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GROUP WINTER ASCENT OF GRAY'S PEAK??

Arrange group travel to/from the peaks.
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GROUP WINTER ASCENT OF GRAY'S PEAK??

Postby hockeyfan651439 » Mon Feb 13, 2012 2:34 pm

Hello Everybody,
Anybody want to do a large group ascent of Gray's Peak between March 19th and 23rd? It's Spring Break for myself and many other college students. I figure this is something worth planning a month out. Anyways I will be doing it with my current lone partner. Given the potential for winter to rear it's head and spew nasty conditions; the more the merrier :D ! Hoping to do the either the Rat's Coulier or the East Slopes depending on conditions and varying climber experience. I haven't done a Winter Ascent in the Rockies yet but have done so abroad. It would be nice to have somebody with winter experience in the region along for the summit attempt.

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Re: GROUP WINTER ASCENT OF GRAY'S PEAK??

Postby d_baker » Mon Feb 13, 2012 2:44 pm

Iman86 wrote:If you want a 'winter ascent' then you want to do it the 19th or 20th, just sayin :lol:

My calendar says the Vernal Equinox is on the 19th. ??

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Re: GROUP WINTER ASCENT OF GRAY'S PEAK??

Postby hockeyfan651439 » Wed Feb 15, 2012 10:15 am

Should I rephrase; Anybody want to do a March Ascent?

Re: GROUP WINTER ASCENT OF GRAY'S PEAK??

Postby gonzalj » Wed Feb 15, 2012 10:39 am

I might be up for something like this (weather & avy conditions permitting). One thing I will mention though is that avy conditions have been bad this year and close attention will have to be paid to which route is chosen as couloirs and east facing slopes could potentially be dangerous.

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Re: GROUP WINTER ASCENT OF GRAY'S PEAK??

Postby hockeyfan651439 » Wed Feb 15, 2012 5:22 pm

gonzalj wrote:I might be up for something like this (weather & avy conditions permitting). One thing I will mention though is that avy conditions have been bad this year and close attention will have to be paid to which route is chosen as couloirs and east facing slopes could potentially be dangerous.


Yeah I was just posting in the Gray's Torreys 14ers section asking about avalanche conditions. Does the east slope trail (super easy one) ever get threatened by avalanches in March? Most pictures I see still show exposed rock on the entire face but some show snow. If there is enough snowfall closer to the date this could be issue I assume?

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Re: GROUP WINTER ASCENT OF GRAY'S PEAK??

Postby darkhelmet1983 » Wed Feb 15, 2012 5:54 pm

hockeyfan651439 wrote:
gonzalj wrote:I might be up for something like this (weather & avy conditions permitting). One thing I will mention though is that avy conditions have been bad this year and close attention will have to be paid to which route is chosen as couloirs and east facing slopes could potentially be dangerous.


Yeah I was just posting in the Gray's Torreys 14ers section asking about avalanche conditions. Does the east slope trail (super easy one) ever get threatened by avalanches in March? Most pictures I see still show exposed rock on the entire face but some show snow. If there is enough snowfall closer to the date this could be issue I assume?


I don't wan to say never in the same sentence as avalanche but pretty unlikely for the east slopes to avy. Lost Rat couloir would be fun but prob not worth the avy risk this season. Plus getting there takes you a ways from the east slopes beginning and if determined to be too dangerous may kill the day. (Don't be fooled by "only" considerable avy danger! The CAIC gives a regional scale forcast which cannot take into account very localized risk areas.) I would be interested in joining for the east slopes though. Also consider starting at Loveland Pass and going over Grizzly to Torrey's then Gray's and then descending east slopes and down road to cars. Would require shuttling back to the pass to pick up cars there but another peak and more fun than long approach and descent hikes down the road. I have a built 4x4 Cherokee available for use. Just an idea.

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Last edited by darkhelmet1983 on Wed Feb 15, 2012 6:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: GROUP WINTER ASCENT OF GRAY'S PEAK??

Postby ChrisFol » Wed Feb 15, 2012 6:03 pm

hockeyfan651439 wrote:
Yeah I was just posting in the Gray's Torreys 14ers section asking about avalanche conditions. Does the east slope trail (super easy one) ever get threatened by avalanches in March? Most pictures I see still show exposed rock on the entire face but some show snow. If there is enough snowfall closer to the date this could be issue I assume?


The route as it passes Kelso Mountain is notorious for slides. Also, depending on conditions it may be advisable to go back over Grays rather than descending from the G/T saddle as the summer route does.

The Loveland Pass route I have eyed for a while, but I would only consider it with a shuttle-- it would be a beast of day, even under ideal summer conditions to round trip it back to LP, let alone in March.
-Chris

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Re: GROUP WINTER ASCENT OF GRAY'S PEAK??

Postby darkhelmet1983 » Wed Feb 15, 2012 6:20 pm

Yes, definitely shuttle only for that route. I wouldn't try otherwise either. I hiked cupid almost 2 weeks ago and the route up Grizzly looks really fun. Was a mix of snow and rock, was planning on going for it but was solo and it was a really cold windy day, so I settled for a good look and turned back. "Getting to the top is optional, getting down is mandatory" - Ed Veisturs. My personal climbing idol and a very smart climber.

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Re: GROUP WINTER ASCENT OF GRAY'S PEAK??

Postby hockeyfan651439 » Wed Feb 15, 2012 6:48 pm

darkhelmet1983 wrote:I don't wan to say never in the same sentence as avalanche but pretty unlikely for the east slopes to avy. Lost Rat couloir would be fun but prob not worth the avy risk this season. Plus getting there takes you a ways from the east slopes beginning and if determined to be too dangerous may kill the day. (Don't be fooled by "only" considerable avy danger! The CAIC gives a regional scale forcast which cannot take into account very localized risk areas.) I would be interested in joining for the east slopes though. Also consider starting at Loveland Pass and going over Grizzly to Torrey's then Gray's and then descending east slopes and down road to cars. Would require shuttling back to the pass to pick up cars there but another peak and more fun than long approach and descent hikes down the road. I have a built 4x4 Cherokee available for use. Just an idea.


That last suggestion sounds great. I will try and get in contact with you closer to the date. The more the merrier!

Re: GROUP WINTER ASCENT OF GRAY'S PEAK??

Postby gonzalj » Wed Feb 15, 2012 10:12 pm

Good to know about the standard east slopes route being at least somewhat safer compared to lost rat. In terms of the suggestions starting from loveland pass, I think that idea in March (even with a shuttle back) would be a gruelling day (and I believe I'm being kind in my choice of words). All those saddles of gaining & losing elevation (especially once you start talking about grizzly to torreys & then over to grays would be brutal). Not to mention that the road from the summer TH, back down to where a car could park in March would add what like another 5 or 6 miles? If we started at loveland and only went to torreys and then back to loveland, I think that would be more realistic (although still a very challenging day). The other thing that would have to be looked at is the winds (as we all know those continental divide ridges can get pretty brutal). Anyway, my $.02.

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Re: GROUP WINTER ASCENT OF GRAY'S PEAK??

Postby hockeyfan651439 » Wed Feb 15, 2012 11:49 pm

gonzalj wrote:Good to know about the standard east slopes route being at least somewhat safer compared to lost rat. In terms of the suggestions starting from loveland pass, I think that idea in March (even with a shuttle back) would be a gruelling day (and I believe I'm being kind in my choice of words). All those saddles of gaining & losing elevation (especially once you start talking about grizzly to torreys & then over to grays would be brutal). Not to mention that the road from the summer TH, back down to where a car could park in March would add what like another 5 or 6 miles? If we started at loveland and only went to torreys and then back to loveland, I think that would be more realistic (although still a very challenging day). The other thing that would have to be looked at is the winds (as we all know those continental divide ridges can get pretty brutal). Anyway, my $.02.

Yeah that is all very true I guess. The fact that it's in March makes conditions ultra-chancy too. Anyways worst case scenario, whoever is interested could come along for the East Slopes assuming that Avalanche conditions are safe. Still a solid 13+ miler, so certainly worthy of a hardy full day.

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Re: GROUP WINTER ASCENT OF GRAY'S PEAK??

Postby ChrisFol » Thu Feb 16, 2012 12:00 am

gonzalj wrote:Good to know about the standard east slopes route being at least somewhat safer compared to lost rat. In terms of the suggestions starting from loveland pass, I think that idea in March (even with a shuttle back) would be a gruelling day (and I believe I'm being kind in my choice of words). All those saddles of gaining & losing elevation (especially once you start talking about grizzly to torreys & then over to grays would be brutal). Not to mention that the road from the summer TH, back down to where a car could park in March would add what like another 5 or 6 miles? If we started at loveland and only went to torreys and then back to loveland, I think that would be more realistic (although still a very challenging day). The other thing that would have to be looked at is the winds (as we all know those continental divide ridges can get pretty brutal). Anyway, my $.02.


Both routes cross underneath Kelso Mountain and so depending on the time of year and snow conditions, both routes would offer equal avy danger. Lost Rat Couloir is slightly steeper than the East Slopes Route-- however, they are completely different routes an the avy danger is still evident on both routes.
-Chris

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