Peak:  Torreys Peak (14er)
 Route:  West Ridge
 Range:  Front
 Posted By:  the_hare
 Date of Info:  02/07/2022
 Date Posted:  02/08/2022

Summited Grays & Torreys from Loveland pass. Wore spikes from car to car, no flotation needed. Ridge is windblown for the most part with loose snow filled into the summer trail. The rocky section just past Cupid has a nice bypass to the right on class 2+ rocks.

Both the ascent and descent of Grizzly was one of the most difficult sections. It is a stiff elevation gain up to the summit and its NW ridge is coated in thick, loose snow. Couldn't get much traction with spikes so I had to climb over or step on rocks in the snowiest sections. The descending E ridge is very narrow”drop off to the left, steep continuous snow slope down off a cliff to the right. For one part the best way through is over a knife edge snow crest. I cut down to the saddle w Torreys when Grizzly's E slope leveled off some, the wind crust was not supportive here but I only punched through to my ankle for the most part.

Tried climbing the snow gully up Torreys W slope but the snow was too loose and unsupportive to make it worth it. Went straight up the scree to the left of the gully without much issue. The rocks get a bit looser higher up.

Up until I crested the false summit on the W ridge I hadn't felt the forecast NW 20mph wind at all. Up here, though, the winds seemed to be meeting each other from various places and created a ton of gusts and snow-devils. The Torreys-Grays saddle funneled the winds to create what felt like 50mph gusts. At least in winter you can see the wind before it hits you!

Took the summer trail up to Grays which was filled with mostly hardpack snow. Did not resummit Torreys back and instead picked a line below the saddle that curved around to the false summit. I found the snow that looks like ripply, disturbed water to be the most hardpack, the flatter sections were a gamble for punching through.

Glissaded almost all the way down the snow chute down Torreys W face. I curved around closer to the N edge of Grizzly's E face on the reascent to find more supportive snow. No issues from then on back to the car, mostly ran or skated/slid down the snow on the summer trail.

Photos (click for slideshow):
#1) Route after Cupid#2) All of the cornices to the left of the route were well avoidable#3) The ridge up to Grizzly looks steep from back here!#4) Going up Grizzly#5) Narrow Grizzly E ridge#6) E slopes down from Grizzly#7) W face of Torreys#8) Up scree face#9) Cool reddish rock color past false summit#10) On Torreys. N face of Grays pretty bare#11) Standard trail gulch   some of Kelso ridge#12) Looking back at Grays from Torreys bypass#13) Evening alpenglow#14) Grizzly ridge sunset#15

Comments or Questions
02/08/2022 14:41
Wonderful photographs, especially the sunset pictures.

Grizzly ridge
02/10/2022 17:03
Great shot of the ridge at setting. I traveled this route in September with my son. The sun had not set yet, in fact we were rushing to get back on top of Grizzly before the sun dipped below Grizzly's horizon. Different feat altogether in the snow, I imagine. Beautiful! Great hike, though. Loveland Double. Love it!

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