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|Conditions Information||Posted By||Posted On|
|2016-06-17||Route: South Ridge
Info: Skied the SE slopes this morning then hiked the south ridge back up and skied the east slopes. SE slopes were great! Snow started a little ways off the summit and went down continuously a little over 1,000 feet to the highest lake. Hiked back up the south ridge, which is completely dry and then skied the east slopes. I climbed Kelso's ridge the 15th and it was pretty much dry except for a couple sections with snow. It was nice to have my ice axe but never took out my crampons. On the 16th a couple of guys skied lost rat couloir (I climbed and skied dead dog but there is a more recent report up). I was thinking about skiing lost rat but as I neared the ridge it was obvious the line wasn't continuous and had lots of debris and a runnel in the middle. From the Mt. Edwards ridge I was able to see a clean line down the SE slopes.
|2016-06-17||Route: Grays and Torreys
Info: Summer TH accessible with no snow, very bumpy. We drove a jeep compact SUV with ok clearance. I wouldn't have wanted to drive my Kia Spectra up that road. The summer TH parking lot was pretty full on this Friday morning, but we got a spot. Started on the trail at 7:20. Went up the south slope initially on accident, summited Torreys a little after 10, then over to Grays to summit a little after 11. Snow was firm, rarely broke through it (more so as it got later in the day), I'd say it's along less than half the route. I didn't wear spikes because I forgot them, but I wouldn't have used them anyway. Came down on the Gray's and Torrey's route. We were at the car at 2ish. I think it took us longer to get down because of the indirect route. Saw some adorable mountain goats. Blue skies and clear in the morning, with clouds rolling in on our trip down (white fluffy clouds mostly).
|2016-06-16||Route: East Slopes
Info: Trail to the base of Grays has a few spots of snow but easily avoided. East Slope route has a few spots of snow that you will need to cross and in the morning it was fine. There maybe some potholing on the way out but should be short and not a big deal. The traverse from the saddle of G and T has a large snow field that may be in issue on your exit once it warms up.
|2016-06-14||Route: Lost Rat Couloir
Info: Didn't climb it, but here's a distant shot of Lost Rat this morning, taken from the stevens gulch trail. It is difficult to see in the picture, but on our descent, I noticed that there is a ~50' dry patch near the top of the couloir consistent with previous trip reports.
|2016-06-12||Route: East Slopes
Info: Started up from the Winter TH a bit before 6. The road to the summer TH is clear. No spikes necessary - I did it in running shoes, though I did post-hole a lot. A couple of slick spots, but nothing to fret over. Kind of wet and sloppy as the morning wears on.
|2016-06-12||Route: Lost Rat Couloir
Info: Went up the Lost Rat this morning with a group of four. Snow was surprisingly good, but we were there early (apron by 5am, topped out on the couloir by 6:30am or so). Almost continuous snow to the top, with the exception of about a 10-15' section of scree near the top (see picture). Descent down the East Slopes was pretty sloppy above maybe 12k, wouldn't really want to go up or down after about 8am with these temps. No snow on the way to the summer trailhead.
|2016-06-07||Route: East Slopes
Info: Standard route: no snowshoes required with a 6am start yesterday, spikes optional. Snowshoes or skis highly recommended/required on the descent through the willows unless you enjoy post holing. Intermittent, but deep, snow from trailhead to base of the actual climbing, snow continuous once you come around the ridge. Lost Rat: Filled in completely, lots of rocks up in the choke section. Was slushy by 830.
|2016-06-06||Route: Grays and Torreys
Info: Welcome to post hole city! 4 feet deep at points, and plenty of breaking through above 13k ft. Flotation advised, though barely helpful as the day goes on. I summited both peaks via traditional route. Lots of wet slides in every couloir, though plenty of skiers taking advantage of the corn. The intensity of the sun + the persistent snow coverage makes for a pretty rough environment. High alpine protection is more important than usual in this arena for this time of year. Took me 6 hours round trip; most of that time burned up in the willows. Always fun though! I'll post in trail head conditions about this as well, but I was able to be the first vehicle (pretty sure) to break through to the summer trailhead. Probably 4wd high clearance only at this point, but it can't be more than a week or so of these temps before it's open to all.
|2016-05-22||Route: East Slopes
Info: I was able to drive my Civic up a mile to the road junction. 4wd vehicles could drive another quarter mile before getting to impassible snow. The early-morning conditions on the route were fabulous. We started at 4:30 AM and were back to the car around noon. Things started to get slushy on our descent. Microspikes were necessary and I appreciated an ice ax for extra safety.
|2016-05-14||Route: East Slopes
Info: Road still closed, parked on the road side few yards from the winter park lot. Started to walk at 8:00am, I was surprised to find that the lot was full and also the road,so I assume everyone else arrived before me, lately I found the reason. temperature was 30ish. I started to walk, snow pads on the road where the result of last day melting and morning frozen making them little hard to walk over. 1 hour fast walking to the summer parking lot /trail head. Started to follow footprints after the bridge, considering the amount of people before me, there where not as many. things went ok till the start of the step hiking, I had some micro spikes that fail to give me support as the sun started to hit the snow and melting it. Forget about summer trail unless you have crampons or similar, follow the footprints instead, if there are not, walk over the east ridge, when it becomes flat, keep straigh to the couloir and then use the trail used to climb torreys from grays to climb Grays, that way you will avoid slippery snow sections of Gray's summer trail. Got to the summit after 5 hours of walking, two of them lost making new footprints on the standard summer trail. Wind on the last section of the mountain was very strong (20-40 mph) bring your windproof clothes. You want to get down early, before the snow start to melt, the 1.5 miles hike from the bridge to the east ridge is very easy to do with standar shoes if the snow is frozen, otherwise you will end up inserting your whole leg into the snow on every step, so, get down early or bring snow shoes/skiis/etc. Rafael Angulo Venezuela
|2016-04-27||Route: Lost Rat Couloir
Info: Lost Rat did not look filled in today from what little we could see in the basin. It may be out of commission for the season by the looks of things, even with new snow on the way. The east face of grays was very dry as well. Going to need a lot more snow with a lot less wind involved in order to be getting a true ski from Grays this year.
|2016-04-12||Route: East Slopes
Info: Solo climber & first summit attempt of Grays/Torreys. Stevens Gulch Rd is impassable near the I-70 ramps. There's a rudimentary sign posted as a warning. It's a 3 mile hike along the abandoned road to the trailhead. The weather conditions were spectacular. Crystal clear blue skies & no wind. Sun radiation & reflection off of the snow later became an unanticipated obstruction in the summit attempt. Significant post-holing through the first 1-2 miles of the trek into the foothills, even with snow shoes. Kelso Mtn. sits a bit ominously along the right side with vast snow fields all angled in the direction of the trail. As the only person within miles of the 2 peaks, avalanche concerns were omnipresent throughout the day. The trail is relatively easy to follow as you approach stunning panoramic views of the 2 solitary peaks. A patch of talus obscures the trail, which forks to the right, not the left. The left side of the hill is a post-hole nightmare (1st mistake.) After retreating, the foreseeable rest of the trail appeared to be extremely rocky, as well as the outlines of the trails along the Grays face, so I cached my snow shoes near a Park Informational sign (2nd mistake). Additional navigation issues & losing sight of the trail caused excessive hiking through post-hole zones, repeated back-tracking & unnecessary exertion (3rd mistake.) I eventually found the trail sign about mid-way up pointing Grays to the left & Torreys to the right, but inexplicably went to the right (4th mistake.) SPF 50 sunscreen had been washed off by sweating profusely eventually resulted sun poisoning & severe dehydration (5th mistake.) Abandoned the summit bid at 13,737 ft! It ended up being 9 hours of hiking without success! Seriously almost collapsed during the road hike back to I-70!
|2016-02-15||Route: East Slopes
Info: Snow blocking road completely after Grizzly turn off. My WRX couldn‘t even make it out of the winter TH due to fresh (4-5") of snow on road. From the summer TH conditions were widely variable. No trench in sight and visibility stretching from 5 km all the way down to 10 m. Snow was varied from postholing knee deep with 29" snow shoes to completely dry on portions of the upper mountain. As of this report, snow shoes are absolutely necessary from summer TH to Kelso‘s ridge turn off. I broke trail in both directions since the wind and snow filled in my tracks as I moved. 0630 Start, 1320 Summit, and 1700 return to car. Movement was slow while ascending because postholing slowed my progress to a literal crawl at times trying to not sink.
|2016-02-13||Route: East Slopes
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. After climbing Kelso Ridge, we descended Grays standard trail from the saddle. Since no recent CRs, I‘m linking this in with a current pic of the Grays face. Spikes would be good for the trail above 12k once you ditch your snowshoes.
|2016-01-03||Route: South Bowl
Info: Climbed and skied Grays Peak; we ascended Grays via the South Bowl from Chihuahua Gulch. Not sure if this entirely counts as a ski descent. Skied down from the summit for 20-40‘, making a couple of jump turns, and then turning into a total yard sale when I hit the rocks below! Had to climb down another 400‘ or of bare rock to where we could begin skiing again. We skied all the way back out to the Peru Creek TH. So, call it what you like, but it was a great day out in the mountains, and some super cool skiing too. At least that is my opinion. If you ask my partner, he may tell you different. Snow conditions were safe; not too wind hammered. Snow was hard in some spots and soft in others. Too bad there wasn‘t continuous snow from the summit.
|2015-12-28||Route: East Slopes
Info: As expected, the road is packed well to the summer trailhead. Snowshoes were helpful but a few folks had walked the hardpack and used microspikes. Past the summer trailhead conditions were absolutely different with only one set of tracks that didn‘t follow the summer route. Instead they climbed more steeply toward Kelso. I followed these tracks to 11,500 and then contoured to the low part of the drainage to avoid Kelso‘s slopes. The snow is wind blown and no solid base, especially through the willows. Expect to work until warmer temps help create a more solid base. Not sure conditions above 12k.
|2015-10-25||Route: East Slopes
Info: Trail is snow packed the entire way. Some minor post holing where the wind (blown snow) has covered the track.
|2015-10-11||Route: East Slopes
Info: The north facing slopes throughout the hike are starting to get iced over. There is pervasive snow above 13,000, though rocks are still poking through. Ascending, it‘s not too bad, traction is optional. We descended down Gray‘s and traction is highly recommended if you are coming down from Gray‘s instead of Torrey‘s. The last 1000 ft were slick, but manageable. Would have been better with spikes or yak trax.
|2015-10-11||Route: Grays and Torreys
Info: Snow-free for the vast majority, but there is a thin layer of snow on top. Going up either Grays or Torreys by the standard routes was no real problem in good boots (though of course microspikes would help on the 20 or so feet of icy, packed snow trail). Torreys is snow-free from the saddle up. Also did the traverse from Grays to Torreys without spikes and didn‘t have any trouble, but they would make life much easier on this part.
|2015-10-10||Route: East Slopes
Info: Beautiful fall day for a hike. Dry down below. Thin layer of soft crunchy snow up top. Leading up to this where sunlight hits, the shadows have caused a few sections of snow to turn to ice. Microspikes helped a ton, but plenty of hikers were managing without them.