A wonderful first experience with 14ers, in prime spring conditions no less! Standard winter route up Grays first, then traversing the saddle to Torrey's Peak.
My truck could have easily made the road and the parking lot wasn't full either, although it would fill up eventually. I elected to add the extra distance and elevation to see what it all added up to. 7.7 miles and 4900 feet for Grays and Torreys from the lower trailhead. Someone graciously offered me a ride on the way back down, hell yeah I'll take it
Got in from SeaTac @ midnight the night before, not to bed til 2am, up at 7 to drive south to Lone Tree for my Turo rental @ 8. 1.5mi drive into the trail before my poor Sedan could take no more. Hiked 1mi on the road and hitched the rest of the way to the TH. Sadly relating this as my latest start ever and my latest down time ever x_X - 10:15am start, ominous clouds formed up high on and off all day. Lots of people, lots of goats, marmots, and pika. Did alright for sea level with less than 10hrs of acclimation and no sleep, but started to breathe like a fish out of water ~13.7k. Lots of walk 30ft, drink water, walk 30ft, breathe hard the rest of the way up the typical route to Grays, down the saddle, and joined a team of ladies to finish up Torreys. Took the saddle shortcut back and a voluntary long 500+ ft glissade down before hoofing it all the way out. Back to TH by 5:45pm for another hitchhike down to car. Much longer day than anticipated! But fun and weather held
Nice alternative to the cattle trail on the north side. Only passed 4 other people, nice little rocky bit to ridge, beautiful Horseshoe Basin.
Beautiful day, lots of people out hitting the trails. Saw some people doing Kelso, and got jealous ha.
Beautiful fall day.
Westbound on I-70, take Exit 221 Bakerville. Cross the bridge over the freeway and drive straight on a rocky dirt road for 3.0 miles to a parking lot on the left and the trailhead on the right. I took my 4WD FJ Cruiser up this road. No way would I take a regular 2WD car. Parking Lot almost full at 6am on this Monday morning.
I hiked Grays Peak first, leaving the willows at 12,200ft and taking a left turn at 13,200ft. Follow the trail north from the summit of Grays Peak over to Torreys Peak. From Torreys, return to the saddle and then turn left on a trail about 50ft above the saddle. This connecting trail had about 20ft of well-trodden snow, that could have been bypassed. No other snow and clear trail on the entire route.
1. Trailhead to summit of Grays: 3:23
2. Grays to summit of Torreys : 0:58
3. Torreys to trailhead : 2:04
People passed on trail: 77
Mountain Goats within 10 feet of trail: 12
Knocked out Grays and Torreys in one day.
Standard route. Started at 5:30 am. Done in combination with Torreys.
With Sandra and Ben
Attempted the Kelso ridge solo but turned around due to being alone, leaving my InReach at home, and high winds whipping over the ridge. Ended up summitting both peaks via the standard slog.
I started from Denver and drove up on I-70. Do note that as of July 2020, the road to the trailhead isn’t paved and is VERY bumpy. Check your tires once back on the interstate. The route is relatively flat in the valley, but gets steeper as you get to the peak. Class 2 hiking.
26:15 from summit to Trailhead. Was unsure about going due to jacked 5th Met from landing wrong jumping a gap on the sea cliffs of N. Table last week. I wasn't planning on going hard down, and I started fairly easy, trying to protect the foot, but I had put Correct Toes in on top and it wasn't giving me much grief and seemed stable, so I just kept inching up the effort as I went along, being sure to not take a wrong step on it. I'm curious how fast I could go fully healthy, properly fueled, and coming out swinging from the start.
Kelso Ridge is such a fun route, and there's some good climbing/scrambling if you're looking for those lines. Foot was still upset on top, so that's why I put Correct Toes in to see if that would stabilize it and it felt good going over to Grays. Talked to people on top of Grays for while before heading down. Met some cool people on top, and talked shoe/injury science and Altra stuff which is always fun.
Beautiful day weatherwise, summer conditions all the way up to the summit. Trail is free of snow and light wind, sunny and clear on the Summit. Started late around 7:45 and summited around 1 PM given that no acclimation was done. Some snow fields are on the saddle on the way to Torreys Peak but it had lots of hikers with only few using spikes so they seem very passable. Lots of Mountain Goats on the way up and down at different elevations from 11800 ft up to almost 13800 ft.
3:3:23 clockwise. If you're going for a good time starting early definitely helps even on the downs since you don't have to stop/ weave in and out of people a lot less.
I started early and was not sure if I could make it. I somehow made it to the top. I am still wondering how it happened. I was not motivated and my sinuses were just bringing me down. The wind was brutal. All in all it was great experience. Met great folks on the trail