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 Peak(s):  Torreys Peak  -  14,267 feet
 Post Date:  05/31/2009
 Date Climbed:   05/29/2009
 Posted By:  skier25

 Torreys - Dead Dog Couloir Ski   

Torreys Peak - 14,267 ft.
Date Climbed: 5/29/09

Ascent: South Slopes - http://www.14ers.com/routemain.php?route=torr2&peak=Grays+Peak+and+Torreys+Peak
Descent: Dead Dog Couloir on Skis
Vertical Gain: 3,200 Feet
Roundtrip: 7.50 Miles
Participants: Benners (Ben), Skier25 (Wes)

Red: Rough Ski Descent
Image

The recent rainstorms in the mountains and the effect of all that added weight to the snowpack worried us from the get-go. It was difficult to assess the amount of freezing that had taken place the night before this trip, so the itinerary was left undecided until the very last minute. Either of us would have been very happy with simply skiing off the summit.

I woke after 4 ˝ hours of sleep and picked Ben up at the Lookout Mountain parking lot around 4:50. We were shooting for 4:30, but both of us had minor complications that delayed us a little longer. Nevertheless, we were able to make it to the trailhead in roughly an hour despite the Stevens Gulch road (it seems to be falling in worse and worse condition with every year gone by). In the parking lot we met a man who had lost his dog the previous day or so; we told him that we would be on the lookout. I just hope everything ends up OK. It's so sad when these things happen. There was also a rather large group of climbers intent on climbing up Dead Dog Couloir. We wished them luck and left at 6:15.

(Tkn by:Wes)

(Tkn by: Ben)

(Tkn by: Ben)

(Tkn by: Wes)

We wanted to ski either Dead Dog, the Emperor, or the Tuning Fork if possible. The snow seemed firm, but it was apparent that temperatures had not been below freezing for very long the previous night. We received the first good look at the Eastern face of the mountain and decided that it would be faster to quickly climb the standard route and get off the summit before snow conditions turned unstable (I also hadn't brought crampons ).

We rapidly ascended to about 13,300 feet and looked around to survey where the other climbers were. It turns out that 9 other people were about to climb up Dead Dog, and four people were already above us – two skinning in the saddle, and two coming down from Grays. We were making very good time, but the 9 climbers were still at the base of the couloir and we wondered if they would have enough time to top out safely. We summited at 9:15 after exactly 3 hours with the other two skiers.

(Tkn by: Ben)

(Tkn by: Country)

After a quick snack, all four of us hiked down to the top of the couloir to analyze snow conditions. The top layer was heavy with warming snow and was interspersed with ice to about 8 inches deep. This was the apparent layer that would slide as the snow warmed if there were to be an avalanche. There was an ice film down deep and some other interesting layers. I wish I would have taken a picture of the snowpack – I will remember to next time. The pit could only tell us about the top of Dead Dog, but signs were promising. During all this the climbers in the couloir had been passing by. We asked them how soft the snow was further down. They reported that it was wet and sticky much lower, but it would hold in consistency if we hurried. We booted back up to the 'summit party' that had gathered and got ready to ski. Dead Dog was in - here are the pictures:

(Tkn by: Wes)

(Tkn by Ben)

(Tkn by: Ben)

(Tkn by: Wes)

(Tkn by: Wes)

Bend Ze Knee!

(Tkn by: Ben -Skier:Jen)

(Tkn by: Ben -Skier: Country)

The Goose Step...

(Tkn by: Wes)

...Into Perfection!

(Tkn by: Wes)

(Tkn by: Wes)

(Tkn by: Ben)

(Tkn by: Wes)

(Tkn by: Wes)

(Tkn by: Ben)

(Tkn by: Wes)

Once at the base of the Couloir, we agreed to re-climb the small ridge to the South and ski down the rest of the way.

(Tkn by: Wes)


The sun was hot, but it was a fast ski on the white ribbon of snow leading back to the car. We were back so early we relaxed in the parking lot with the two other skiers who had descended the couloir with us. I took a nice shower and nap once home. It's sad the Nuggets lost, but It had been a very rewarding day.

(Tkn by: Wes)



Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
 


  • Comments or Questions
benners


Nice Report Man!     2009-05-31 08:46:56
Another good day out there...have fun in Moab!


Carl


Looks like a good time guys     2011-05-02 08:23:28
Sorry I missed it. Nice write up Weston.


centrifuge


nice report     2009-06-03 19:59:03
and great photos! I really like the wide angle of the climber heading towards the saddle.



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