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|Conditions Information||Posted By||Posted On|
|2015-07-31||Route: via Torreys and Kelso Ridge
Info: Beautiful in the Front Range. Ascended Grays and Torreys in a counter clockwise direction via Kelso Ridge route. Nothing to report that hasn‘t been said already. Kelso is completely dry and I would recommend this route to anyone who wondering whether or not they have a fear of heights or exposure. The route itself is very easy to follow thanks to the excellent route description. The few short sections that involve scrambling can easily be negotiated. Combining Torreys and Grays this way guarantees you never have to cross the same ground twice. Highly recommended. Car to Torreys summit took 2hr18min, Grays summit was reached in 2hr58min, and round trip took 3hr59min. The gravel road going in to the trailhead appears to have been graded within the last couple weeks and most cars should be able to drive all the way up (just watch for the odd large rock). Go early if you want to park in the parking lot as it is normally full by 0500.
|2015-07-11||Route: East Slopes
Info: Overall, trail is in good shape with some water in spots and a little bit of snow. The traverse to Torreys is also snow free but there is a snow field that you cross on the trail that rejoins the main trail from the saddle. Some might feel more comfortable using traction on it but many were crossing (and sometimes slipping) without it.
|2015-07-02||Route: Grays and Torreys
Info: I can‘t believe that after 3.5 weeks, the snow is gone! Once you go up to Torreys, cross the snow at the junction for an easy descent. Snow shoe grips not even necessary. Gear: gloves, light weight puffy coat, wind-coat, long-sleeve, warm hat, hiking boots, sunscreen. You can read more details at sunshineof1985.com. I‘ll be attempting to climb all the 14ers this summer.
|2015-06-28||Route: Grays and Torreys
Info: Grays East Slope is almost completely free of snow. If you‘re trying to decide on footwear (as I was), you can definitely get away with trail runners. We met a couple headed back from Torreys massaging their frozen feet (they wore sandals) as the trail back had a short and easily manageable snow traverse. Friends of ours headed up Kelsos Ridge. They said it was mostly snow free except for a short,exposed stretch near the summit.
|2015-06-28||Route: East Slopes
Info: Grays & Torreys, ascended via Kelso Ridge & descended East Slopes of Grays Sunday. At least a dozen snow crossings but footsteps already kicked in make them innocuous. Some water on the trail from snowmelt.
|2015-06-27||Route: Grays and Torreys
Info: Trail all the way up is wet but almost entirely free of snow. Rats has bare spots at the top. Dead Dog is good to climb before 0900. Neither of the two are skiable. The saddle has some huge cornices hanging on to it and the skiing is fast and best attempted before snow gets soft around 1000. Several people were skiing the North Side of Torreys
|2015-06-21||Route: Grays and Torreys
Info: I also made a trip report for the TH, so go check that out. We hit the trail at about 7 AM intending to do both Grays and Torreys. The trail up to Grays was easily accomplished in trail shoes/boots, although there was still snow in some places. In the AM, the snow was nice and solid. Most people hiked the switchbacks on the southeast ridge, which were snow free, but there are also some pretty nice trails kicked into the snow up the east face. We chose to hike the snow on the east face and didn‘t need any gear. We summited Grays around 10 AM and discovered that the descent into the saddle was still pretty snowbound. By that time, the snow was starting to get slippery and soft, so we aborted Torreys for the day and glissaded down the east slopes as far as we could without going too far down and missing the trail. Then we hiked back out. All and all, we had great weather and it was a beautiful climb.
|2015-06-20||Route: Lost Rat Couloir
Info: We hiked up the main trail to Grays in trail runners. Snow was frozen in the early AM, but no trouble getting up in just shoes for those just wanting to hike. The traverse over to Torreys across the face should be taken with care because of the exposure, but the ridge between the two is mostly clear. One can still ski from the summit of Grays down the main face on continuous snow. We opted to boot back down the ridge toward Lost Rat several hundred feet before we could ski to the top of Lost Rat. We had to downclimb/side step into the couloir as the top is almost melted out with very thin coverage and will be all rock soon. There is a shallow runnel going down the couloir, but we were easily able to ski around it and get some nice turns in, snow was very soft by 10am. The lower flanks of Lost Rat have a fair amount of melted wet slide debris, so the exit is a little bumpy. We were then able to ski the creek line back down to 12100ft before opting to rejoin the trail and hike out. The line is melting out fast and might be done in a week or two. Also talked to three guys who climbed Dead Dog on Torreys, but opted not to ski it as there is a large runnel right down the middle and lots of wet slide debris in the apron.
|2015-06-18||Route: Grays and Torreys
Info: Conquered Grays and Torreys yesterday woot woot! The road going up to the trailhead was in pretty rough shape, but completely clear of snow. There were some major ruts and pot holes, and I do mean major. SUVs and trucks will do fine, but cars should reconsider, or park lower down. We left the trailhead at 7am and reached Grays at 11am. The trail going up is currently a creek of melt water. Be prepared to have wet feet. The summer trail going up the face of Grays is still snow covered. We were forced to swing to the left and head up the ridge. There are some snow tracks that you can follow. This alternate route added on roughly a mile to the journey, and was definitely more taxing. Also very windy, bring a windbreaker. Continuing from Grays to Torreys proved to be worth its salt. Getting down to the saddle from Grays was the most difficult part. Lots of large boulders to climb down, lots of snow, and little to no trail to follow. The trail going up the Torreys side is nearly completely clear of snow and was far easier than Grays. Summitted Torreys at noon. Headed back down to the saddle and attempted to bypass going back up Grays, not a great path to follow yet. Still quite a bit of snow, in some places only a few inches, in others I sank thigh deep. The group I was with ended up glissading down to the gorge. Exhilarating but freezing. I would have never attempted it if I were not with such an experienced group. Boots were completely soaked from the trail on the way home. Reached the trailhead at 230pm. A long but successful and fun day. PS lather on the sunscreen, I got burned pretty badly on the back half of my body from the morning hike.
|2015-06-18||Route: Couloir east of Lost Rat
Info: Road clear and very navigable to the trailhead. A friend and myself opted for a chute to the east of the Lost Rat Couloir. It was an awesome climb. Started at 6:45, summitted Grey‘s at about 10:30. Snowshoes recommended and advised for Torrey‘s unless you want to go all the way back over the summit of Grey‘s to get down. Also, butt-sliding was unbelievably fun. Highly recommend. This is a great time to get out hiking. Please pack out your trash!
|2015-06-13||Route: Lost Rat Couloir
Info: Road clear to the summer trailhead. Hit the base of the couloir around 6:45, topped out at 8:00. I would not have wanted to be on the couloir any later. Forecast had called for a freeze overnight. Postholed a majority of the bottom 1/3 of the couloir. Found very hard snow in the middle third, able to kick steps or simply duck walk. Top third of Lost Rat is melting out in places & encountered variable snow conditions until topping out climbers right of the small non-threatening cornice. Advise to start early for the most pleasant/safest climb. Always good climbing with dpage, great to meet board members brerrabbit, aholle88!
|2015-06-07||Route: East Slopes
Info: Still can‘t drive all the way up to the parking lot but getting close. You should stay off the summer trail right below Kelso‘s. There is still a lot of snow above the trail. Also I don‘t recommend hiking up there right now unless you have skis or at least snow shoes. It‘s really got to be a miserable time post holing that much but to each their own. It‘s fun to watch.
|2015-06-03||Route: East Slopes
Info: Road to summer trailhead was clear for a little over 2 miles. Snow the rest of the way on road and all the way to the summit (with a few rocky spots here and there). Left car at 7:30 am and made the summit at 11 am via the normal route. Trail of previous hikers, snowshoers and skiers was obvious. Slushy coming down with full sun out, needed snowshoes from about 12,600 ft back to the trailhead (and even then some post-holing). When parking in the morning, don‘t try to go to far on road; we had to help a couple on the way out that had gotten their truck stuck. Three of us pushed it out.
|2015-05-31||Route: East Slopes
Info: From I-70, the road is now accessible to within 1 mile of the summer trailhead. Bring snowshoes. Significant snowpack still exists from the summer trailhead to the peak.
|2015-05-29||Route: East Slopes
Info: We hiked most of the way up Grays Peak yesterday, May 29, turning around near 12,700 feet due to lightning concerns and fatigue in our group. Managed to drive 1.2 miles from I-70 toward the summer trailhead in my Prius (could probably go farther in a higher-clearance vehicle). Road covered in deep snow after ~2 miles, and continuous snow cover the entire trail. Beautiful hike! Snow was nice and firm in the morning, but had become very slushy on our way down in the early afternoon. Snowshoes were a necessity on the descent - we kept sinking into deep snow when trying to descend without snowshoes.
|2015-05-06||Route: Lost Rat Couloir
Info: A handful of people parked at the standard winter closure for G&T. Light rain early in the morning at low elevations and a significant amount of snow melted today on the road. I think 4wd with chains can get quite a ways up the road now, and it might not be long for everyone else to drive farther. Patchy snow up the road until a half mile (don‘t remember this distance exactly) before summer TH and then coverage was continuous after that. Evidence of wet slides from recent days on north-facing aspects of Edwards. I didn‘t see anything that looked like it ran today. Cloudy, flat light, and colder above 12,400, and not much evidence of melting or wet slide potential in the couloir. Below 12,400 it seemed to be noticeably warmer and snow was softening up significantly by noon. There‘s a layer of new snow from recent storm in the couloir that varies in depth averaging maybe 4"and I think there‘s some wind loading in places too. New snow is heavy and seems to have bonded well with the deeper and more consolidated snowpack. I didn‘t see much evidence of instability in the couloir. I did kick-off what I‘m guessing was an insignificant micro wind slab sitting underneath the cornice at the top of lost rat -- it sloughed about 20 feet and then stopped. My turns in the couloir would occasionally trigger very small sloughs that would tend to be slow and not go very far. It is possible to ski from summit of grays along ridge with one short section of sidestepping to top of couloir. Coverage was a little thin at the top and then very good below that. Great turns.
|a day in the life||2015-05-06||3|
|2015-05-02||Route: East Slopes
Info: Standard route is almost 100% snow from summer TH 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 Lost Rat 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.
|2015-04-30||Route: East Slopes
Info: Used microspikes until well over 12K feet, then snow shoes. No recent tracks to follow. Def needed snowshoes on return - slushy snow with 70 degree temps below 12K feet in afternoon. We were only ones on Grays, had summit to ourselves. Barely any wind at the top. Great day! Add 6mi round trip as road from Bakerville to TH impassable from start. However, whole trip 11.9mi round trip, took more direct path up (rather than long switch backs) once on face of Grays.
|2015-04-05||Route: East Slopes
Info: Total slog up from i70 exit. It‘s possible to drive maybe 100 yards up the road with standard clearance vehicle. If you have a Jeep, probably can go 3/4 way up, but at your own peril, as you will probably get stuck halfway to your doors in melted slush on the way down. Road will probably be melted out at least halfway very soon. Not possible to ski continuously back down to i70 from the TH. Started up at 8:00, took winter variation though willows, there is a clear trail. Summit and head down by noon, and by then the snow through the willows was getting sloppy, but only postholed a few times. Brought spikes, crampons and snowshoes, did not use any of that equip. Advise early start, its melting out fast. Mostly posting this to give some wiki on the couloirs. Saw party of 2 climb the Dead Dog and ski down, also saw 2 other skiers climb Gray‘s std and ride Dead Dog down. Lost rat has cornice at the exit. Large cornice on the saddle between G/T.
|2015-04-04||Route: Lost Rat Couloir
Info: Lost Rat is transitioning to spring conditions. The snow is not quite ideal, but it is getting there. Typically the route is in a bit later in the spring, but couloir season seems to be coming earlier this year after a period of no major storms in the Front Range. The snow on the face remained cool for the entire climb despite early sunhit due to the winds keeping it cool. An early exit (prior to 11am) is advisable. There is a small, non threatening at the moment cornice on the left side of the exit. It can be avoided or climbed. The snow at the top was a bit thin. Here are photos on Google Plus: https://plus.google.com/u/0/photos/114208121135095282472/albums/6134835664069128737