The Ascent to Torreys
More Information on this climb?
See my webpage for more pictures and detail from this climb:
Grays & Torreys Page
The Approach to Kelso
Here is a short account of my June 25, 2006 climb of Grays & Torreys via Kelso Ridge.
Leaving Boulder around 5:20am, way later than intended, I made my way to the I-70 Bakerville exit and on to the Stevens Gulch Trailhead. It was a fortunate thing that I had prepared well the night before and I managed to hit the trail at 6:51am. Sore and feeling the weight of my 35lb training pack, I paced my self to the Kelso ridge turnoff. At this point the ridge was totally socked in, and I only got a brief view of Grays & Torreys on the approach.
Kelso to Torreys
Kelso Ridge is a very enjoyable route. Unfortunately, must of the route was totally socked into fog, and robbed me of the views. I thought route finding was relatively easy and straightforward, but many of the moves were more vertical than I expected. The exposure did not seems too intense...but then again, maybe the fog was hiding things from me.
Crossing from the main Grays trail to the ridge was accomplished by turning right at a large rock carin. I then ascended a loose slope on a good trail passing by some mining ruins. Just past that, I ascended to the ridge proper where I hiked along a flat area before it began to get sporty.
There were a number of way to go, and I generally followed the path of least resistance. At the 1st of the towers, I hung to the left side of the ridge and again ascended nearly straight up. Even here, the exposure did not seem too extreme. The route again flattened out then repeated. Near the top was the hariest section. With some pockets of snow, and a very thin section of ridge, I hung more to the right using both hand hold and foothold. Crossing the Dead Dog is also a place not to fall, and I took caution again here. A couple of additional moves and there was the summit, that was still relatively empty for a Sunday.
I got a bit more of Kelso in this video, but again the light was terrible:
Higher Res Video: Click Here
Traverse to Grays
Grays from Torreys
Being concious of the mild temperatures and rising mositure in the air, I did not spend much time on Torreys. I headed down the very straightforward trail to the connecting ridge with Grays where I was able to get some pictures. At this point the clouds were begining to darken, and the hikers thickening. Once on top of Grays, I shot some more pictures and video before descending the main Grays trail. This trail is straightforward and well marked. This put me back to my car 4 hours an 40 minutes after leaving.
The most remarkable thing was the number of people leaving, heading for the obvious thunderstorms at 11:00am and 11:30. Some would even ask for you opinion on the weather, then completely disregard any advice. Perhaps blue jeans protect you from lightning, and nobody has clued me in on that fact.