hockeyfan651439 wrote: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.
I've been reading the recent threads for Grays Peak and my overall impression in there is much uncertainly about what to expect and how best to approach it in March. Consider another unknown factor - weather during the time of your stay.
March can be very stormy, with winter-like conditions exending into April and May. You may want to consider a Plan B or C if conditions force you to bail on Grays. An easy-to-access 13er or 12er in another range beside the Front Range may make the effort worthwhile. There are trip reports and posts you can check here to refine you effort. I too am from St. Paul, and recall the frustration of driving 900 miles only to encounter bad weather - in my case, the summer monsoon many years ago.