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Grays Peak  
Report
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Route  Conditions Information  Posted By   Posted On    Photos  Comments Likes Dislikes    
2012-09-15  East Slopes  Still awesome conditions but getting colder up there! The aspens are almost all golden on the way up to the trailhead and can be seen in great numbers on some of the other sub-treeline slopes as you look behind you to the north/northwest on the way to the summit of Grays (or from the summit). The snow from the brief cold snap a few days before was still lingering, especially on the north-facing slope of Grays, but presented no problems (i.e. had melted from the trail) until going down the ridge to the saddle between Grays and Torreys. On that stretch down to the saddle, there were several areas where there was hard-packed snow/ice on the trail. Even though it was probably only a couple inches deep, it caused a lot of slipping and sliding, some of which seemed dangerous considering the higher level of exposure on the path down to the saddle. No one in our group or the groups around us was hurt, but several people fell on their derriere and slid for a few feet. We ended up climbing down on the rocks just to the side of the trail, which still had soft snow that provided much better traction. All in all, a great day, beautiful skies and beautiful fall colors in the aspens and willows - cold and windy though. Dress warm! acwixom   2012-09-19  0     Edit Delete 
2012-09-04  East Slopes  I completed the Grays & Torreys combo yesterday, 9/3/212. We started our drive from Denver at 5:00am and was accompanied by minimal to no traffic. Upon reaching the dirt road we were able to make our way up the dirt road to the parking lot with no problems at all. It is generally recommended to take a 4x4 SUV but we by taking it slow and easy we were able to make it up to the parking lot in my Subaru Impreza. There were some pretty rocky areas that took some navigating skills but no big holes that would pose a threat to a low sitting vehicle. Upon reaching the parking lot at approximately 6:00am there was a moderate size group of people and parking was scarce. By 7:00am most people arriving at the parking lot had to park along the sides of the dirt road and hike a little bit more to reach the beginning of the trail. We were also accompanied with bursts of strong and chilly wind while ascending and on top of both summits (thin gloves and hat/ear protection) is recommended.The trails were clear but took some time due to the amount of people hiking. This also happened during our descent of both peaks. We were able to summit both peaks before 12:00pm and we were met with a slight amount of rain on our way back to the parking lot. On our way back to Denver we experienced some slight traffic delays on I-70. I‘d recommend taking alternate routes if possible to avoid any such delays. Overall a great hike and great day. jsulateskee   2012-09-04 4     Edit Delete 
2012-08-15  East Slopes  I hiked Grays peak yesterday. Forest Road 189 was clear of any major ruts or potholes. Trail head was very crowded, I arrived at 7:30am and there was only two parking spaces available. It had rained the day before so there was some muddy areas at the start of the climb and light snow at the peak. I expected to see minimal people being that it was a Tuesady, however the trail was crowded. Even with the crowds it was a great hike. This was my first 14er, and now I‘m hooked. The only problem is that I‘m from Florida so next time I‘ll have to extend my vacation and include multiple summits when I return. Cat13   2012-08-15 4  1    Edit Delete 
2012-08-04  Grays and Torreys  Did the combo hike yesterday. For those that haven‘t done a 14er before, I highly recommend taking the longer trail (more switchbacks) up to the left as you ascend Grays. We came down from Torres along the more direct route down Grays and it was very slippery and rocky - really glad we didn‘t come up that way. Great conditions otherwise. Parking was a bit of a mess, so plan on adding a mile or two to your hike just to get to the trailhead. LKMinDEN   2012-08-05 3     Edit Delete 
2012-07-19  Grays and Torreys  100 Foot section of the Road about a quarter of a mile before the TrailHead can only be passed with a high-clearance 4WD vehicle. As in prior posts, Trail is clear of snow, but there is loose rock near the top. RuiCal   2012-07-19 2     Edit Delete 
2012-07-18  South Ridge  Haven;t uploaded pics yet and may do a trip report then, but here‘s what you need to know. Trail in good condition, and it‘s a wonderful hike if you want solitude. We saw 3 guys coming off the summit as we got there and that was it from car to summit to car. Definitely a different experience, coming up Grays and avoiding the traffic jam. After 12,500‘, there is intermittent trail and cairns, but it is more or less a straight shot to the ridge and then a ridge walk to the summit pitch. Having done the East Slopes, this is a more difficult and tiring hike. above 12,500‘, there is very little relief and just a lot of elevation gain. Definitely gives you a new appreciation for Grays! Road to TH is rough and borderline 4WD. I made it in a 2WD Xterra and needed every inch of clearance that I had. ameristrat   2012-07-19  0     Edit Delete 
2012-07-07  Grays & Torreys Peak  The trails were great when I went today. The weather was a little chilly, but overally very pleased with the hike. It took my group about 6 hours to do hit both summits and get back to the car. Granted we had a few problems to start our trip. I wouldn‘t recommend a 2wd car to get to the TH though. I went up in my 4wd lexus gx and it was a bumpy ride. Happy Hiking. bfizz   2012-07-07  0       
2012-06-24  Grays and Torreys  Hiked this one last weekend with a friend from Denver, my sister (from Oregon) and brother in law (from AZ). Forgot to put a conditions report up so thought I‘d rectify that today. We took the standard route for Grays and Torreys. The trail was perfect, no hazards and no snow. We made both summits and round trip was about 8 hours (we are a little pokey and I take lots of pictures). swostal   2012-06-30  0     Edit Delete 
2012-06-19  Grays and Torreys  Conditions are perfect for anyone that is a summertime hiker/climber. There were no potential hazards worth noting and my only recommendation would be to leave the TH as early as possible to avoid a crowded summit. Other than that feel free to ask questions if you have them! Mtn Izz   2012-06-20 4     Edit Delete 
2012-06-15  Grays and Torreys  We just hiked the Greys/Torreys combo today using the standard combo route beginning at the Steven‘s Gulch Trailhead off Forest Road 189. The trail is dry and snow free. I brought mirco spikes in case we needed them for a snow field, but that was not necessary. We did cross a 40 yard snow patch just below the saddle on the way down but there is a good path in it. Hiking the saddle from Greys to Torreys did not require us to cross through any snow. Ramsey Boys   2012-06-15  0     Edit Delete 
2012-06-12  South Slopes  Climbed Bierstadt, and took this picture of what I think is the South Ridge. Wouldn‘t bother, but next week there‘s a group going to climb this route, and I wanted to post so people could see the route and the current conditions. James Scott   2012-06-13 1     Edit Delete 
2012-06-08  Grays and Torreys  I did Grays and Torreys today. The weather was awesome, and the trail was in pretty good shape. I brought my trekking poles and microspikes just in case. There was one stretch when coming down from Torreys to meet back up with the Grays trail, where there is still some snow. I was glad I had the microspikes. Slipping there would send you pretty far down the mountain on your ass. There is only one other small snowy area further down the trail but there isn‘t any exposure and didn‘t use my spikes there. heine19   2012-06-08 4     Edit Delete 
2012-06-02  Grays and Torreys  Set out just after 6AM from the trailhead. Expected thunderstorms to move in around noon. We had a first time climber with us and our pace was slower than expected which left us on the descent at about 12000 ft when the first thunderstorm rolled over. As we were descending, it started snowing and thundering but to my astonishment, people were still heading up the trail at noon (some in sneakers). I‘m no expert but I don‘t want to take my chances in thunderstorms at 14000 feet. Overall, the trail up Grays is almost clear of snow as well as the saddle and ridge up to Torreys. Most of the snow can be completely avoided and the weather was great until just before noon. Also, we watched 3 groups of skiers descend the couloirs on Torreys. The coverage looked good but seemed to be pretty soft by about 10 am. summit_push   2012-06-04  0     Edit Delete 
2012-05-28  South Ridge  Dirt road leading up TH mostly dry with only one spot of snow. Fine for SUV (I have a pathfinder) Might be tough for 2WD/low clearance. From trailhead to about 12,000 the trail is mostly dry (Although at the 12K junction there is runoff). As you head westerly/SW there are snow chutes that must be crossed. Snow was very stiff & icy (microspike material) but was easily navigated around. Green slope leading up to the S. Ridge was clear. Fortunately the crux on the shoulder was clear of snow (no other clear options if it had been covered). Stayed 40-80ft from ridge crest for a 1/4 mile. Smooth sailing (and there was plenty of wind for that yesterday!!!) from then on. There is snow in the basin for skiing/riding but I would check the conditions first as it seemed very stiff & icy all day. Might not last long either. Wanna get away from the crowd (till you reach the top ), this the way to go. I was the only one at the Argentine TH all day (on a Memorial day weekend) taking this route. Oldskool70   2012-05-29  0     Edit Delete 
2012-05-27  East Slopes  Getting to the trailhead was easy the and road was clear of snow. The trail was not snowpack until over 12,000 feet on the trail. Although, when it got snowpack ice came along with it which made the trail hard to follow and very slick going up Grays. Even though we didn‘t use them, micro spikes are recommended. Descending into the saddle between Grays and Torreys was mostly snowpack on the Grays side of the saddle. When we reached the Torreys side of the saddle it was snow free in exception of the area close to the cornices off to the right. It was also very windy on the saddle so I would also recommend something to protect your face. Overall it was a great day of climbing some 14ers.NOTE: As said in the report after I made the summit of Grays I descended into the saddle between Grays and Torreys and made it to the summit of Torreys. Mountain Goat1   2012-05-28  0     Edit Delete 
2012-05-15  East Slopes  We got a late start and left the trail head at around 8:30. There wasn‘t much snow until we got to the fork in the trail that leads up to Torreys. From there, the snow was a few inches deep all the way up to the summit. In the morning hours the snow was decent but in a few areas it consisted of a hard crust with loose dry snow underneath. In the afternoon very warm temperatures started to have its affect on the snow. It started to get very wet, loose, and slushy. Micro Spikes were helpful on the way up but when the snow turned to slush they didn‘t help much on the way down. There were plenty of hikers that did just fine without traction devices. I spotted a group going up Dead Dog Coulior that summited around 900. There was some slide activity on the south aspect of Torreys so if you want to get your coulior climb in, you better get an alpine start. coopergirard   2012-05-16  0  1    Edit Delete 
2012-05-14  East Slopes  There was a lot of snow on the standard route today, especially on grays. id bring spikes and poles for sure, ice axe could be helpful. the traverse back to the trail from torreys is snowy and a little slippery, but there is a clear bootpack to follow. it was extremely warm in the afternoon, and we noticed some very small slide debris, 1 in lost rat couloir and another on the face of torreys. by the time we headed down the trail was muddy. road was clear SolarAlex   2012-05-14  0  1    Edit Delete 
2012-04-29  Grays and Torreys  The road to the summer TH is almost clear of snow. The road is rough in some sections but should be passable for 2WD cars driven cautiously. The trail up Grays is clear in a few areas but mostly packed snow. The snow is hikable in boots but microspikes will make descending more comfortable. Microspikes and an ice axe are not required for the traverse down from the saddle, but will definitely make it easier. dswink   2012-04-29  0  2    Edit Delete 
2012-04-21  East Slopes  used my Jeep to reach summer TH. 50% dry but the 50% not was rutty snow, very slippery. 2wd with high clearance could probably make it. It was very cold and windy above 12K. Trail was snow packed. Saw several slides off Kelso Ridge but not on DD proper. Alan Arnette   2012-04-21  0     Edit Delete 
2012-03-17  East Slopes  The road is easily walked to the main trailhead. It may take a while, but it‘s not difficult and the road has some dry areas if you don‘t want to walk on snow the whole time. In early hours, the snow will be hard frozen and traction control will be very helpful. This goes for the road and the trail all the way to the summit. A few sections of the trail are dry (and muddy with a lot of melting snow), but the vast majority is snow covered. No avalanche danger past Kelso Mountain if you stay on the trail. Be careful soon before passing by the Kelso-Torreys saddle where there is an avalanche slope that the trail crosses and it is fairly steep, but not too high up. Beware of any sliding snow in the area here - there is evidence of one accordion-like slide plainly visible. The descent down to the Grays-Torreys saddle is covered mostly in a couple inches of snow and can be easily navigated. Follow the cairns and all will be well. No snowshoes needed!  Tony1   2012-03-17  0     Edit Delete 

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