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|Conditions Information||Posted By||Posted On|
|2015-05-29||Route: East Slopes
Info: We hiked most of the way up Grays Peak yesterday, May 29, turning around near 12,700 feet due to lightning concerns and fatigue in our group. Managed to drive 1.2 miles from I-70 toward the summer trailhead in my Prius (could probably go farther in a higher-clearance vehicle). Road covered in deep snow after ~2 miles, and continuous snow cover the entire trail. Beautiful hike! Snow was nice and firm in the morning, but had become very slushy on our way down in the early afternoon. Snowshoes were a necessity on the descent - we kept sinking into deep snow when trying to descend without snowshoes.
|2015-05-06||Route: Lost Rat Couloir
Info: A handful of people parked at the standard winter closure for G&T. Light rain early in the morning at low elevations and a significant amount of snow melted today on the road. I think 4wd with chains can get quite a ways up the road now, and it might not be long for everyone else to drive farther. Patchy snow up the road until a half mile (don‘t remember this distance exactly) before summer TH and then coverage was continuous after that. Evidence of wet slides from recent days on north-facing aspects of Edwards. I didn‘t see anything that looked like it ran today. Cloudy, flat light, and colder above 12,400, and not much evidence of melting or wet slide potential in the couloir. Below 12,400 it seemed to be noticeably warmer and snow was softening up significantly by noon. There‘s a layer of new snow from recent storm in the couloir that varies in depth averaging maybe 4"and I think there‘s some wind loading in places too. New snow is heavy and seems to have bonded well with the deeper and more consolidated snowpack. I didn‘t see much evidence of instability in the couloir. I did kick-off what I‘m guessing was an insignificant micro wind slab sitting underneath the cornice at the top of lost rat -- it sloughed about 20 feet and then stopped. My turns in the couloir would occasionally trigger very small sloughs that would tend to be slow and not go very far. It is possible to ski from summit of grays along ridge with one short section of sidestepping to top of couloir. Coverage was a little thin at the top and then very good below that. Great turns.
|a day in the life||2015-05-06||3|
|2015-05-02||Route: East Slopes
Info: Standard route is almost 100% snow from summer TH to summit. Above 13K, some rocks poking out and snow coverage averaging up to 12-18 inches sitting on bare ground. I did not ski it but Lost Rat appears to be in. To avoid areas of concern on Kelso Mtn, I followed a snowmobile track from the summer TH up the bottom of the valley to meet the standard trail near where this pic was taken.
|2015-04-30||Route: East Slopes
Info: Used microspikes until well over 12K feet, then snow shoes. No recent tracks to follow. Def needed snowshoes on return - slushy snow with 70 degree temps below 12K feet in afternoon. We were only ones on Grays, had summit to ourselves. Barely any wind at the top. Great day! Add 6mi round trip as road from Bakerville to TH impassable from start. However, whole trip 11.9mi round trip, took more direct path up (rather than long switch backs) once on face of Grays.
|2015-04-05||Route: East Slopes
Info: Total slog up from i70 exit. It‘s possible to drive maybe 100 yards up the road with standard clearance vehicle. If you have a Jeep, probably can go 3/4 way up, but at your own peril, as you will probably get stuck halfway to your doors in melted slush on the way down. Road will probably be melted out at least halfway very soon. Not possible to ski continuously back down to i70 from the TH. Started up at 8:00, took winter variation though willows, there is a clear trail. Summit and head down by noon, and by then the snow through the willows was getting sloppy, but only postholed a few times. Brought spikes, crampons and snowshoes, did not use any of that equip. Advise early start, its melting out fast. Mostly posting this to give some wiki on the couloirs. Saw party of 2 climb the Dead Dog and ski down, also saw 2 other skiers climb Gray‘s std and ride Dead Dog down. Lost rat has cornice at the exit. Large cornice on the saddle between G/T.
|2015-04-04||Route: Lost Rat Couloir
Info: Lost Rat is transitioning to spring conditions. The snow is not quite ideal, but it is getting there. Typically the route is in a bit later in the spring, but couloir season seems to be coming earlier this year after a period of no major storms in the Front Range. The snow on the face remained cool for the entire climb despite early sunhit due to the winds keeping it cool. An early exit (prior to 11am) is advisable. There is a small, non threatening at the moment cornice on the left side of the exit. It can be avoided or climbed. The snow at the top was a bit thin. Here are photos on Google Plus: https://plus.google.com/u/0/photos/114208121135095282472/albums/6134835664069128737
|2015-04-01||Route: East Slopes
Info: Climbed and Summited, but take this with a grain of salt because it was becoming a Winter Wonderland as we were making our way down. The road is impassable at I-70, so plan on an additional 3 miles each way to get down. The trail from the summer trailhead up the valley is well defined, and keeps well out of the way of Kelso. No need for floatation. Traversing the rock rib was probably he hardest part of the climb, with microspikes necessary and crampons preferred, it was pretty slick and nasty. Rest of the climb was fine, snowy and windy but fine. Saw two climbers on Dead Dog and skiing down, but that entire face of Torrey‘s looks a little too sketchy and windblown for my tastes.
|2015-03-29||Route: East Slopes
Info: We arrived at the winter lot with the intention of climbing both Greys and Torreys. The winter road is still impassable and littered with the tracks of several cars that tried to make the first 200 yards and got stuck or fell into the trees. We had some pretty heavy wind early in the day which has erased some of the track, but when you do find the trail it is well packed and does not require snowshoes. Above the valley, especially on the ridgeline near the rock tower, I recommend microspikes as the trail falls off quickly and still has some slippery snow cover. Several people summited early in the day, and the path across to Torreys was also accessible, but give the cornices a wide berth. On our way back the sun was thinning the well-packed crust and turning the road slushy. An early start after a good freeze is still the best way to go. All in all, the trail present difficulty but is highly doable, and even my dog had no problem making it up the slopes.
|2015-03-15||Route: East Slopes
Info: Started around 5:30 used microspikes tell summer trailhead,snowshoes or skins are a must. Did see some wet avys as the day warmed up on Torreys east face. Didn‘t make it to the top because my puppy got burnt out. https://youtu.be/RQJZlMmR5j0?list=UUMSEWtrJEMqvxPz5edU0xyw
|2015-03-15||Route: Grays and Torreys
Info: Awesome trench in place up to 12k, gives wide berth to Kelso mtn. After that was a single skin track (way more now). About a foot of powder over rocks, made skinning a bit challenging. Booter over the ridge to Torreys. Snowpack is transitioning to spring. Visible ski tracks from the apron of Dead Dog.
|2015-03-14||Route: West Ridge from Loveland Pass
Info: Hiked Torreys and Grays from Loveland Pass on Saturday. Wore microspikes car to car, you can leave the snowshoes at home. Snow varied from light and fluffy (still fresh from Friday) to windblown and firm. Snow was continuous to Grizzly/Torreys saddle and then conditions varied from bare ground/scree to shin/knee deep snow.
|2015-02-12||Route: East Slopes
Info: Road from winter TH is snow packed making for fast travel. Used snow shoes across willows to lower part of Grays and micro spike to the summit.
|2015-02-08||Route: Stevens Gulch
Info: The road up to the summer parking area from Bakersville has good snow coverage. Crusty in some areas from the freeze/thaw. Similar to spring conditions down low. Slopes under Kelso are very loaded. Keep your distance. Plenty of snow coverage to cross over the willows below the summer trial or stay on the creek. There is solid ice along the creek in some areas so be careful when skiing back down. The snow going up after the summer parking area is very windblown and hard. Large sastrugi to watch out for while skiing down. Not much post holing if you‘re on snowshoes. Not much snow on the climb up Gray‘s after the Kelso Ridge cut-off but there is lots of ice from the warm weather so it‘s easy to slip. Expect to ditch your skis here. Stay off the snow filled slopes between Gray‘s and Torrey‘s. They were very wind loaded. It was windy and cold on the way up. The wind stopped and the clouds disappeared when we got to the summit around 12:30pm. It was like this for the decent so I expect there was more snow melt and I‘m sure there is more ice on the trail because of it. We had some good turns and some good snow between the bullet proof on the creek during the decent.
|2014-12-06||Route: East Slopes
Info: Hike standard route up Grays. Road was blocked off by service trucks at the very bottom, but it was unpassable anyways. Skinned up the road (almost exactly three miles). It was very hard packed snow (not very icy though) about half a foot deep for the first two miles and then deeper powder with a narrow packed trail cut through the middle for the last mile of the road. The trail was mostly covered in snow but there were enough patches of bare ground for us to ditch the skis very early (less than half a mile in) and switch to hiking boots and crampons. Pretty straightforward hike, but crampons/microspikes are a must for at least the top half (especially coming down) and snowshoes might be helpful to, but be warned that there are patches of bare rock all along the trail even at the top and especially on the summit. Skied all the way down the road after returning to the trailhead.
|2014-11-18||Route: East Slopes
Info: I put snowshoes with tails on at the summer TH after walking up the road to there. Ditched the snowshoes about 12,700‘ and switched to microspikes the rest of the way. More loose powder snow than I would have liked after ditching the snowshoes up to the shoulder. Once on the upper mountain, mostly hard packed snow and ice and the microspikes were perfect.
|2014-10-25||Route: Grays and Torreys
Info: Despite the sign on near the start of the road, it‘s passable to the summer trailhead. Below 12,500‘ the trail is mostly clear. Snow & some ice from thaw & refreeze on the trail above to Grays, but passable without microspikes, though they are helpful for the return. From Grays to Torreys there are places with snow drifts but most of it is packed and easily passable. Microspikes definitely helpful for this leg. Return stretch to reconnect to Grays trail was snow and blowing snow off the peak, making the narrow trail hard to follow and a bit tricky to navigate, but not enough snow yet to be worrisome. Amazing conditions for late October.
|2014-10-25||Route: East Slopes
Info: I didn‘t climb Grays and Torreys but got a good beta shot from Kelso mountain. It looked like snow-packed trail above 12k or so, without enough snow to warrant avy concerns yet. Kelso ridge looked like it was holding snow up high. Saturday was so hot that anything south facing was basically clear of snow. I should mention that the road was completely dry.
|2014-10-19||Route: Grays and Torreys
Info: Great day today: no wind, relatively warm, and mostly sunny. Fair amount of snow, but not nearly enough for skiing on any face. Crampons are very helpful, but not necessary as there is packed snow starting a little above 12,000ft and all the way to the top and on the whole saddle over to Torreys.
|2014-10-14||Route: East Slopes
Info: There was quite a bit of snow in the morning (starting right at the TH), in some places it was knee deep. I did not used microspikes on the way up but I had winter boots. On the way down microspikes were really nice to have and also ice-axe as we glissaded down one of the hills from the saddle of Grays and Torreys. The glissade was a bit slow because the snow was too soft, in some places it was hip deep! The snow had melted quite a bit by the time we came down the trail. I attached a couple of pics.
|2014-09-20||Route: East Slopes
Info: Started around 5:30 AM, beautiful conditions/colors on lower part of trail, frost covering rocks on higher elevations (>13,500) made it a bit slippery. No new snow accumulation or snow on trail at all. Remaining snow accumulations can be seen down couloirs of Torreys. Saddle easier than expected (Class 2 ranking but conditions very favorable) and dog had no trouble, also some frost on rocks of Torreys out of direct sunshine. Crowds light when we started, got much heavier on descent. Thanks to the trail crews out working!