Peak(s):  Torreys Peak  -  14,272 feet
Date Posted:  07/16/2013
Date Climbed:   06/23/2013
Author:  Lightspeed82
 Torrey's Peak possible new ski descent route   

My buddy Nick and I got to the Torrey's/Gray's trailhead around six am. Yes very late start but we figured we could move very quickly on the approach due to the easy and direct trail. Although we made the first 2.5 miles in great time in comparison to the many hikers (who did not have 40 pound backpacks), we soon slowed down a bit when we started climbing up to the saddle. Our original plan was for dead dog. This couloir was completely out of shape when we arrived and we were going to essentially take a crap shoot on it because neither Nick or I had seen it all season; and it was late june. But, we continued on our way up. There wasn't enough snow on the south ridge of Torrey's to ski, so we left our packs at the top of the couloir and tagged the summit in about 15 minutes. Our ski descent would start about 400 yards down the south ridgeline from the summit of Torrey's. We had scoped this line from the basin on our way up and agreed that it was doable on the condition that the snow quality was decent. We found that it was very soft already when we were about to drop but we decided that we weren't worried about any slide activity other than some loose wet slough. So I dropped in first, made a few turns and stopped when I came to a very narrow section. At this point, I had created a runnel and a river of slow moving snow was sliding past me and this continued for about 30 seconds after the time when I stopped. I then slowly slide slipped the narrow couloir and veered left upon exit to avoid a massive 200+ ft cliff. This exit rode a little ridgeline for a bit and then dropped into a much larger, shallower couloir towards the northside of the mountain. Nick came second, and moved very slow after he had the exact same wet snow problems. He also ran into some other issues when he dropped an ice axe and got dangerously close to going over the 200 ft cliff. But after a while, he finally made it too, exhausted. I'm not sure if anyone else has any idea of a ski descent here but there are none that I've seen. I wouldn't be that surprised since this is an easily accessible mountain and it sees a lot of traffic, but I think this would be kind of an intimidating line for anyone that wasn't prepared on skiing the ampitheatre aspect on Torrey's.

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
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Comments or Questions
Not new but well done
07/17/2013 16:13
This is 'South Paw' Couloir. You took an alternate entrance into the couloir proper but still a nice steep ski. This thing is usually guarded by a giant cornice and makes a nice late season ski. I've seen this skied many times before. Nice work on a fun line.

07/17/2013 17:01
Thanks for the info! I'm sure there have been lots of descents on the south paw couloir from top to bottom but the proper entrance looked a little rowdy when we were there so we dropped a little further down the ridgeline and then headed back towards the main couloir.

South Paw
07/17/2013 17:01
Yup, skied it. And I'm sure many other's have, too.

With more snow, it's often easiest to enter near your entrance in this TR.

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