Gray's/ torries in winter?

3:39 p.m. on March 14, 2002 (EST)

a.k.a. alex e

Hey all,

Just kicking around the idea of heading ourt west for spring break in a couple of weeks. Has anyone done Gray's and Torries in the winter. I know that the slopes are pretty gentle and less than 30 degrees moves you out of the danger zone a bit, but I'm wondering how bad the avalance hazard builds up on them. Does any one know what ranger office services the peaks, it would help if I could give them a call and get up to date info. Also, does anyone have any suggestions of other peaks that may be fun first time winter ascents, provided the local weater turns out favorable? I plan on being out that way for a week or more so I could probibly get a couple of climbs in if things went well.


9:51 a.m. on March 15, 2002 (EST)

S/W faces blown clean

I got eyes on last weekend for a similar discussion and if you approach from the windward sides (from either Loveland Pass, A-Basin, or Montezuma-Chihuahua Gulch) there's no snow really there at all. Big rock heaps. Flotation devices would most likely be required at and below treeline in gulches, but don't plan on glissading off.

Think cold and windy, and think of Quandary east ridge for fun and easy (relatively speaking, compared to say, Longs this month).
have fun

10:51 p.m. on March 15, 2002 (EST)

Alex -

I've got the same idea for a trip in the first weekend in May. I'd appreciate a trip report from you on conditions and which trailhead you were able to get to.


10:25 p.m. on March 17, 2002 (EST)

I have climbed and skied Gray's and Torrey's in the winter on several occasions. I have also done a few different ski descents there and have a little cautionary tale for you. While these peaks offer some of the best climbing near the Front Range for a good old fashioned 14er, a guy I know was nearly killed skiing the Dead Dog Couloir on the NE face of Torrey's. He was fit and had a long history of living and climbing around there. But if you know how to assess avalanche danger competently, are very fit, and prepare well for fast, light travel, you'll be in good shape if you hit the weather right. That said, I'm planning on climbing it very soon for a ski descent. And remember, the later in the spring you do it, the better the avie danger tends to be, but the worse the threat of some wicked afternoon lightning is. Have fun and start early.

9:42 p.m. on March 18, 2002 (EST)

Wags - follow-up question

Wags - thanks for the advice.

Any thoughts on conditions we may see first weekend in May?
Have you done Kelso ridge in winter? I'm flying in from Minnesota and meeting a buddy from Pagosa, so any tips to make this quick trip work are appreciated.

June 6, 2020
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