Torreys Pk. (1)/Grizzly Pk./Cupid (1)
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  • Statistics:
    • Date Hiked:  April 4, 2004
    • Miles Hiked:  10.0
    • Elevation Gain:  5,500'
    • Hiking Partner(s):  None
  • Description:
    • Due to the forecast, this trip was originally planned for just Cupid and Grizzly Peak; however, with the weather remaining clear, I continued on to Torreys Peak having previously reviewed the route.
    • I only found one online trip report for this particular route to Torreys, and I now know why.  The statistics of this hike by themselves do not draw much attention, and I know several people who can climb 5,000' in a day.  It is the particular way these feet are gained that made this climb difficult for me.  The undulating continental divide was quite an experience.  I think psychologically when you get to a summit, you feel as though you are done and can go into cruise control on the way back out.  Unfortunately, this is not the case on this ridge hike which takes you up and down in both directions.  I personally wouldn’t recommend this hike to anyone (at least in the winter/early spring) other than a mountain masochist.  Be in good shape, have plenty of daylight, and expect a relatively long day.
    • I left Denver at 6:00 on Sunday morning and was hiking by 7:10.  The first 1,000’ went fast and getting to the saddle below Grizzly wasn’t bad either.  This is where you encounter your second sustained section of vertical gain.  It was at this point when I began following three mountain goats on the divide.  Snow was not an issue and the snowshoes were left in my vehicle.  I carried my axe and crampons thinking they might be of some use on the northwest ridge of Grizzly; I didn’t use them and actually left them on top of after surveying Torreys.  I was enjoying the views on top of Grizzly in just less than three hours.  The goats had scampered down from the summit as I stopped for some water and food.  The weather was clear and Torreys stared at me from the east.
    • It was relatively early in the day, I felt pretty good, and the weather was holding.  It was decision time.  I convinced myself to take a closer look at the saddle between the two peaks and access the situation a bit closer.  The east ridge of Grizzly looked inviting, and Torrey's west ridge was fairly clear of snow.  I decided to start my descent and see how things would go.  I was at saddle 12580 in no time and started my 1,700' slog up Torreys.  Although I committed to turning around when the going got too tough, I think most "peakbaggers" would agree that it would have been disappointing given the 850' drop I just made.
    • At 13,450' I took my first extended break on Torrey's west ridge.  I could see just over Grizzly Peak and knew I had an additional 800' to ascend.  I also knew I had 1,600' to gain on my exit and seriously considered calling it quits.  I reviewed the topographical map and determined that the next 400' were relatively steep and then the grade eased up a bit.  I forged on and made the summit at noon.  The views were great.  I wasn't able to peer down the Dead Dog Couloir, but I'm certain it wouldn't be doable yet.  Because of the work that lay ahead, I only stayed for a few minutes before heading out.
    • I scrambled back down to around 13,600' where I took advantage of my secret weapon for the day.  At this point, I was able to catch a safe 800' glissade back down to saddle 12580.  I was back at the saddle at 12:30.  I kept telling myself that the ascents from this point on get gradually shorter, so if I get this next 850' out of the way I'll be set.  This would be a recurring thought at every saddle, and on every ascent it got harder and harder.  I made it back to Grizzly after running into my goat friends again.  The hike of Grizzly's east ridge was a highlight of the day given the snow conditions and exposure on the north face.  I picked up my cached gear and felt as though things were still going well.
    • The gain to Point 12936, Cupid, and Point 12915 were demanding.  I was tired and wanted the day to be over.  In addition, the weather was deteriorating, and by the time I reached Cupid, Grays and Torreys were shrouded in clouds.  The wind picked up considerably and it was beginning to snow.  I had to stop and add a layer of clothes along with heavier gloves and my balaclava.  Although I don't feel as though I was in any serious danger, I was grateful to be back to Loveland Pass and my vehicle.
    • The trip report I referred to earlier was vaguely similar to my experience.  I didn't have as poor of weather as the individuals I read about, but their trip sounded a lot like mine including the time of the year and the time required to hike.  (http://www.parkerpress.com/CRMTR/Local/Torreys.html)
    • As you can see, the fatigue really set in after reaching Grizzly for the second time in the day.  I only picked up 30 minutes on the way out even though I gained 1,437 more vertical feet on the way in.  The reason I reduced the time out by 50 minutes on the section from Torreys to Grizzly is primarily because of the 800’ glissade I caught coming off of Torreys west face.
      • Loveland Pass - Grizzly Peak (2 hours 50 minutes)
      • Grizzly Peak - Torreys Peak (2 hours 00 minutes)
      • Torreys Peak - Grizzly Peak (1 hour 10 minutes)
      • Grizzly Peak - Loveland Pass (2 hours 20 minutes)
      • Total Trail Time (8 hours 20 minutes)
    • Additional Statistics
Leg Description Start End G (L) Grade Miles
1. Loveland Pass - Point 12915 11,990' 12,915' 925' 21.9% 0.8
2. Point 12915 - Saddle 12714 12,915' 12,714' (201')   0.4
3. Saddle 12714 - Cupid 12,714' 13,117' 403' 12.7% 0.6
4. Cupid - Saddle 12756 13,117' 12,756' (361')   0.5
5. Saddle 12756 - Point 12936 12,756' 12,936' 180' 6.8% 0.5
6. Point 12936 - Saddle 12735 12,936' 12,735' (201')   0.3
7. Saddle 12735 - Grizzly Peak 12,735' 13,427' 692' 32.8% 0.4
8. Grizzly Peak - Saddle 12580 13,427' 12,580' (847')   0.7
9. Saddle 12580 - Torreys Peak 12,580' 14,267' 1,687' 39.9% 0.8
10. Torreys Peak - Saddle 12580 14,267' 12,580' (1,687')   0.8
11. Saddle 12580 - Grizzly Peak 12,580' 13,427' 847' 22.9% 0.7
12. Grizzly Peak - Saddle 12735 13,427' 12,735' (692')   0.4
13. Saddle 12735 - Point 12936 12,735' 12,936' 201' 12.7% 0.3
14. Point 12936 - Saddle 12756 12,936' 12,756' (180')   0.5
15. Saddle 12756 - Cupid 12,756' 13,117' 361' 13.7% 0.5
16. Cupid - Saddle 12714 13,117' 12,714' (403')   0.6
17. Saddle 12714 - Point 12915 12,714' 12,915' 201' 9.5% .04
18. Point 12915 - Loveland Pass 12,915' 11,990' (925')   .08
  Cumulative Elevation Gain/Grade/Miles   5,497' 20.8% 10.0
 

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