Peak(s):  Grays Peak  -  14,270 feet
Date Posted:  06/22/2013
Date Climbed:   06/22/2013
Author:  sierra
 Avalanche between Grays and Torreys  

The road was clear to the trailhead for Grays peak. Cars were parked alongside the road from the trailhead for about a half mile at 10am. The 14ners trail maintenance crew were out working on the lower trail - thanks, much appreciated!

There were lots of people out today. Only two areas of the trail remain under snow which will likely be gone in a few days. There is no problem with route finding, no ice on the trail, a few trekkers were coming down the meadows of wild flowers- not cool.

Around noon, an avalanche started from up in the saddle between Grays/Torreys. We didn't see anyone near the avalanche. A few minutes later a group of guys said there was a snowboarder in the run out. We still couldn't see anyone. They had called 911 for a rescue. Some nearby glissaders were walking in the direction of the rock and snow run out. Within 20 minutes the life flight chopper was coming through the valley. From Grays at around 13,500 ft, we still could not see anyone near the avalanche run out.

We hit the top for a quiet summit with one other guy at 130pm and a fast return to the car. Lots of ankle biting boulders!

 Comments or Questions

thanks for the update,
06/23/2013 23:09
but this should be under ”conditions.”

Too many strange and unfortunate happenings today. Any news on the boarder?


06/24/2013 05:11
Did you happen to take any pictures of the slide? Climbed G&T's last week and skied the bowl off the saddle. Although we were selective on where we skied due to the large amount of rutted glissade lines - I would be interested to see where the slide occurred and the extent of the slide.

I am surprised this hasn't been addressed on the forum.


My friend
06/24/2013 15:47
Told me about this. I believe in was in the southpaw couloir and the 'avalanche' was a series of cornice collapses that occurred across the top of Southpaw. Not 100% sure, but I think that's what happened


06/24/2013 16:22
I didn't see any evidence of a slide. I was descending the saddle from Torreys around noon. But... that would make sense.

By the way, there were a lot of people thinking that sliding down the saddle was a good idea (with nothing to arrest their slide). Saw a few people tumble pretty good and was wondering if someone had broken a leg.


I saw the whole thing
06/24/2013 16:23
I had just glissaded into the basin with a group of friends when we saw the helicopter coming up the valley. It landed right in from us, a nurse came out, and asked us if we were in trouble. She told us that they had gotten a call about someone tumbling down one of the slopes. The helicopter took then off and made several passes around Torreys' couloirs. Later on, as we were walking down the trail, it landed again and we overhead the conversation the SAR people were having with the two hikers that called 911. They saw an avalanche in one of the couloirs and saw something tumbling down. They couldn't tell whether it was a rock, a person, or a backpack, but they decided to err on the side of safety and called SAR. The SAR coordinator concluded that it was probably a rock (since the helicopter crew couldn't see anything human-like after several passes), but still asked the crew to do a couple more passes. So, the helicopter took off again right in front of us, took a look and went back to base. What can I say, it was a blast to watch that amazing piece of machinery land and take off right in front of us!


Makes much more sense now
06/24/2013 16:32
Those cornices off of Southpaw were pretty big last week and had to come tumbling down sometime. Glad everyone is OK.

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