Peak(s):  Torreys Peak  -  14,267 feet
Grays Peak  -  14,270 feet
Date Posted:  06/01/2010
Date Climbed:   05/30/2010
Author:  JohnWilliams
 Torreys and Grays via Dead Dog Couloir   

Peaks: Torreys, Grays
Ascent: Dead Dog Couloir
Descent: Grays NE Face
Players: Eric Robinson, John Williams
RT Time: 7-7.5 hours

Eric and I got up around 2:20 am at his home in Summit Cove. After some final organization we were out the door and on the road by 3:00am. We made the trailhead up a very well groomed road by 3:30 and were on foot by 3:45. I was carrying my brother's snowboard and a friends boarding boots in the pack. Eric was wearing his telemark boots and had his skis packed up. The trail up was mostly refrozen slush from the previous day so keeping ankles from rolling was the toughest task. I was feeling good and was optimistic for the day ahead.

We made to near the base of Dead Dog Couloir by 5:15 and proceeded to gear up. The sun had yet to peak, so the alpenglow views where spectacular.
Blue Up and Red Down


After a short break and a gear swap we were moving again, this time up.
Eric Heading Up

There were several sets of steps cut most of the way up.
John going up

Near the first constriction I came upon a half buried crampon which I proceeded to pack away(let me know if this is yours).
About Halfway

The climb continued slightly uneventful, besides the beer can sized rock that nearly cleaned my clock! Eric and I took turns swapping the camera and snapping away at all the route has to offer.

We reached the top of the couloir around 7:30 am to magnificent sight, the nearly identical drop off down the north face of Torreys.
Eric followed by Joe

After another short break and introductions with a fellow Dead Dogger (Joe from OK) we jaunted the final few feet to the summit by 7:45 am. This made for a 4 hour ascent.
John and Eric up top.

Few snacks and pictures later we were making our way down towards the combining saddle. 8:00 am.
Rock out!

We took our sweet time coming ascending to Grays summit and marveled at the amount of humans we observed hiking. Nearly forty by my count. Because of my piss poor skills on a snowboard I decided to strap in about 150 feet below the summit. Eric, on the other hand, hopped into his teley skis at the top. Pro!
Eric coming down

Boots In

The snow was very hard and windblown. I mostly just slid down to the saddle but Eric was able squeeze in a few turns. We both then followed the cut off trail down towards Grays north ridge, stopping several times to walk when the snow thinned.
Eric had eyed a snow band that followed the creek down to the TH and was committed to skiing as much of the descent as possible. I was looking to do a mellower run, so I chose to head back down towards the Dead Dog basin. We parted ways and started back down. After making a few good turns I was reminded why I brought this heavy, awkward thingy up these two beastly peaks. I made a quick switch back to my Sportivas and was back at the trailhead 30 minutes after Eric. He had skied all but 50 feet back to the lot. Even making a high speed creek crossing! Pro! Eric in 7 hours, John 7.5. Then off to Margaritaville!

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):

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