Elevation Gain: 1,914'
Playing Hookey: Caroline (USAKeller) & me
When I got a text from Caroline asking if I could take the next day off of work to hike a 13er, I thought awesome, but could I do it? So after the weekly teleconference, I realized that I wouldn't be needed by the field crew to be in cell range, so I was free. The weather was going to be perfect, so why not take advantage of my extra vacation time! We both wanted something short, sweet and close to home. So we settled on Kelso Mountain. It was one of those close by peaks that always seemed to get overlooked. Time to go visit it!
With the good weather we didn't need a super early start for such a short hike, but we also didn't want to arrive too late to get a parking space in the lot. As it was, we arrived just in time to not have to "creatively park". Quite a few people out on a Tuesday morning! Nobody followed us up this low sub peak, so we had the day mostly to ourselves.
We traipsed up the standard trail until we saw a nice ridge/ramp up Kelso and started the elevation gain for the day. Quite a few flowers in the lower basin to brighten up the view. The higher up Kelso we went, the more that Grays and Torreys rose above the ridge. We were surprised to still see so much snow left! Dead Dog still has enough snow and with temperatures slowly turning for lower, there may be some snow climbing to be had all year!
Kelso Mtn from the Grays trail
Grays & red paintbrushes
Caroline romping in the flowers
Me free hiking - Photo Credit: Caroline
Grays & Torreys emerging from behind the ridge
Snow near the summit, should have brought skis...
We arrived on the summit after only a short bit, with nary a cloud in the sky. The sky was still the incredibly blue color of early morning. The summit was the only place where we felt any wind, and it did create a bit of a chill. So after our summit rituals were over, and the photos snapped, we descended down the ridge towards Torreys to keep our descending tracks a bit lower angle than our ascending route.
Gals playing hookey from work
Some 13ers on the list to do
Me taking photos - Photo Credit: Caroline
What a view!
Dead Dog still has snow... Wow!
Lots of people on Kelso Ridge today
Caroline had brought her DSLR camera and wanted some practice in using it. So we found some nice flowers to photograph on the way down to work on depth of field and aperture. With the beautiful day, we weren't in any rush to get down, so why not take some time to enjoy the flowers?
Playing with depth of field
Some nice flowers - Photo Credit: Caroline
Depth of field practice - Photo Credit: Caroline