Andrew Oscar, Dave Bourassa, Lacy Meadows
Route Description: Climbed up from Steven’s gulch. Skied North chutes from summit, then took Grizzly gulch out.
Data: Began on road below Stevens Gulch TH, which is at 11,230. I think the elevation we began was around 10,800. Summit- 14,267. Skied NW face down to 11,200 and skied as much as possible on the road. Est 3000+ vert. The Grizzly Gulch trailhead ended at 10,320 ft. Began around 6:15 am, summited around 10:15, back to car around 12:30.
Relevant Links: TGR Trip Report
We arrived at the Bakerville exit off of I-70 before 6am. We had heard news that there was an avalanche the day before on Torreys but we didn’t know any details, except that it happened around 3pm. We weren’t sure which route we wanted to ski down, so in order to give us flexibility, we left one car at the Grizzly Gulch trailhead and parked at the Steven’s Gulch trailhead. We left from Stevens Gulch (nearly all of the trail had enough snow to skin on) and followed the trail up to the summit. We skinned for about an hour and then we had to boot pack the rest of the way to the summit. The trail was boot packed well and easy to follow.
As you can see in the picture, there is evidence of some smaller wet slides. But we couldn’t see where the avalanche had happened the day before from the hiker. We found out later on that the avalanche was actually created from a hiker falling through a cornice, which caused some snow to fall with him, on Kelso Ridge. The hiker took a good tumble and was taken by Flight for Life to Denver.
The hike was fairly easy. Me with Torrey's behind.
The ridge to the summit… the home stretch!
A picture of the four of us at the summit: Lacy, Brittany, Andrew, Dave
At the summit, we see a snowboarder boot packing up the northwest couloir. Lo and behold it turns out to be Lacy’s coworker! Who in the heck runs into a coworker at the summit of a 14er in the middle of winter?????:) Sheer irony! So, Oliver joined us for the ride down.
Just before we summited, clouds started moving in- before 10 am. We knew that the snow would not soften. We opted to descend the north chutes rather than Dead Dog thinking the snow would be softer. Turns out it was a pretty good ski down! Here’s some pics!
Near the summit:
Oliver (Lacy’s coworker)
The north chutes took us down to Grizzly Gulch. The road out was a mix of skiing over snow and dirt… crossing the stream a few times, and taking the skis off and putting them back on 20ft later. Here’s a pic from the gulch, with another line to tag later in the background.
No ski descent is complete without après-ski celebrations. Most people to a bar at the bottom of a ski area for après-ski. But we prefer the parking lot. When the parking lot is full of snow, we prefer the road :)
Thanks to the group for making it a fun day!!!!
Photos contributed by Dave Bourassa.