Peak(s):  Torreys Peak  -  14,267 feet
Date Posted:  06/10/2009
Date Climbed:   06/07/2009
Author:  KirkT

 Kelso Ridge in the Spring  

Torrey's Peak 14267ft
May 7, 2009
Route: Kelso Ridge
Round Trip: 7 miles, 5 hours
Elevation Gain: 3100 ft.
Hikers: KirkT , Shad

Shad and I had been out and hiked several 13er's over the past several months but becuse of his upcoming race in a few weeks he wanted to get up to some higher elevation so we decided on something close. Grays and Torreys should suffice. We left the city at 5:40 am and arrived at the upper trailhead at about 7 am. There is one pretty nasty washout on the road about 5 minutes up the road that stopped about 6 cars there but other than that the road was in average to good shape. We picked up a couple on the way up and gave them a lift to the upper trailhead.

We started hiking at 7:10. The initial plan was to hike Grays and then over to Torrey's, typical plan for these mountains. The lower part of the trail is broken trail and snow covered. The snow is however heavily travelled and posed no issued at all. There were at least 75 people or so on the trail in front and mostly behind us.

At the junction of where Kelso Ridge and Grays trail intersect we decided at that moment to do the Kelso Ridge route. We both had axes and crampons so the decision was made pretty easily, not only that, we could avoid the congo lines going up Grays. I had never climbed Kelso Ridge so I was especially ready for a little more challenge than the easy slog up Grays for a 4th time. We could see a group of six hikers ascending Dead Dog colouir. That really looked fun.

The start of the ridge was pretty void of any snow. It was a nice easy class 3 scramble for the first portions of the climb. We did not encounter any real snow conditions until around 13300 ft. The places that climbing was required were void of any snow. We had one spot that was a little tricky with compact snow on a steep incline. There were tracks from previous days so the route was fairly obvious to follow. The last portions of the route were totally snow covered as was the knife edge portion. We simply just walked across it without any issues. Neither of us donned crampons at all the entire climb. We did however use our ice axes for the last 800 ft of the climb. We summited at 10:10 for a total climb time of 3 hours. The wind was blowing extremely hard on top, problaby around 30+ mph. We quickly made our way down Torreys' ridge to the Grays saddle and glissaded back into the basin and made our way back to the trail head at 11:55am. Total hike time was 4 hours 45 minutes.

Great day to be out in the mountains and a better way to enjoy Torrey's peak for sure.


 Comments or Questions

Kelso Ridge looks like a blast.
11/30/2010 17:20
If it's as fun as it looks I can see myself climbing Torreys many times in the future. Thanks for the story and photos.

How did the ridge between Mount Edwards and Grays Peak look from up there? I think I see a lot of snow and some cornices along the ridge top in your photos. In comparison, how did the approach from Grizzly Peak look from the top of Torreys? I hoped to climb Torreys soon for the first time but not by the standard walk-up.

Brian C

Very nice!
08/23/2010 14:48
I love that route. Your photos definitely make me want to hit it up soon! Nice report

Hook Em Horns

Fun scramble.
06/11/2009 12:10
I did the Kelso ridge on the 6th, fun little scramble. I wore my crampons on that final section. There were no tracks when I was there. Nice report as always.


Awesome job boys!
06/11/2009 22:46
Great pics Kirk and nice TR. I have yet to climb this ridge!


Great job!
06/13/2009 03:12
Man, pics #14, #17 and #18 are sweet! That last one looks like a giant caterpillar went to the summit.
You guys put up a fast time on that ridge. That glissade must have been kick-ass!
Nice one Kirk!

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