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Anyone w/experience of Kelso or Dead Dog this time of year

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Anyone w/experience of Kelso or Dead Dog this time of year

Postby absinthe52 » Sat Dec 26, 2009 12:51 am

Are the doable/safe? Any suggestions/advice are welcome
Thanks
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Postby Pivvay » Sat Dec 26, 2009 12:56 am

Kelso is much safer than dead dog from an avy perspective, especially with current conditions. Kelso is no cake walk in the winter though.

EDIT: I assume you're shorthanding Kelso Ridge...
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Postby brenta » Sat Dec 26, 2009 2:36 am

Check out this map.
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Postby Haliku » Sat Dec 26, 2009 1:58 pm

If avy conditions are good Kelso (southern end) still has exposure. I wouldn't even think about Dead Dog this time of year. Cheers!

Pivvay wrote:Kelso is much safer than dead dog from an avy perspective, especially with current conditions. Kelso is no cake walk in the winter though.
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Postby MarthaP » Sat Dec 26, 2009 2:09 pm

Good question again - Kelso mountain or Kelso Ridge?

Either way I'm with Haliku. We had winds gusting upwards of 60 mph all day yesterday setting up some nice wind-loaded slab. Avy hazard CONSIDERABLE on everything from NW to SSE exposure - visit the Colorado Avalanche Information Center site for daily updates. And anything over 25 degrees (that would be Dead Dog) is a potential death trap.

You know also that the upper reaches of Kelso Ridge, if that's what you're considering, will likely need rope/pro to get over/around the small knife edge and the White Tower? Unless you're Reinhold Messner I wouldn't leave home without 'em.

Front Range avy forecast at http://avalanche.state.co.us/pub_bc_avo.php?zone_id=1

Plus you have a nice 5-mile slog from Bakerville up Stephens Gulch Road just to get to the TH.

Howabout Quandary instead, if a 14er is your goal? Just don't do it via Cristo Couloir.
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Postby Downy » Sat Dec 26, 2009 3:32 pm

How bout staying out of the backcountry till things improve.
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Postby absinthe52 » Sat Dec 26, 2009 4:31 pm

Thanks! I was also looking at Quandry. Maybe the West ridge...I'll prob plan on doing that one
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Postby MarthaP » Sat Dec 26, 2009 7:59 pm

absinthe52 wrote:Thanks! I was also looking at Quandry. Maybe the West ridge...I'll prob plan on doing that one


I guess since you're unfamiliar enough with CO 14ers or conditions to ask on the forum what's doable, I'd stick with the East Ridge. West Ridge has some Class 3 (in summer) scrambles which may or may not be doable now.

Think maybe you snuck a little too much absinthe on Christmas Day?... :wink:
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Postby Niederbayer » Sat Dec 26, 2009 9:28 pm

Dead Dog at this time could be considered a suicide mission - come back for this one in later spring

Would highly recommend to stick to the East Ridge of Quandary - winds on Quandary can be incredibly strong (when I was up there I could not stand upright on the summit) - imagine how easily a 60 mile fast wind can push you off the craggy West Ridge
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Postby timfoltz » Fri Jan 01, 2010 1:48 am

I have done kelso ridge at almost this exact time of year last year, and while snow conditions can obviously change within a matter a matter of weeks, I personally felt the ridge was more technical in the summer. Nowhere in my climb did I encounter an area where I felt it prudent to rope up or place pro, although that is my personal comfort level. There is some avy concern after crossing the top of dead dog on the final short summit slope, when I was on it, it sounded very hollow and I avoided that one area. Additionally you need to be mindful of where the cornice has formed along the ridge. I would agree with above that dead dog would be a fool hearty route given current conditions.

I have done cristo in winter/spring when the avy conditions are acceptable and would not attempt if conditions are less than ideal. The west ridge although I have not done it YET...seems from the research I have done to be a more challenging route than kelso. Your going to have a long walk in if you do kelso or the west ridge so be prepared, it will be a long day. Read my trip report on kelso, it might help.

http://www.summitpost.org/trip-report/4 ... march.html.

Oops, just realized we climbed in march. Should still be relevant.
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Postby Kiefer » Fri Jan 01, 2010 3:46 am

Saw your post over at 14ers.com also.
Stay out of ANY couloirs right now. The fact that you're at least asking is a good thing but that you're considering climbing something, proves how LITTLE you've researched couloirs in general and ignored what Colorado BC conditions are like right now.
Dude, just because a ridge or couloir has snow on/in it doesn't make it climbable.

Snow right now in the BC is TERRIBLE. If you must get out, and I do understand the urge, stick to the ridges and DO YOUR HOMEWORK ON THE RIDGE before you venture out.
Don't end up as a popsicle.

Use the following link for information, planning and safety!!!! Front Range ISN'T looking good right now.
CAIC

Trip Report from late Feb/early March on Kelso Ridge.
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