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|Conditions Information||Posted By||Posted On|
|2014-07-08||Route: East Slopes
Info: There is a snowfield above the junction for the Torreys decent trail. It‘s less than 100‘ and at 9:50 there was no ice, just cool, soft snow. Over half the trail from the Grays / Torreys saddle to the junction is deep snow, but it is packed down so that even in the afternoon there wasn‘t any post holing. Most importantly the wildflowers are awesome! About a half hour in and for the next hour of hiking it‘s all fields of wildflowers. More than a dozen varieties, and more photos than you can take, await your eyes.
|2014-07-04||Route: East Slopes
Info: I got to the trailhead the night before. Was the only car there (that would change lol). Road up to trailhead was filled with large potholes. I have driven up this road in a small car a year ago but I would not recommend it if you care about the car. I started up to the peak early at 2AM. It was freezing cold, don‘t know the exact temperature but it felt at least like 32F. A few little streams of water and unavoidable puddles to cross because of the big melt. Only 1 large patch of snow on the path around 12,500 feet you have to cross about 4 or 5 car lengths long. Microspikes were not needed just be careful of each step not to sprain an ankle. Some of the snow can drop down abruptly below your steps unexpectedly. You can avoid this patch if you walk out around it but there really isn‘t a need to walk around it. Not much more snow on the way up. A few icy patches around 14,000 which weren‘t avoidable. Later on in the day these parts were melted. No snow at the top of Grays. Didn‘t traverse to Torreys but other people I spoke to who did said the path between the two was snow free even though it might not appear that way from a distance. Later on in the day a lot of people were forming a route straight down the snow from the traverse between Grays and Torreys. By the time I was leaving there was about 400 people coming up the trail (not exaggerating) and going back down the 4 to the highway was difficult because so many people parked along parts of the road that were only about the width of 1.5 cars. So I had to be very careful not to hit their cars while my car was jolting from side to side on the large holes in the road. Great conditions though and great climb.
|2014-07-04||Route: East Slopes
Info: The road up to the upper parking is okay, most low clearance sedans were making it, though one got stuck for a short period as I walked up the road (about .9 miles up is the spot that seemed to be the worst). The route up Grays is mostly free of snow, just a few short paths through. But it was getting slippery on the way down as the sun accelerated the melt. The path up to Grays has a fair bit of water, with a couple crossings where it would be over your boots except for rocks to step on. From Grays to Torreys the route is clear of snow and in good condition. There were quite a few people coming up Torreys from the Kelso ridge without any problems too. Torreys does have a bit of snow still on the summit. Coming down from Torreys the transition over to the trail down has a stretch of snow about 300 yds long, which by 1030 was getting slushy and slick. It is narrow, but well traveled but those not wearing hard sole boots should be very careful as the sun warms the snow. You can go up Grays a bit and get around this spot. There were a number of people sliding down the steep snow field that comes down from the saddle between Grays and Torreys.
|2014-06-28||Route: East Slopes
Info: So I am just befuddled after today‘s climb. Grays was my husbands and I ‘s 2nd 14er after climbing Bierstadt 2 weeks ago. We had planned to hike Torrey‘s too but had to resign with the accomplishment of just one today. It was BITTER cold on Grays this morning. We started at 6 am and probably sumitted around 9. Many people turned around due to wind, cold, and very sloppy, icy conditions. We would not have made it ourselves if we weren‘t able to slip our extra wool socks over our gloves. Our fingers were burning and numb. The summit was disappointing as we were in the clouds with no view. Almost everyone was opting out of Torrey‘s and it‘s white out conditions. We got one of the last spots at summer trailhead at 5:45 am. Dirt road had some pretty sketchy areas and was particularly difficult coming down with all the vehicles parked along the road. Think I may never get hubby up another 14er after today. Forecast said clear skies so we were not expecting the blizzard conditions. I‘d appreciate any tip on better predicting conditions. Bierstadt 2 weeks ago was windy at times but not near as cold. To top it all off, we returned home to a sunny, super hot 85 degrees.??
|2014-06-21||Route: Grays and Torreys
Info: Climbed both Grays and Torreys peaks. There were few snow patches near the summit of Torreys and the way down to Torreys and the intersection Grays/Torreys trail. The trail condition was good. No ice axe needed but for some folks hiking poles and microspikes will be useful.
|2014-06-16||Route: East Slopes
Info: Summer TH clear of snow. I started at 1130 and ran in t-shirt, shorts, and running shoes. If starting earlier, I would recommend traction device and ice axe. I would carry an ice axe if descending via the Gray-Torreys saddle. There is a packed-down bench for the traverse, but the cirque is still completely snow covered.
|2014-06-15||Route: Grays and Torreys
Info: Did the standard route. Still some large patches of snow, but well trampled. Recommend microspikes (or yaks), possibly gaiters if you‘re on late in the day and ice axe for the descent off of saddle. Those who didn‘t have traction said that they wished they did. Going up to Torreys is a breeze. Road to summer TH is totally clear.
|2014-06-11||Route: Lost Rat Couloir
Info: Lost Rat couloir was in decent shape today and no trouble getting to summer TH last night in Highlander AWD. Cornice noted in 5/21/2014 conditions report was still present albeit much smaller and less ominous. Biggest hazard was rock fall from an area halfway up the couloir along with the melted out top right. I was glad I wore my helmet and started early (5:15 from a camp in the basin right below). A few pics are attached for reference.
|2014-06-01||Route: East Slopes
Info: 7:30 start for a hike-no skiing today. Soft spring conditions all the way up. Microspikes were perfect. Saw several folks with crampons, though they were "practicing" for a bigger peak. Saw several folks in tennis shoes and/or boots without added traction having difficulty making it very far. Back to the car by 130...lots of slush and post holing most of the way down. have fun!! sunscreen and sunglasses a must!
|2014-05-21||Route: Lost Rat Couloir
Info: Conditions were great during my pre-dawn start, but sunrise revealed a school bus sized cornice hanging directly over the route on the left side of the top exit. It was enough for me to retreat back down the couloir and call it a day. Personally would not recommend this route until the cornice breaks away, or is blasted. The picture included clearly shows the overhanging cornice at the top and is clearly visible in the daylight...just not during a 3am start.
|2014-05-19||Route: East Slopes
Info: Had to park just off the highway because the road to the Winter and Summer lots still had too much snow on it for my Subaru Tribeca. Hiked all the way in from there. Mostly ankle to thigh deep snow. Made the hike very slow. We were not able to summit because the hike took so long and was so tiring. Could have maybe done it with snowshoes. The only person we know of that summited had crampons, and we did not. Still a beautiful hike, did 12 miles there back in the snow.
|2014-04-25||Route: East Slopes
Info: The road was still covered with snow almost all the way to I-80. I was able to drive about 1/8 of a mile up, and there was evidence of others having gotten stuck attempting to go further up the road. So, from the exit of I-80, you can cross over the interstate and get to the mouth of the road to the TH. Left the car about 6:30am, snow on road was still firm. I stayed on top no problem on my skis and my dog stayed on top in the morning on the approach. There were 2 places the road was melted out, but short enough I just skinned right across the dirt. At the summer trailhead, followed snowshoe and boot tracks (I commend those that posthole for miles and miles...learn to ski!! I don‘t think I could do it.) Bridge was cross-able, but the snow bridge across the creek was also still very solid, so i just skinned around the bridge. Headed up the "Standard Route" from there. Great conditions for skinning, minor side-hill sloping to the left in places. Some point release slides from previous day or two on south facing slopes all the way in, as well as in the basin shared by Grays and Torreys. I came up into the bottom of the basin to get a good look at the peak and the rest of my route, then cut left/south to gain what is probably the most commonly used summer route. Traversed right/north from there with a couple small switchbacks to gain the saddle between Grays and Torreys. The last 100 yards being very hard-packed and the most tense part of the entire ascent, side-hilling being the most challenging skinning maneuver in my set of skills. Continued to skin for a while up the northeast ridge from the saddle until it got steep enough I packed my skis and booted up a friendly, meandering mix of rock and snow to the summit. Great summit conditions, got to hang out for a while, one other climber joined me. Just as I was leaving, a split-boarder and skier I had leapfrogged with all morning also arrived. Descent was straight-forward and smooth, essentially back down my ascent route. Carefully side-slipped my way through some of the top sections peppered with rocks, hard-packed to saddle. Dropped a section of cornice off the saddle onto the slope below (my dog needed a little extra encouragement there. The slopes here were much softer, though not quite corn. My tracks are easy to distinguish because they have a dog‘s tracks running through the middle of them. Traversed out below the chutes off Torrey‘s and had to carefully pick my way around rock mounds to stay on snow all the way out of the basin. The pair I left on the summit skied out Lost Rat Couloir and said they got some nice, powdery turns, crust in some places.
|2014-04-18||Route: East Slopes
Info: Snow pretty much all the way up from I-70. Was 32 F at TH at 4 AM on Friday. Road well frozen. Wore microspikes to summer TH from there switched to snowshoes to put in the trail again. Wore shoes to the top of Grays - crampons probably would have been better especially on the side hill from 12800 ft to 13100 ft. Wore crampons over to Torreys and was better. The bowl between G&T has boot or more deep snow but was stable. One skier climbed Dead Dog and it was stable. Some skiers went down Emperor and said it was good with no slide risk.
|2014-01-18||Route: Southwest Ridge
Info: Toured up Peru Gulch, to Chihuahua Gulch, to Ruby Gulch, then up the SW Ridge to Grays. Way bonier than I expected up high. Wind and sun have done a number. Once on the ridge we tossed our skis on our backs and booted the rest of the way on dry ground. Was able to ski a mellow couloir looker‘s left of the summit. Snow was rock solid boiler plate, but still nicer than hiking down. Skin track is laid, go have fun. (Pic 1 looking down SW Ridge into Chihuahua and Peru Gulchs...pic 2 looking at SW ridge from Ruby Gulch, we skied wide couloir looker‘s left of summit...pic 3 SW Ridge and summit...pic 4 making turns)
|2014-01-11||Route: East Slopes
Info: Skied in to about 12,000, then continued on foot to about 13,300. Conditions are great for skinning or snowshoeing up. Found one Stubai crampon, right foot. if anyone lost one, email me
|2014-01-03||Route: East Slopes
Info: As of today there was a good trench to about 12,800 and then was mostly wind scoured/ packed. The winter trail cutoff to skirt the avalanche slopes of Kelso was very obvious, but takes you through many areas of waist deep snows. Snow shoes were very helpful.
|2014-01-01||Route: East Slopes
Info: The upper part of the mountain (above 13,000‘) is pretty scoured by wind, there‘s actually a fair bit of bare ground up there. Even the snow covered parts of the trail are pretty easy to find.
|2013-11-30||Route: Grays and Torreys
Info: I did the standard route up Grays and Torrey‘s 11-30. Round trip from trail head to trail head took 7 1/2 hours. I WOULD NOT do this route without snowshoes or crampons and trekking poles. You really don‘t need them until you start the traverses across Gray‘s eastern face. The trails are easily spotted as you approach the peak. Unlike in summer though these trails are not nice and flat, but rather covered in snow, making the traverse tricky as you are crossing it at an angle of 30-35 degrees. The snow pack was stable here as long as you don‘t go out into the middle of an open area but still be careful and check each step, its a long slide down. The sketchiest part of the trip was going down Gray‘s north ridge to the saddle separating the two peaks. My snowshoes proved to cumbersome and large to navigate the partially snow covered talus field and it was very slippery with my boots once I took off my snowshoes. My biggest take away from this trip was that the wintery condition take much more time than it does in the summer.
|2013-10-06||Route: East Slopes
Info: Packed snow for most of the way once you begin climbing out of the valley. We hiked in boots and were fine. We didn‘t have spikes or gaiters, but gaiters would have been nice. Spikes were not necessary.
|2013-09-28||Route: East Slopes
Info: Lots of wind blown snow. We broke trail through 2-3‘ drifts on the switch backs that headed west. The switchbacks headed east had mostly no snow. Coming down, there was a mix of hard pack and powder. I‘d say gaiters and micro spikes will be needed after today