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Peak(s):  Grays Peak  -  14,270 feet
Post Date:  07/30/2011
Date Climbed:   07/30/2011
Posted By:  ColoNativeinPA


 Devils in Baggy Pants   

During WWII German Wehrmacht units, upon learning they faced the American 82nd Airborne Div., were gripped with fear. The diary of a dead German officer found at Anzio stated that “ American parachutists – devils in baggy pants are less than 100 yards from my outpost. I can't sleep at night; they pop up from nowhere and we never know how they will strike next. Seems like the black hearted devils are everywhere.”

You never know what a 14er will bring to you.

Our hike was great. The weather was perfect, trail was dry and we found a parking spot realtively near the trail head. This weekend I hiked with a co-worker of mine who was out to bag his second and third 14er. I was more than happy to have the company.

We left the trailhead at 7:04am and 42 deg on the thermometer. Perfect hiking conditions.
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The trail to Grays is very well worn and there's never a doubt where to go. We made great time going up the mountain and at about !2K feet we stopped briefly for a power bar and to gather ourselves to push to the top.
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there's a mountain goat somewhere in the background

As we stood there a gentleman tapped me on the shoulder and said “ Way to go Airborne” and I wondered “ How'd he know I was an Army paratrooper ?”

He grabbed me by the arm and pointed to my tattoo on my forearm “ Army Jump Wings” “duh”
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Can you see my tattoo?


So I asked him how he knew they symbol. Turns out that he was in the same unit I was years ago the 82nd Airborne Div. And beyond that he and his hiking partners were members of the Army's elite parachutist demonstration team “ The Golden Knights”.

The bond was immediate and we took a grand picture together at the summit of Grays, 4 old paratroopers with more than 6000 jumps between us. ( Way, Way , Way most of them theirs.)
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Old paratroopers on a 14er


Adam and I took the mandatory summit pics , ate a snack and tromped off to Torreys.
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Not so short when I stand on a rock


Best part of Torreys was our companion climber, the mountain goat. Darn thing was just about domesticated! Seemed to almost pose for the pictures.
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The pitch to Torreys is fairly steep but the path was firm and dry so real big worries.

Again, mandatory summit pics
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Now the slog back to the car.

The wild flowers 2/3 of the way down were a real nice break in the monotomy of the homeward march.
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All in all a good day. 8.2 miles in just under 5 hours. Not too bad – we lingered a little at both summits so we weren't in a big rush.

So, again a 14er hike brings me more than just elevation, exercise and scenery. This hike brought me in touch with men who've served their country in the same fashion that I did. Daring men who when asked “How far are you going?” Will always respond “All the Way”

Thanks to all who have served!



Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
 


  • Comments or Questions
nelbru52

Thanks for your service and what a nice surprise`     07/31/2011 04:40
To share the summit with fellow 82ners. Glad you had a great day!


cfb

What a great trip     07/31/2011 15:58
It's great to meet up with new friends, especially when you have such a common bond.
82nd are great and I've had the honor to serve with them, side by side.

Semper Fi



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