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Grays/Torreys via Kelso or Lost Rat/Dead Dog on April 12th

Colorado 14er peak questions and conditions should be posted here. 14er Trip Reports
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Grays/Torreys via Kelso or Lost Rat/Dead Dog on April 12th

Postby PolishPete » Thu Mar 27, 2014 5:19 pm

Depending on conditions, looking at possibly climbing Grays or Torreys (or both), via Lost Rat, Dead Dog, or Kelso Ridge.

Can anyone give any beta on what snow is like up there on any of the routes? Additionally, any beta on the road to the summer TH would be great.

Lastly, if anyone would like to join, I'll post up for sure once we decide what our final choice will be.

Thanks in advance for any info!!

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Re: Grays/Torreys via Kelso or Lost Rat/Dead Dog on April 12

Postby Alby426 » Fri Mar 28, 2014 7:25 am

With my past experience in those mountains, April 12 may be early to try the couloirs, especially if there has been recent snow (keep an eye on the forcast in the days leading up to the climb).
Kelso ridge is a year around climb, fantastic with some snow as well. The major obstacles will be the approach and descent: the road will, more than likely still be unpassable by vehicle so, it means a long trek up. Coming down, be aware of the big slope's stability and, a long trek down.
Have fun and, be safe.
My duty, as a human, is not to take, but, to give!

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Re: Grays/Torreys via Kelso or Lost Rat/Dead Dog on April 12

Postby PolishPete » Sat Mar 29, 2014 9:38 am

Yes, definitely worried about conditions. I'd prefer to go a month later, but unfortuantely our timeframe is what it is. However, I do see some TR's from March/April, so just hoping that the conditions are right so that we could make it work...if not, we'll look for something else.

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Re: Grays/Torreys via Kelso or Lost Rat/Dead Dog on April 12

Postby uwe » Mon Mar 31, 2014 4:45 pm

That weekend, I'm planning on doing a skin up - looking at Kelso vs couloir vs straight up Grays/Torreys depending on conditions.
Will camp Saturday evening at the trailhead for a Sunday morning climb. Good luck!!

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Re: Grays/Torreys via Kelso or Lost Rat/Dead Dog on April 12

Postby PolishPete » Wed Apr 02, 2014 2:20 pm

Our #1 choice at this points is Kelso Ridge to the top of Torreys, and then for the heck of it the saddle to Grays, if we have the energy. Our timeline only allos us to do a Saturday morning (alpine start) climb. Here's to hoping the weather is nice.

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Re: Grays/Torreys via Kelso or Lost Rat/Dead Dog on April 12

Postby PolishPete » Fri Apr 04, 2014 6:19 pm

If anyone happens to go to this area this weekend...any beta you can provide would be much appreciated!!

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Re: Grays/Torreys via Kelso or Lost Rat/Dead Dog on April 12

Postby natureben » Thu Apr 17, 2014 1:38 pm

Saw your thread and am wondering how the conditions were? I'm hoping to hit these this weekend.

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Re: Grays/Torreys via Kelso or Lost Rat/Dead Dog on April 12

Postby Brimstone10 » Thu Apr 17, 2014 8:31 pm

I too am interested to see how the route was, or the grays / Torrey's conditions in general. Thinking of doing dead dog couloir this weekend depending what the conditions look like.

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Re: Grays/Torreys via Kelso or Lost Rat/Dead Dog on April 12

Postby Doug Shaw » Fri Apr 18, 2014 11:07 am

I was up there last weekend but wasn't in the couloirs.

You're humping it up the whole road from I-70, about 3 miles each way, unless you have a tracked vehicle or a snowmobile - chains on your truck won't cut it.

Take floatation at least as far as the crossover entrance to the basin below the east face of Torreys - you'll thank me on your way out in the afternoon, if not on the way in itself. Some people out there last weekend got skunked after caching snowshoes at the TH.

Early to mid-April is generally a little early for couloir conditions to be optimal, and the Grizzly Peak snotel site just reported 8-10 inches of new snow from storm last weekend.

Don't let "it's the only time I've got available" or couloir fever lure you into a potentially dangerous situation. Usually by mid-May and June (and July depending on snow levels - and this year we're up) conditions are pretty solid and stable for snow climbing. Plenty of time!

Just keep this in mind as you start hearing about people climbing couloir routes at this time of the year:
http://blog.alpineinstitute.com/2011/03/non-event-feedback-loops.html
Reports of success aren't necessarily indicators of safety.

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Re: Grays/Torreys via Kelso or Lost Rat/Dead Dog on April 12

Postby Brimstone10 » Fri Apr 18, 2014 12:08 pm

Thanks for the info. Nothing is set in stone yet, we were thinking of hiking up and camping in the basin between G/T and making a decision based on conditions. At least that way if the couloirs don't look favorable there are other routes(standard, Kelso) so some climbing can be had regardless. Looking at other reports the couloirs will probably be saved for another day.

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Re: Grays/Torreys via Kelso or Lost Rat/Dead Dog on April 12

Postby PolishPete » Fri Apr 18, 2014 1:08 pm

What Doug said. We were those folks that got skunked by ditching our snow shoes at the bridge. 2 miles of post holing (from 4" to waist level) was no fun. Oh, and then 2 miles back to the bridge. FML.

Also, as Doug stated, on the hike out, even though we didn't need snow shoes on the road at 4am, we did use them, and happily so on the hike out (at 2 pm). By that time the snow had melted to a soft mush. We didn't climb, or attempt the couloir, but I'd say 8 to 10 others did that day (ski'd and boarded down). We're coming back again at the end of May with an attempt at the ridge or Dead Dog. This time, we won't ditch our snow shoes.

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