some debris off Kelso across trail that is avoidable, but not really concerning. Pics start here: Monster5   2012-03-10  0     Edit Delete 
2012-02-17  Kelso Ridge  Just climbed Kelso Ridge - TR to follow. There was a recent slide on Kelso mountain, the runout path came about 100 yards from the summer trailhead. No avy condition on route - but had to climb halfway up Gray‘s to avoid a questionable convex wind loaded slope. That was on the decent. jameseroni   2012-02-17  0     Edit Delete 
2012-02-11  South Slopes  Very windblown, huge cornices, and packed down quite nice. Crampons and axes definitely required, and no floatation required. ccmhockey   2012-02-20  0     Edit Delete 
2012-01-30  West Ridge from Loveland Pass  Went up Cupid and Grizzly from Loveland Pass today. The west ridge up Torreys looks almost completely windswept at the moment. Likely no gear needed, although I‘m sure an ax would be a good idea. Nothing except normal winter wind/cold gear needed to get up to Grizzly, but I didn‘t go further to check out the Grizzly/Torreys saddle. I used gaiters but probably didn‘t even need them. I can provide photos on request. Vermont Mike   2012-01-30  0  1    Edit Delete 
2012-01-02  Kelso Ridge  I had to park all the way at the winter trailhead, however if you have snow tires you can make it further. There were multiple vehicles all the way up to the barn. As for the route itself, did the ridge in mountaineering boots without crampons. Descended via the saddle trial between Grays and Torres, used crampons because the snow was extremely hard and icy in places, though you could do it with less and only end up on your butt a few times. Brought snowshoes, didn‘t even think about using them. jscampoli   2012-01-03  0     Edit Delete 
2011-12-17  Kelso Ridge  With a decent 4 wheel drive car you can get about 1.8 miles up the trailhead. I made the bad decision to go another.3 miles past that into deeper snow and ended up getting stuck on the way out. Thank you to the two skiers who helped dig us out. Where I was stuck was 2.1 miles up the road or about .9 miles from the summer trailhead . . . Not recommended. The trail to branch off to Kelso is packed down and easy to follow. Do not waist time and energy bringing snowshoes they were not needed at all. Microspikes worked great here. It was an absolute stunning day. Once on the ridge we started and probably did the first 15 minutes with Microspikes but when we had to traverse a steep snow bank we knew it was time to switch to crampons. The route was icy in spots but for the most part crampons did great. The knife edge was easy to cross with the snow but just after that the white rock section was a little hairy because it was somewhat icy. Once on the summit of Torreys we switched back to microspikes which were great up Grays and all the way back to the car by the standard route. If your looking to ski this route it looks like it will be a while before conditions improve enough for good skiing. Above 12,000 the snow is mostly windblown and not very deep. You may get about 1.5 miles up from the summer trailhead so roughly a quarter mile before the turn off to Kelso Ridge and then there wont really be anything skiable. 4th time up Kelso Ridge and each time I seem to enjoy it more and more. It was great hiking with James as well as Dave and friends. kushrocks   2011-12-18 4     Edit Delete 
2011-12-07  Kelso Ridge  started from the bottom of the road. Someone had driven up to the lower edge of the private property very recently, but I would want 4WD and VERY good tires for this. I carried snowshoes but only used them for a short stretch, not sure if the energy saved using them equaled the effort to haul them around, take them off, put them on. Microspikes and light hiking boots were perfect for the rest of the trip. markf   2011-12-08  0     Edit Delete 
2011-11-11  Kelso Ridge  Reached summer trailhead in 15 or 20 minutes from highway in a Cherokee with good tires. Others stopped lower down. Had snowshoes but left them in the car and never wanted them. Used crampons only very briefly for hardpack on trail, probably advisable, but you could still do without. scottmoser   2011-11-11  0     Edit Delete 
2011-10-15  South Slopes  AlpineGoat‘s conditions from 10/14 still applicable for Grays (traction as in microspikes for me very helpful for east and ridge trails). Did Torrey as well and microspikes useful for a portion of the traverse (icey crust for a stretch). I left my spikes and poles at the saddle and hiked to the top of Torreys with just my winter boots. Snow only on the top 1/3rd of the saddle->summit of Torreys and didn‘t need any supplemental traction. Wind was a slight annoyance but otherwise great conditions. bf31415   2011-10-15  0     Edit Delete 
2011-09-24  Kelso Ridge  There is a little bit of snow/ice on the buttress just after the knife edge. I had nothing but boots and was fine. Grays/Torreys Standard Bakerville trail was packed snow that was turning into ice. This was much more slippery than any of Kelso. Short   2011-09-28  0     Edit Delete 
2011-09-15  Kelso Ridge  Thursday, 15 Sept., Plenty of new snow falling above 12,000‘. There was anywhere from 6-18 inches on the ground up high and some glazing on the steep parts of the ridge. Crampons weren‘t necessary, but an ice axe would be prudent. Sorry no pictures, it was snowing and blowing too much to risk my camera. captainp   2011-09-17  0     Edit Delete 

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