Torrey's Peak (14,267') is a fun mountain close to Denver with two classic alpine cruises and a couple of other ephemeral smears and drips on its east face. If you're fast and blessed with a job close to I-70, Kelso Ridge makes for a good before-work (or class) jaunt in the wee-hours.
From Denver, drive up I-70 past Georgetown and Silverplume. 3-4 miles past Silverplume take the Bakerville exit, head left across the interstate and straight up the dirt road. Switchback and bounce your way up, bearing left at the fork toward "Gray's Peak" all the way to the Stevens Gulch trailhead. A high clearance vehicle is highly recommended.
Torrey's "Big Ol' Strip of Snow" is visible from Interstate 70 at the Bakersville exit. The Tuning Fork is another name that gets used. About 1,000 meters of ski descent are possible. Hike or skin the road from the Grizzly Creek road up to the Grays Peak Trailhead. If there is enough snow, leave the trail at the footbridge and skin up the creek (see map photo). After getting back on the trail at the wilderness sign, it's best to take off the skis and hike the trail from here to the Grays...[more]Browse More Classics in CO
Started out on the trail head at 4:45 and reached the base of the climb before 6:00. Conditions were fantastic as the snow was crisp and consolidated. There were some patches where you broke through the top layers but those were few and far between. Very easy low-angled climb to the summit...took 2 hours.
If you climb this wear a helmet. I was the only climber on the route and rocks still came wizzing by. The rocks that do get knocked into the snow melt out in the morning and cut loose. A few came screaming past as I climbed.
NOTE * - I found a ski and a ski pole near the summit. If this belongs to you please call me. Scott - 303.469.6764
Comments: Me and Jim did this route today. Started from I-70 (the road is blocked about 1 mile from Bakerville) and headed up the trail. The snow condition was not amazing (until the couloir) so early start is definitely recommended (snowshoes are more than just recommendation). The snow condition at the couloir itself was pretty good - at some sections the snow was a bit too soft but in general the climb was safe and of course - beautiful and satisfying.
The road up to Steven's Gulch is still covered in some snow in places. From the looks of it most vehicles have stopped short of the trail head. No beta to offer on Dead Dog.
Cristo Couloir is in good shape. A nice easy early season climb. Just as a point of reference, don't try to descend one of the many high angle couloirs on the south-west face...a 500 foot drop off near the bottom requires that you reclimb the mountain to descend a standard way. Enjoy!