Peak(s):  Torreys Peak  -  14,267 feet
Grays Peak  -  14,270 feet
Post Date:  07/11/2011
Date Climbed:   07/04/2011
Posted By:  DanielL

 Torreys Kelso Ridge and Grays Peak   

Peaks: Torreys Peak via Kelso Ridge, Grays Peak
Start Time: 5:30 am
Summit Time: Torreys Peak: 8:45 am
Grays Peak: 9:35 am
Finish: 11:30 am
Elevation Gain: 3,600'
Roundtrip Length: 8 miles

To celebrate Independence Day, two of my brothers, my sister, and I headed up to Grays and Torreys. This was our first 14er hike of 2011, and we had a great climb. The weather was perfect, and we got an early start.

At the Stevens Gulch trailhead

Sunrise on Grays and Torreys

Torreys Peak and the Kelso Ridge

Crossing a creek above 12,000'

After the sign at 12,000', the trail ascends a hill to the right of a pile of rocks. At the top of this hill, which is about 12,300', there is a small trail that breaks off of the main trail and goes to the Torreys-Kelso saddle.

Approaching the saddle

We ascended a short slope, and reached the saddle (12,400'). From here, we had a great view of the Kelso ridge. I mentally split the route into three parts: the first part went to 13,200', the second was the gradual part of the ridge that went to about 13,900', and the third part contained the knife edge and the final pitch to the summit.

On the saddle, looking up at the Kelso ridge

We stayed on the crest of the ridge pretty much the whole way up, with the occasional scramble around a difficult point.

Climbing up the Kelso ridge

Climbing around a spire

There was some loose rock on the ridge, especially where there was Class 3.

One of the Class 3 pitches on the ridge.

Looking down on this area

This first portion of the ridge took quite a while, and it seemed to take forever to get to the top. Near the top we had to climb a long, white Class 3 wall.

Looking back on the ridge

More Class 3 scrambling with loose rock

My brother taking a quick break

Looking up the white wall

The top of the white wall

After the white wall, we scrambled up mixed Class 2 and 3 until we reached 13,200', which was the top of the first part of the ridge. The ridge was much more gradual above this point.

Looking down the wall

While we were taking a break, a mountain goat which had been climbing down the ridge walked right up to within about 5 feet of us!

A mountain goat climbing down the ridge

This guy got pretty close!

Climbing more gentle terrain between 13,200' and 13,900'

Finishing the second part of the ridge

After 13,900', the route gets difficult again. After some brief Class 3 scrambling, we encountered the most difficult part of the route - the knife edge. There was exposure on the right side of the edge, but on the left there was a snowfield that could be crossed instead of the ridge proper.

The knife edge

After the knife edge there is a short pitch of white rock. After this is a short Class 2 hike to the top of Torreys. We summited at 8:45, 3 hours and 15 minutes from the trailhead.

Climbing above the knife edge

The summit!

We took a 20 minute break, and decided that we had time to climb Grays Peak as well. We summited Grays from Torreys in about 30 minutes.

Grays Peak from Torreys

Looking back to Torreys

Our group on top of Grays

The weather was perfect, and we had a great climb! I would definitely recommend this climb as a good Class 3 route.

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):

  • Comments or Questions

Nice!     07/11/2011 20:38
Nice job, I love climbing that route... Great goat shot!


Great report!     07/11/2011 21:33
Good timing too, as I plan to do this route in about a week. Super route pics too, as well as the goat! Thanks! It looks like you didn't require an axe or anything for the snow?


Re: Great report!     07/11/2011 21:41
Thanks for the comment! We didn't need an axe or crampons; most of the snow is avoidable, and when we were on snow, it wasn't steep.


Sweet Report     07/11/2011 22:00


Good Photos     07/12/2011 19:34
I didn't know Kelso had exposure as in photo 12 ”More Class 3 scrambling with loose rock”. I'll have to go give that a look see. Nice report.


Nice work!     07/12/2011 20:46
We climbed this on 7/9 and wished we took more photos. The weather was iffy the whole time so we wanted to get to the summit as fast as possible. Really cool seeing a Trip Report with pretty much the same conditions to our climb (albeit much sunnier )
Nice work, it's definitely a cool climb.

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