Peak:  Torreys Peak (14er)
 Route:  Kelso Ridge
 Range:  Front
 Posted By:  kushrocks
 Date of Info:  12/17/2011
 Date Posted:  12/18/2011

With a decent 4 wheel drive car you can get about 1.8 miles up the trailhead. I made the bad decision to go another.3 miles past that into deeper snow and ended up getting stuck on the way out. Thank you to the two skiers who helped dig us out. Where I was stuck was 2.1 miles up the road or about .9 miles from the summer trailhead . . . Not recommended.

The trail to branch off to Kelso is packed down and easy to follow. Do not waist time and energy bringing snowshoes they were not needed at all. Microspikes worked great here. It was an absolute stunning day. Once on the ridge we started and probably did the first 15 minutes with Microspikes but when we had to traverse a steep snow bank we knew it was time to switch to crampons. The route was icy in spots but for the most part crampons did great. The knife edge was easy to cross with the snow but just after that the white rock section was a little hairy because it was somewhat icy. Once on the summit of Torreys we switched back to microspikes which were great up Grays and all the way back to the car by the standard route.

If your looking to ski this route it looks like it will be a while before conditions improve enough for good skiing. Above 12,000 the snow is mostly windblown and not very deep. You may get about 1.5 miles up from the summer trailhead so roughly a quarter mile before the turn off to Kelso Ridge and then there wont really be anything skiable.

4th time up Kelso Ridge and each time I seem to enjoy it more and more. It was great hiking with James as well as Dave and friends.

Photos (click for slideshow):
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