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|Conditions Information||Posted By||Posted On|
|2016-06-09||Route: Emperor Couloir
Info: Emperor's is still skiing great, maybe the last line in the state right now where you can ski 3000' directly from the summit. Snow goes down continuously to almost the creek, get it while it's good though because a couple narrow sections up high won't last long. Dead Dog looked a little runneled out but is still in as well.
|2016-06-07||Route: South Slopes
Info: Standard Route: same as Grays, intermittent snow from trailhead until the kelso ridge turn-off. Snow continuous from there. No snowshoes required yesterday with a 6am start, spikes optional. Snowshoes highly recommended/required on the descent, especially in the willows because the snow that you have to navigate is deep and gets soft quick. Watch for not walking to close to the cornice above South Paw on the ridge Emperor: filled in completely, same with Tuning fork. Creek in Grizzly gulch is raging, wouldn't recommend climbing either route just to avoid getting wet early in the day, but they are good for skiing. Dead dog: snow did not look inviting for a ski but the people who climbed it said it was good for that at least. East face direct looks good up until the lower cliff band where you can traverse into the bottom of Dead dog.
|2016-06-03||Route: Dead Dog Couloir
Info: Climbed my first two 14ers on Friday. Went up Dead Dog Couloir to the summit of Torreys and then traversed over to Grays and descended on the obvious route down Grays. The road to the summer TH is in decent shape. If you have 4wd or high enough clearance, you should be able to make it to within a half mile of the summer TH as this is where to road was snow covered. The trail to the base of Grays and Torreys was in decent shape in the morning. I reached the summer TH around 7:30 am. The snow was hard enough that I did not need snowshoes in the morning and didn't post hole at all. Dead Dog is in good shape - firm snow that was good for kicking steps into. I did meet one couple at the base that had down climbed with their skis because they said it was too choppy. I'm glad I had my crampons, ice axe, and helmet as they were a necessity for this route. I reached the summit of Torreys around 11:30 am, sat for a while and then traversed over to Grays. I started the descent from Grays at 12:30 pm and the snow at higher elevations was still in good shape. I had a couple decent glissades and was back to the flatter approach area. This is where the snow shoes came in handy. The snow on the approach had become extremely soft and while snow shoes weren't a necessity, I was glad that I didn't have to post hole through a mile and a half of wet snow. Made it down the dirt road and was back to my car at 3:30 pm.
|2016-05-24||Route: NW Face/Tuning Fork
Info: Photo from Coon Hill. Looks filled in all the way to the top!
|2016-05-12||Route: Emperor Couloir
Info: Weather was absolutely perfect and snow conditions were great too. Still tons of snow covering the peaks, much to no one's surprise. Ascent was slowed by the snow depth, often reaching knee deep (I'm 6'4") in the couloir. However, this made for a fun descent of the East Slopes where my party was rewarded with a 45 second glissade down much of the mountain. I fully recommend taking the chute we left if its hanging around before the snow completely covers it in the coming days. No major cornices on the couloir itself, but the G&T saddle was guarded by a sizable cornice which forced us 3 minutes up Gray's to avoid. Road appears driveable from I-70, but don't trust your eyes. No car will make it past the snow still packed on the road-- and we saw plenty of failed attempts. Minor landslides landed a few large rocks on the road as well slightly above the Grizzly turnoff.
|2016-05-10||Route: South Slopes
Info: Made it about 100 yards past rt70 parking lot and impassable, 2 feet drifts. 4x4 xterra was going nowhere.
|2016-04-24||Route: Dead Dog Couloir
Info: Fantastic snow to climb but not ski. Great kick stepping. Recent avy debris throughout the line which comforted me.
|2016-04-08||Route: NW Face/Tuning Fork
Info: Seen from the summit of Cupid today.
|2016-03-12||Route: Kelso Ridge
Info: A few tips: 1. Don't try to drive up the road, some recent carnage is apparent from two people that tried. They failed miserably. 2. There's very little snow. I brought snowshoes (as did everyone in our group of 4) and none of us ever even thought of using them. I will say if it warms up a lot, you may want them, but on a day like today... not so much. 3. Kelso Ridge is mixed dry rock, icy spots, and bulletproof snow. One of us was in crampons for the ridge, the other 3 of us just used Microspikes.
|2016-03-11||Route: West Ridge
Info: I went up the route with two other climbers. We started at 6:30am, summited Torreys a little after 1:00pm, and got back to Loveland Pass at 7:30pm. Conditions were mostly spring like and windblown. We didn't carry snowshoes, and they weren't needed. The snow that was on the trail was thin and could be easily kick-stepped on the steeper aspects. I slipped at the bottom of the ridge on the return ascent of Grizzly, and we put on our microspikes immediately but took them off after reaching the summit. We all had poles, but I would have felt more secure with an ice ax for that ridge. That one ridge is still heavily snow packed. We put on our headlamps after watching the sunset, and hiking in the dark was not a problem. It was a great time to hike the ridge because lightening storms aren't an issue, so we could comfortably spend the whole day on the ridge and take in some awesome views.
|2016-02-27||Route: West Ridge
Info: Can anyone give conditions of Torrey's west ridge route from Loveland pass?
|2016-02-26||Route: Kelso Ridge
Info: Fantastic conditions at present. Spikes from the 1-70 to the summer trailhead and then snowshoes to the Kelso turnoff. My climbing partner actually went without traction until the upper half of Kelso. I had spikes all the way. The trip across to Grays and back down to the Kelso turnoff can all be done in spikes. We tried to use spikes back to the summer trailhead but found ourselves sinking in some and put the flotation back on...all the way down to 1-70. Not necessary in the hard pack snow at the bottom of Road 189, but we were sprinting to the finish.
|2016-02-25||Route: Kelso Ridge
Info: Conditions for both Grays and Torreys are excellent at the moment. It feels a bit like cheating. Today, I had to do modest trailbreaking from I-70 to the summer TH due to the recent dusting (~2-3 inches). The last mile to the summer trailhead required the most effort. It appears no one has been above that point since the weekend. Once above the summer TH, the trail is well packed with areas of snowdrift. Most of the new snow has blow away. Flotation is required but requires very little effort. Also, the current trail and snow conditions aptly avoids any avalanche danger presented by Kelso's SE slopes. Kelso Ridge appears to be in the same condition and Brad's recent trip report so look at those photos. I did not use crampons or an axe on the ridge although some folks would certainly want them. The trail descending off Grays is well boot packed (no flotation required) and you could certainly stash your flotation at the Kelso Ridge Junction. I did not use them but some people would like micro-spikes for the Grays trail.
|2016-02-13||Route: Kelso Ridge
Info: Climbed Kelso Ridge from I-70 this AM. Road is packed to summer TH. Took winter bypass to avoid Kelso avalanche slopes. From summer TH to 12k, wore snowshoes, but just a few places where the snow wasn‘t firm. We switched to crampons at the start of the ridge - a bit annoying down low, but as we got higher and higher, we were happy we were wearing them. Descended via the Grays/Torreys saddle - it is wind packed snow - we kept crampons on. Spikes would have been fine there too.
|2015-12-19||Route: West Ridge
Info: Yesterday, we set out to do Cupid and Grizzly from Loveland Pass. Having made good time to Grizzly, we decided to see how far we could get up Torreys before our cutoff time (~14k‘). We ditched our snowshoes on pt 12,915‘, and I‘m sort of questioning that decision--they would have saved us 30 min on the return ascent of the east ridge of grizzly (we plunge-stepped and butt-slid on the way to Torreys, but coming back was slow going). Otherwise, we did not use traction, although I think microspikes would have been helpful for the ascent out of the Grizzly-Torreys saddle up Torreys (mostly loose dirt, and I think the microspikes may have worked well as a cleat). We were happy to have our axes for the reascent of Grizzly, as we had to work the ridgeline with steady 60 mph crosswind pushing us towards the leeward steeps. Overall, the route is very windswept and probably 50-60% bare of snow.
|2015-11-14||Route: Kelso Ridge
Info: The storm over Veteran‘s Day (10-11 NOV) left a fair amount of snow on the ridge as well as the rest of the mountain, making route finding (and hold finding) a little more difficult. An axe and micro spikes are really helpful, and there were a couple spots where I considered crampons. This next storm should make things really interesting on the ridge itself. I‘m little more than a novice mountaineer but, for what it‘s worth: around 14k some of the Class 3 (See Photos 28, 29 & 30) was buried and I found myself on more Class 4-type terrain. Speaking of interesting: all of us tried and no one without chains made it up the access road. This next storm should all but preclude driving to the summer trailhead. I skinned up to the ridge from the bottom and changed over to climbing mode. That worked out really nicely; the last 3.5 miles back takes less than 30 minutes. I found someone‘s Excalibur 9 Iron at about 13,700‘ in a gulley - if they want it back... Not kidding. It‘s hanging on the rocks.
|2015-11-08||Route: Kelso Ridge
Info: Road to the parking lot is well packed snow (no ice), I decided to not drive it but if you have snow tires, its actually probably in nicer condition than summer at the moment. Standard trail is also all packed out with minimal ice. Kelso ridge was generally easy going aside from the two more technical parts. The first class 3/4 felt okay despite soft snow. The second section crossing the knife-edge-ish thing I had to make a couple of moves that felt 5.4-5.6 in the wet conditions using the much thinner north side since the holds I normally use on the south side were covered in very unstable snow. If whoever it was I passed on near the top wants that picture in higher resolution, send me a message.
|2015-10-18||Route: Kelso Ridge
Info: The ridge is still in good shape, with a few areas of snow that are easily avoidable. The short stretch from the knife edge to the top is the only part that has a considerable amounts of snow and microspikes are not a bad idea. I followed the descriptions on 14er and it overall it worked out fine, but I had to do some route finding, especially above the white wall and before the knife edge. A nice climb along a great ridge with good rock and not much loose stuff.
|2015-10-10||Route: Kelso Ridge
Info: Hiked Kelso Ridge this morning. Some spots have snow and ice, but they aren‘t too bad (not avoidable altogether, but it is not present on some the harder parts). I would recommend microspikes for part of it, especially the last ascent after the knife edge, where snow is completely unavoidable. We did it in just over 3 hours for the first time and didn‘t use any special equipment except helmets (would definitely recommend those). A very doable route condition with some intermittent small ice/snow spots that would be a lot easier with microspikes.
|2015-10-09||Route: Grays and Torreys
Info: Snowy on the way up to grays. It is a hard packed snow so it is more like ice. I‘d use microspikes cuz face planting on rocks is less than enjoyable. Very powdery snow up top on Gray‘s and incredibly windy and cold this morning. Made for a short stay there. Again snowy and icy heading down into the saddle. However, the route up to Torreys was clear and very pleasant. Summit had no wind, little snow, and was quite warm. Excellent views and a beautiful morning in the mountains! Total trip time was 4:54 including a partial trek up Kelso Ridge. **On a side note: My original goal was Kelso Ridge this morning. However, it is a sheet of ice and snow. I turned back about one-third of the way up**