Scott Bellow and I had been in contact about getting a nice tour in ever since we last went out on Jones Pass in like November. The spring is in the air and couloir season among us. With the snowpack starting to get a bit friendlier we decided a more committing line could be in the cards. After getting a little beta from a recent tour into Steven's Gulch I mentioned Dead Dog to Scott and immediately he was game. Colby De rounded out the crew and we headed down 70 to Bakerville from Dillon at about 430. The road still snow covered we parked pretty much off of the exit and started our 3 mile trek up to the summer TH by about 5am.
Enjoying a beautiful sunrise and a valley to ourselves we headed up the standard route to the summit of Torreys. As we got higher in elevation we noticed an amazing cloud inversion all across the eastern plains. What a view.
About 6 miles, 4500ft, and 4 1/2 hours later we found ourselves enjoying 360 degrees of stunning views. I have never seen a cloud inversion that big in Colorado before.
The summit was pretty pleasant weather wise with the wind not being too crazy. We snacked and pictured up and then headed on down to the top of our line. Wanting to assess the snow before skiing the line we opted to not ski the East face into Dead Dog as is a common entrance and the way I had done it the last time I skied her. I had brought a short rope just in case we wanted to belay into the top but after seeing the snow and line we didn't deem it necessary. I booted down into the couloir about 10-15ft and then poked around a bit to find corn on the skiers left (southerly) side and firm snow on the skiers right with softening snow throughout the middle. Everything felt great besides just being a bit suspect about the far skiers right side. A quick briefing on the way we wanted to ski her and we were off, enjoying about 2k feet of beautiful couloir skiing.
Variable snow throughout the line. There was old wet slide debris down lower and a small point release wet slide from warming rocks went through as I was riding down lower in the line. We skied the top 200 yds or so to a safe zone and then ripped her one at a time all the way to the bottom. Another spectacular ride down the Dead Dog!
Scott and Colby were able to snowboard all the way back to the truck from about the point of the above picture. I decided to hone in my split ski skills and so had an interesting ski all the way back. About 7 1/2 hours later we found ourselves back at the truck drinking brewskis with grins from ear to ear. Cheers to spring mountaineering season!