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 Peak(s):  Kelso Mtn  -  13,164 feet
 Post Date:  08/10/2011
 Date Climbed:   08/09/2011
 Posted By:  bergsteigen

 Taking time to smell the flowers     


Kelso Mountain


Route: Free...
Mileage: 4.6
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!

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Kelso Mtn from the Grays trail

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Grays & red paintbrushes

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Caroline romping in the flowers

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Me free hiking - Photo Credit: Caroline

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Summit?

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Grays & Torreys emerging from behind the ridge

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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.

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Gals playing hookey from work

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Some 13ers on the list to do

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Me taking photos - Photo Credit: Caroline

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Grays

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Torreys

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What a view!

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Dead Dog still has snow... Wow!

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Lots of people on Kelso Ridge today

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Flowery slope


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?

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Playing with depth of field

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Some nice flowers - Photo Credit: Caroline

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Depth of field practice - Photo Credit: Caroline

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Our route



Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
 


  • Comments or Questions
Tory Wells


Since it doesn't have a name....     2011-09-03 08:45:27
I propose that we name the route up the flower covered east slopes of Kelso the ”Sound of Music” route, as it made me want to run through the flowers and sing ala Julie Andrews.


Tory Wells


Also...     2011-09-03 08:45:27
when I climbed it a couple weeks ago, the Kelso Ridge (south ridge) up Kelso Mt is a lot of fun. Looks like you descended it?


Derek


Must've missed the flowers...     2011-08-10 13:01:55
when I took that route.


Very nice photos!


tberwald

Wow...     2011-08-10 14:49:54
...absolutely stunning photos. Thanks for sharing.


kimo

Just a nice day out...     2011-08-10 19:24:27
It doesn't look like it can get much better. I was with Derek in the above photo and it's obvious that I need to return to Kelso on better terms. It looks like soon would be good choice.


nyker


Nice!     2011-08-10 19:33:40
I think pic #19 can make a good postcard.


USAKeller


Playing hooky...     2011-08-10 20:33:04
was a blast! Great, non-stop conversation, photo lessons, a new peak, food, etc. Nice being the only ones up there. And albeit popular, the view of Torreys sure makes it look that much more burly. Hauling up the skis for an August ski may have been worth it ;) Great TR! Let's do it again!


bergsteigen


Great Day!     2011-08-11 14:28:24
Sorry Derek & Kimo, you chose winter not summer

lanternerouge08 - Yeah, we went down the south ridge, until we decided to go visit the flowers instead of rocks

Caroline - Yes, we need to do this again! Next time, if it's easy, I'll bring my DSLR. Besides we have over 500 to go!


USAKeller


hahahaha!     2011-08-11 14:54:36
Yes, over 500 to go. Oh boy.... Lots of time to practice with the camera!


Chicago Transplant


Agree with Derek and Kimo     2011-08-11 15:27:28
Yeah, much more peaceful than February, I had 40mph winds knocking me around when I was there too... at least I had something they didn't - sun 8)
Looks nice up there in the summer, may have to repeat this one sometime!


Dancesatmoonrise


Nice     2011-08-13 13:25:16
Hey Otina, was this the S95 you used? Did you manually underexpose, or was this on auto? I'm thinking of getting one.

Great images, great trip, and remember, even when the mountain is no longer there, work probably will be. : )


bergsteigen


S90, but same difference     2011-08-15 11:42:42
It's a great compact camera that can run fully manual and if you get the adapter (non Canon company makes it), you can add filters. And yeah, I manually underexpose to help the polarizer out sometimes. I do prefer a deeper/darker image.


mtn_hikin


Pics     2011-08-21 11:43:11
Great pictures about what time did you start?


bergsteigen


About 7am     2011-08-22 15:59:31
mtn_hikin - we started just in time, for the parking lot to be almost full. Weekends would be tough to start that late. 6am may be needed then!


mtn_hikin


Route     2011-08-23 10:33:17
The images convinced me, I am going to use that route tomorrow.



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