Grays / Torreys: Winter Ascents – Steven’s Gulch - 03/01/08

Grays / Torreys: Winter Ascents – Steven’s Gulch - 03/01/08

Page Type Page Type: Trip Report
Location Lat/Lon: 39.65064°N / 105.72762°W
Date Date Climbed/Hiked: Mar 1, 2008
Activities Activities: Hiking, Mountaineering
Seasons Season: Winter

Up to Steven's Gulch TH

I met the Jamies at the base of the 4WD road up to Steven’s Gulch at 5:30AM. Matt was to join us a little later. The forecast was great except for the hellacious 70mph gusts at 13,200’ that were ushering in Sunday’s storm system. We hit the trail at 6:10AM and worked our way up the groomed 4WD road. We got our first views of Torreys and Kelso Ridge at sun-up.

4792Kelso Ridge

The road went pretty quick. There was no trail breaking fun to be had this time.

4795The 4WD Road

The Upper Basin

We got to the trailhead and hung out by the restroom for a bit, eating and checking out an igloo. We met Matt here, geared up quickly for warfare and continued on up the trail at about 8:30AM. The basin above was very windy and any tracks laid by hikers were quickly covered by blowing snow. We hiked along the approximate summer standard route.

4802Wind in the Willows

We stashed our snowshoes at a convenient spot close to where the trail breaks off to head up Kelso ridge, and continued onward.

4805Snowshoe Stash

4806Kelso Ridge and Torreys

The trail continued up several sections of annoying snow covered talus and the occasional knee-deep posthole.

4807Snow Covered Talus

Here’s looking down some of the route we came up, with Kelso Mountain in the background.

4811Kelso Mountain

We found a few interesting cornices on the ridge up to Torreys from Grays.



Much of the trail is relatively packed down at this point.

4818The Roman Road

Ridges and Summits

We soon arrived at the trail split off and headed up the Grays Peak trail. Another group of skiers were headed up to Torreys for an attempt on a ski descent of Dead Dog. We decided to settle for a conservative glissade of a more modest slope in the vicinity.

4822Glissade Path

We summitted at around 12:45PM. Here’s a summit pan…

4827Summit Pan - Grays

and a view of much of our route for the day…


We spent little under an hour on the summit of Grays eating lunch and getting pictures. Matt decided to head off home while the Jamies and I walked over to Torreys. We met a couple other climbers we knew on Grays’ summit and chatted briefly before heading off downhill. From the saddle Torreys presents quite a distinctive character in contrast to Grays’which is much akin a moldering heap of slag.

4834Torreys from the Saddle

4833Grays from the Saddle

We summitted Torreys at around 2:20PM. Here’s a shot of Grays from Torreys’ summit block.

4839Grays from Torreys

And a select summit pan…

4841Summit Pan - Torreys


We decided to descend off of Torreys and the saddle before a well-earned snack break... for whilst we traipsed merrily about the high ridges with reckless abandon, Old Man Wind had set about raising the dead. We stopped at a comfortable spot below the saddle for a snack before the glissade down to the basin. A view of Torreys from our ‘spot’.

4846Torreys from the Spot

From here we began this phenomenal glissade down to the valley floor.

4849Glissade Track

The wind didn’t plan on letting up and was a constant nuisance through the day above timberline. The McClellan ridgeline…


We were back down at the bridge by 5PM harboring visions of Philly cheese steaks with mushrooms... This drove us back down to where we’d parked in a little under an hour. The road is a constant downhill run. Bring skis if you’re climbing these over the next couple weeks. They’d be well worth the extra weight. Kelso Ridge looks prime right now. I'd do this trip again just to climb Kelso... with skis to bring me down from the basin though.


Post a Comment
Viewing: 1-6 of 6

maddie77777 - Mar 3, 2008 4:40 pm - Hasn't voted

Nice pics

I couldn't tell from your pics or the TR, but did you use crampons or yaktrax or anything similar on this trip? It looks like just plain boots in one pic, and snowshoes everywhere else?


maverick - Mar 3, 2008 4:51 pm - Hasn't voted

Re: Nice pics

We used snowshoes to get to the basin and stashed them there and continued on in our boots. Yaktrax or crampons would be overkill. I carried crampons in my pack because I was considering Kelso ridge but the standard route is totally straight forward so I didn't need to use them. Stiff soled mountain boots were necessary though, mostly to keep the cold out and also to kick steps into crusty snow up high.

Dmitry Pruss

Dmitry Pruss - Mar 4, 2008 1:27 pm - Hasn't voted

Nice pictures but

whenever I click on them, they do not have any description whatsoever. Could you add a few words here and there?


maverick - Mar 5, 2008 11:16 pm - Hasn't voted

Re: Nice pictures but

Will do... I'll add descriptions to a few of 'em. I usually just upload pictures so I can link them to trip reports where I describe them. That's why I never cared too much about adding captions to the pictures themselves.


Kiefer - Mar 4, 2008 4:50 pm - Voted 10/10

Nice one!

That is pretty sweet you guys made it up here, Prakesh!
Torreys has been a popular mountain recently.
Good pictures with good company! Thanks, Prakesh.


maverick - Mar 5, 2008 11:18 pm - Hasn't voted

Re: Nice one!

Thanks dude... Good job on your ascent via Kelso. What plans for the last two calendar winter weekends?

Viewing: 1-6 of 6



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