- Date Hiked: June 5, 2004
- Miles Hiked: 8.2
- Elevation Gain: 3,600'
- Hiking Partner(s): Lyle Weiss
met Lyle at the Park and Ride on the Morrison exit at 5:00 am and we
were off for the Stevens Gulch Trailhead. We arrived shortly after
6:00 am and were hiking at 6:15 am. After completing Little Bear
Peak last month, I was in the mood for another snow climb. We
hiked for approximately 1.5 miles and instead of continuing right on the
Grays Trail, we turned left and made our way to the base of the Lost Rat
Couloir. Despite what we thought was a relatively early start, the
snow was soft and we weren't sure what the conditions would be like.
The Lost Rat Couloir is considered a grade II climb with moderate snow
seeing 6 climbers ahead of us making their way up the couloir, we
decided to continue on. I by no means consider myself an
experienced climber, and this was actually the first time Lyle was out
to attempt a hike of this nature. We climbed for about 250' when
Lyle decided to head back down and take a larger snowfield to the west
that tied back into the Grays trail around 13,600'. It was
extremely warm, but I continued past a large pinnacle named the
"Rascal" and utilized the steps kicked by the climbers ahead
of me. Lost Rat was melted out 100' below Gray's east ridge.
I removed my crampons and had to deal with some loose dirt and rock to
gain the ridge.
followed the east ridge to the summit of Grays, but knew I was ahead of
Lyle because of the short backtrack he made. The wind picked up
slightly, so I added another layer and spent a few minutes on top before
descending to the Grays/Torreys Saddle at 13,707'. I had already
climbed Torreys from Loveland Pass via the west ridge in April, but I
felt pretty good and decided to hike it again. I visited with a
few people on Torreys for a while before heading back down, traversing
below Grays, and picking up the Grays trail for a quick exit. I
met back up with Lyle at the trailhead after he was done hiking Grays.
guide book states that the top of Lost Rat is 40 degrees. I think
this is an excellent introduction to snow climbing for anyone
interested. I can see the Lost Rat and Dead Dog Couloirs being an
annual event for training because of their short approach and accessibility from Denver. There were
plenty of people on the mountains. Ten people that I know of used
the Lost Rat Couloir, several people climbed the Dead Dog Couloir, and
numerous hikers were utilizing the standard route to Grays and
Torreys. My total trail time was 5 hours and 40 minutes.
- Additional Statistics:
||Trailhead - Grays Peak (Via Lost Rat Couloir)
||Grays Peak - Grays/Torreys Saddle
||Grays/Torreys Saddle - Torreys Peak
||Torreys Peak - Trailhead (Via Grays Trail)
||Cumulative Elevation Gain/Grade/Miles
- Click here
to view a 2D
map of the area where this hike is located.