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|Conditions Information||Posted By||Posted On|
|2013-11-15||Route: Kelso Ridge
Info: Ridge had more snow near the summit but clearish down low. Climbed in leather boots with no traction or ice axe.
|2013-10-26||Route: South Slopes
Info: Awesome conditions, micro spikes or crampons and gaiters are your friend. Ice lower on the trail, and 2-3ft drifts up top. Boarded down a North facing coulior from the south slopes about 1000ft of rideable snow, nice power. 1st pic is on Torreys looking at grays, 2nd pic is the line i took and where i stopped.
|2013-09-30||Route: South Slopes
Info: Torrey‘s has a decent dusting of snow already. Plenty of packed snow/ice to navigate around as you hike the path up, with plenty of cornices forming, should you stray far right of the path. (HINT: DON‘T!). Better bring some trekking poles, or a good pair of Micro Spikes! We had 20 mph winds buffeting us all the way to the summit. Otherwise a beautiful, beautiful day!
|2013-09-30||Route: Kelso Ridge
Info: Torrey‘s has a decent dusting of snow already. Kelso Ridge especially is too risky to attempt without an ice axe, crampons, etc. There was at least a foot of snow on many places along the ridge, as well as approx. 18" of snow on the summit. We summited via the South Slopes route. Plenty of packed snow/ice to navigate around. Better bring some trekking poles, or a good pair of Micro Spikes!
|2013-09-20||Route: Kelso Ridge
Info: Completely dry untill the last push past the knife edge/white rocks. Was snowing over Berthold Pass when I left town yesterday 9/23 though so not sure if that impacted the Greys/Torreys area.
|2013-09-18||Route: Kelso Ridge
|2013-08-18||Route: Kelso Ridge
Info: Summer conditions.
|2013-07-04||Route: Kelso Ridge
Info: Only about 20‘ of snow left at the top, steps are kicked in. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KpkDD1crFWo&feature=player_embedded
|2013-06-29||Route: South Slopes
Info: The traverse southwest to reach the Grays-Torreys saddle from the Grays route (not the traverse from Grays summit) still requires a small, exposed, snow/ice field crossing. A fall from said traverse would likely be a self termination event without an equipped agressive self arrest. Short path and "snow" was ice at 0600. Mentioning only as a summer point of caution. A spring/fall/winter effort on similar terrain would likely have an individual carrying an ice axe, and wearing crampons. Avoidable by taking or returning via the Grays summit approach.
|2013-06-27||Route: Kelso Ridge
Info: Kelso ridge is completely dry until the knife-edge. At the buttress before the knife-edge I stayed left only to encounter steep snow at the top of dead dog couloir. I did not have an ice axe so avoided this steep climb as any fall would be trouble. Instead I skirted the buttress on the right (north) side. This side requires some exposed class 3 moves and then a scramble up loose rock but was entirely free of snow. After regaining the ridge I crossed the knife edge and encountered another 20 yard snow field. This has steps kicked into it and did not require traction or an ice ax. Overall a great climb. Picture one is looking back at the knife edge. Picture two is the view of kelso ridge from the east.
|2013-06-23||Route: Kelso Ridge
Info: Kelso ridge is almost entirely dry except for a short couloir crossing right before the knife edge/Dead Dog (10 yards). It is fairly steep, so I kicked footholds and self-belayed with the ice axe. I couldn‘t imagine not using an axe as a slip would likely be fatal. You might be able to find a dry workaround by sticking to the ridge proper, but I can‘t vouch for that. There is also a little snow right after the knife edge, but it is not steep, and there is a boot track heading up - had the axe out for that but didn‘t really need it. (ETA: just read the PC Reports below...maybe there is an easier way to get across the couloir either by sticking to the ridge or going around to the right instead of the left).
|2013-06-22||Route: Kelso Ridge
Info: The Kelso ridge is pretty much free of snow all the way to the knife edge. The only large patches of snow lie above the tower of white rock, and there are steps in them (no need for traction devices). The first pic shows the knife edge and white rocks; the second one shows the patches of snow above the white rocks (notice the tracks in them). With the latest warm temperatures, the snow will be gone pretty soon.
|2013-06-22||Route: Kelso Ridge
Info: Kelso Ridge is dry all the way up to knife edge. A cornice and lingering snow up there limits the exposure to about 3 feet so the pictures don‘t look as macho. Firm snow with bootpacked steps past the white rocks up to and on Torreys summit. Snow on standard trails up around 13000 ft for Grays and Torreys. Great glissading conditions down the bowl from the saddle. Looks skiable but snow is getting thin. Dead Dog Couloir looks to be melting out fast - upper 1/3 looks ok, the rest seems to be melting out. Other couloirs looked thicker.
|2013-06-20||Route: Dead Dog Couloir
Info: Talked to two guys who climbed and skied down Dead Dog, as we hiked back together to the TH. In their words: Started at 9, peaked at 11, soft snow, the top was in solid shape but the middle was horrible, rocks exposed every three feet or so, bottom had enough coverage to make it all the way to the base.
|2013-06-15||Route: Northwest Face "Tuning Fork"
Info: Tuning fork is still in. 10-15 people ripped it on Saturday. I think that it has a couple weeks left in it, but the gap between the car and where the snow ends will widen everyday.
|2013-06-14||Route: Dead Dog Couloir
Info: Started up the couloir around 7:00AM & topped out around 9:00AM. The route isn‘t beautiful (plenty of dirty snow) right now, but was still very enjoyable to climb. I would suggest a slightly earlier start to prevent soft snow. Dead Dog probably has a short life left. Get it while it‘s hot!
|2013-06-03||Route: West Ridge from Loveland Pass
Info: Peak is easily summitable without traction, flotation, or other aids (the standard "variable conditions" disclaimer that, if you‘re here reading this, you likely already know, et al, of course applies - and if a traction/axe makes ya comfortable, take it - it‘s not totally dry or clear, but with the right route finding, I find the conditions quite favorable to travel sans aids, YMMV, as always). Short version: runnable, but snowy past Griz (SE aspect of Griz + last 500 vert up Torrey‘s especially), but even at peak afternoon w/sun on a relatively warm day, snow was not a major impediment to quick travel (but see longer version for snow/pack safety comments). Got a late start (1230PM), but was running (or at least very fast hiking), and no weather appeared to threaten or build, but was quite windy. Melt had made some portions of trail moist, but nothing even close to a big deal in either discomfort, slowing travel, or making for trail abuse. For all practical intents and purposes, trail is clear of any appreciable snow until half way up Griz. Snow to this point is sporadic, shallow, and packed. Neither route finding was an issue nor traversing it in a pair of relatively light trail runners. Conditions were quite warm, but very windy, with occasional clouds, but enough sun had worked the snow on ascent of Griz to be relatively soft, but it‘s not really deep enough (at least consistently) to create any postholing. One or two knee-shots, but ankle deep at most and travel remained quite fast. Snow on W aspect of Torrey‘s was certainly there, but easily avoidable and/or stable/useful in the areas I felt comfortable traveling on the pack. Pack is not deep until the last 500-700 vertical, and quite well consolidated in terms of travel even late on this relatively warm day (didn‘t dig any pits to do REAL pack assessment . I noted that there were a few (not many, a few) tracks going straight down the fall line on the SE aspect of Griz. I did not, for my own purposes/risk acceptance, find that route of travel safe. Perhaps they are from different times of day/week/month in which that area was safe, but with the angle of the slope and the apparent conditions, the pack there seemed deep, steep, and scary enough that I wouldn‘t touch it. Cornices along the ridge to the NE of Griz were also looking ripe to pop, which made the safest travel along the narrow/knifedge ridge, which was actually pretty solid, IMHO. I felt safe in this area, mostly because terra firma was easily visible or just inches below with enough of a zone that the cornices to one side and slabs to the other did not worry me traveling that part, and the ridge was clear and safely delivered me to the saddle/base of Torreys (again, my own risk assessment based on my preferences and the conditions of the hour/minute). Travel up the trail/scree portions was easy/fast, with snow becoming prevalent around 13k, and quite consistent around 13.5k, and deep/full coverage around 13.8k. No particular slide worries, save for the normal wind loading/cornices ready to pop along the N side of the ridge to the summit. There is still a fair amount of snow out there at/past Griz, but as I mentioned, the ridge is easy traveling and flotation/traction/ice axes really aren‘t required and I couldn‘t see many situations where they would be even with some ridiculous melt/freeze cycles...Griz is currently the "crux" of the run/hike in the sense of it having the most snow and variable conditions.
|2013-05-31||Route: Emperor Couloir
Info: After the last stream crossing at the beginning of the couloir, I immediately sunk into 2 feet of powder snow. Worried about avalanche conditions, I turned around there. The route is definitely not spring snow yet.
|2013-05-25||Route: Northwest Face "Tuning Fork"
Info: Tuning Fork looks like it is still in pretty good condition. Pic from Pettingell Peak across I-70.
|2013-05-22||Route: Emperor Couloir
Info: Here are two pics from I-70.