Grays and Torreys

Submitted By: Jozey on October 11, 2010

Administrator: Jozey

Views: 2039 page views

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Featured Descent

Colorado » Ten Mile Range

Cristo Couloir

Cristo is a fairly wide snow gully, and is not particularly technical to ski.  That said, it is steep enough to demand advanced ski abilities.

Cristo is rated D8 or D9 depending on snow conditions.  For information on the D rating system, see here: http://www.wildsnow.com/articles/ratings/ski-board-d-rating-system.html

In good snow conditions, Cristo can be skied right off the summit.  Depending on snowpack, there may or may not be a few rocky patches to navigate.  The gully has a few rollovers, the steepest reaching 40-45 degrees.  The slope has a double fall-line, and is generally a bit mellower if you stay towards the skier's right side.  While not a true no-fall zone, the double fall-line nature also means that a sliding fall in the couloir could be dangerous.

Cristo Couloir is a very large avalanche path and has claimed it's share of victims.  As such, this route is recommended as a spring descent in times of good stability only.  Also, whether you're driving or skinning up Blue Lakes Road, be aware that several major avalanche paths threaten the road near the dam.

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Details

Grays and Torreys peaks are two of the more popular hiking destinations in the summer for people trying to tick off their first “fourteener”. However, during the winter months this area offers some of the steepest and most sustained descents in the Front Range and along the I-70 corridor. Grays and Torrey’s peaks are both fourteeners and Grays is the highest peak along the continental divide within the US. Kelso Mountain joins Torreys on it’s northeast flank and also offers a great spring descent on it’s north face.

How to Get There

Take the 221 Exit (Bakerville) off I-70. Turn left at E Bakerville Rd/Co Rd 321/Stevens Gulch Rd. Continue to follow Co Rd 321/Stevens Gulch Rd and trailhead for Grays and Torrey's is at the end of the road with plenty of parking and restrooms.

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