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Torrey's Peak
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Dead Dog Couloir 
Kelso Ridge T 
North Face Ski Descent 

Dead Dog Couloir 

   
Type:  Alpine, 1500', Grade II
FA: unknown
Page Views: 4,423
Submitted By: ClimbandMine on May 25, 2002

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BETA PHOTO: Snow conditions as of 6/14/13.

Description 

Dead Dog is the main couloir on the east face of Torreys. Approach via the Stevens Gulch trail, and drop down into the basin to the base of the couloir when directly opposite it. Trudge up the runout and into the main couloir, where by late May or June hard snow or runnels of ice will be waiting for you. Wear a helmet and get an early start, as the upper couloir sheds rock as the sun warms the walls. The upper half of the couloir averages 45 degrees, maybe a fuzz more, and deposits you 150-200' below the summit.


Protection 

Screws, pickets, or trad gear depending on conditions and if you choose to rope up.



Photos of Dead Dog Couloir Slideshow Add Photo
BETA PHOTO
Sunrise hits the Dead Dog.
Sunrise hits the Dead Dog.
Dead Dog Couloir....
Dead Dog Couloir....
Anne Cassady (the little black dot) and the rock she was spit out on to her right, after being swept down the couloir by a point release avalanche. Ben Williams was swept over the rock and carried almost twice as far.
Anne Cassady (the little black dot) and the rock s...
The red line shows the route.
The red line shows the route.
Directly in front of Dead Dog.
BETA PHOTO: Directly in front of Dead Dog.
Looking down the route at about the midway point.
Looking down the route at about the midway point.
Dave Andrews high on the Dog.
Dave Andrews high on the Dog.
Morning sun rays hitting Grays Peak as viewed from the lower third of Dead Dog Couloir.
Morning sun rays hitting Grays Peak as viewed from...
Kurt Johnson pointing to the scene of the crime, Dead Dog Couloir, Torrey's Peak.
Kurt Johnson pointing to the scene of the crime, D...
This photo was taken on June 1, 2004. One foot of fresh snow.
This photo was taken on June 1, 2004. One foot of ...
Dropping into the Dead Dog Couloir.
Dropping into the Dead Dog Couloir.
June 1, 2004 Ian Kerr snowboarding down.
June 1, 2004 Ian Kerr snowboarding down.
The route.
BETA PHOTO: The route.
Ben Williams and Anne Cassady in Dead Dog Couloir, not long before "riding the white wave".
Ben Williams and Anne Cassady in Dead Dog Couloir,...
Topping out with two strangers. Great guys!
Topping out with two strangers. Great guys!
Comments on Dead Dog Couloir Add Comment
Show which comments
By Phillip Morris
From: Flavor Country
Aug 18, 2002

Skip the screws, pickets or trad gear. This is pretty much a straight forward snow climb. A single axe, crampons and a little pied a plat will see you to the top.

Seasoned ski mountaineers take note. Mega fun spring time descent: A few 45 degree turns lead to a managable mid section followed by wide open turns to finish. On super sexy colorado spring snow, one can really let it go in the run out to the flats.

By Jordan Kidd
Aug 19, 2002

A helmet should be mandatory for this route. Rockfall will come from sunhit, as well as climbers above in the Dog, and along the Kelso Ridge.

By William McGehee
From: Choctaw, OK
Dec 3, 2003

Anyone know if this climb/ski descent is possible in the winter with avalanche danger, etc? If so, anyone want to e-mail me with beta or provide it on the site? Thanks.~Wm

By Stich
From: Colorado Springs, Colorado
Oct 3, 2004

We just did the route this Sunday the 3rd of October. We summitted around 9:30 AM or so. As you might expect, the snow is not very deep this time of year. There are two places you have to climb up some rock steps, no higher than five feet each. Very small rocks started falling as soon as the sun was up, but this was not continuaous. Most of the time you would step through the snow onto the rocks underneath. I'll have to try the route again in the late spring.

By Jeff Gustafson
Jun 20, 2005

Did this route Saturday, 6-18. Great time. I echo the helmet comments previously submitted. Rockfall in the bottom 1/3 of the route started early. I would recommend an ice axe also, helped me out when I was hopping to get out of the way of a fair sized rock that hit my left toe (glancing blow, no major damage). I had to jam the ice axe to keep from falling backwards down the couloir. Definitely fun however. We got to the top around 9:15 and it was getting pretty soft up there.

By Charles Danforth
From: L'ville, CO
Jul 15, 2005

Great route with a dramatic finish. We climbed this one mid-May 2005 and found good snow all the way up. We didn't choose to rope up and never felt particularly wigged. You exit directly uphill of the white block crux of Kelso Ridge. Then it's another steep 100' to the summit. But get an early start! We started at 7 and summitted at 9am. by 10 we were watching significant rockfall off the southern side of Kelso Ridge starting wet snow slides into the basin below.

By Eben Daggett
From: Boulder, CO
Jun 16, 2013

Excellent climb! This was extra dramatic as it was my first snow climb, first solo climb, and first technical ascent of a 14er (2nd 14er overall). Seriously, helmet required should go without saying! The timing is uncanny, I was reaching for my sunglasses as soon as the sun poked out when... ZIIIIPPPPP... CRACK! A billiards ball smacked directly into the center of my helmet, knocking me unconscious. I came too clinging to my ice axe with the sound of rocks zipping past me. Rocks move VERY fast in the lower half of the route, they were not as big of a problem towards the top. My sunglasses were lost in the incident. I was lucky, had that rock hit anything but my helmet, it would have shattered bone. What are the chances the first rock would hit me? Bear in mind, once the sun comes up you will not want to be climbing anywhere near the center of the couloir. Lesson learned. The climbing was a little tougher, but I stayed to the left. I finished the climb with burning eyeballs and a mild concussion that I'm still feeling. A small chunk was taken out of my hardshell Edelrid helmet. Great first couloir climb though! Wonderful route... worth doing! I especially enjoyed camping near the base. Added a nice alpine climbing feel to it.