Peak(s):  Torreys Peak  -  14,267 feet
Date Posted:  03/26/2009
Date Climbed:   03/21/2009
Author:  horatius

 Emperor with New Descent   

Parked at I-70 at 1500 on Friday 20 March 09. Two people on snow shoes and one on Tele-skis. If using TOPO for the approach into Grizzly Gulch, take the trail marked "Jeep Trail" in stead of staying on main road. We lost 30 minutes going from Grizzly Mine back to the trail. Camped at the base of Emperor‘s. At the camp site, the snow had a 2 inch crust, underneath of which was sugar. Walking around the camp site in boots to consolidate the snow didn‘t much work. Woke at 0300 and cached our tents and sleeping bags at the camp site. Started up Emperor‘s at 0500. Snow shoes and skis were carried on packs. The skier put crampons on his tele-boots. The snow crust was harder in the couloir than it was at the base. The climb was straight forward. At 13000‘, we had to decide to bear to climber‘s right long one of the many snow routes or stay climber‘s left and scramble up the rocks. The crust began to deteriorate by noon, so we left the snow and scrambled up the rocks. This route caused us ascend with hands and Ice Axes as a climbing aid because of route steepness and the snow was slippery. At the very end, we mixed climbed a 10‘ vertical pitch that required hands, ice axe and feet. Exposure on the vertical pitch was severe and a fall would have resulted in serious injury or death. The top of the route ended where Dead Dog and Kelso intersect. Short climb brought us to the summit. We descended along the ridge, past the tuning fork to the extreme side of the NW face. Skiier had no problems descending via this route. It was snow covered from the top but was narrower and steeper than the tuning fork. Snow cover went all the way to the parking lot at I-70.

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):

 Comments or Questions

good stuff
03/26/2009 17:45
depending on who‘s writing this, my brother and I either talked to you at the parking lot (tele) or somewhere along the road (snowshoers)near the bottom saturday late afternoon. We were the ones skiing Dead Dog the next day. Looks like, though, that the North side was the way to go, I was just hesitant to head into that gulch without AT and skins. We ran into a duo on the summit who started from 70 at 6am, reached the summit at 2pm and ascended scree the entire way with alpine and snowboard gear. Talk about perseverence. They did the same route as you guys. It was a bluebird day, but snow conditions in DD were not optimal.


The Same Ones
03/26/2009 19:36
We‘re the one‘s you talked to. Glad to hear it worked out. I suspect the snow in DD was nasty. Sun exposure would have killed it. Those are strong dudes who summited from I 70 in 6 hours? Did they ascend the North Ridge of the Emperor Couloir?

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