It's April, and that means two things: It's windy, and 14er season is in full swing! This was my first 14er of the year and the first time in a while that I have had to read 4AM on my alarm clock. Unfortunately, my ski season has been on hold lately as I have been spending most of my free time training for a NIAD attempt this May. Fortunately though, my schedule finally lined up for an opportunity to get out and ski without having to sacrifice a training day. I met up with James and Jon at 4:30am at their house in the Springs and we were on our way. After a few pit stops in Denver we reached the Grays trail head road and proceeded to careful navigate James' Subaru roughly 2 miles up the road before being stopped by the snow.
We were on the trail at 7:20 and were able to skin the remainder of the road to the summer Trail head.
We took our time and moved at a leisurely pace, stopping for ample photo opportunities.
Getting our first glimpse of Dead Dog Couloir.
Around 10am we stopped on the apron and transitioned to crampons.
James and I made steady progress up the couloir but we stopped to catch our breath far more than I wish to admit. Shameless selfies were a great excuse to rest.
We reached the top of Dead Dog just before noon where we ran into a party of 3 who had just topped out on the Emperor Couloir. After a quick discussion about the entrance to our descent line we pushed on to summit of Torreys Peak. We summited at noon and took a few minutes to enjoy the perfect weather and take a few photos.
After some water, a snack, and some photos we changed over and headed down. Our descent plan was to ski directly off the east face and then cut skiers left into Dead Dog. Seeing as I hadn't skied in 6 weeks though those first few 50 degree turns were definitely a little intimidating. All in all the descent was straight forward with some fairly good snow.
Once at the bottom we regrouped with Jon and started the ski out.
James and his all-terrain skis.
We reached the car at 1:30pm and after a remarkably enjoyable and straightforward outing we were on our way home. All together we did 8.5 miles round trip and gained 3,660 ft of vertical in 6 hours and 10 minutes.
A collection of stories and adventures from the FAMS director and instructors.