Peak(s):  Grays Peak  -  14,270 feet
Post Date:  06/21/2012
Date Climbed:   06/20/2012
Posted By:  James Scott

 Teachers on South Ridge   

Teachers on the Summit

Grays Peak- South Ridge
7.0 miles, 3250 feet elevation gain
Group- Susan, Katrina, Karen, Ashley, Tonia, Laura, Wendy, Holly, Matt, Jim, Pat, James

A friend and I got the idea of taking a group of coworkers up a 14er. We teach middle school, so we’re slightly crazy to begin with, and quite a few people said they’d love to come along. Choosing a route was difficult- we didn’t want a three hour drive, we didn’t want something too over the top challenging, and we didn’t want the line of ants going up Bierstadt or Grays and Torres. Finally, we got the idea to go up Grays on the South Ridge. This is a great alternative to the standard route- we had the basin to ourselves, and it really is a charming place. It is steeper and more difficult, however.

It took us a while to get everyone to the trailhead- some bad communication on my part with directions, and a rougher than I remember drive up the dirt road got us to the parking lot just past 7:00. We took off just before 7:30.

group shot

first view up into the basin, Grays peaking out on the left

on the road, early morning

first look at Grays- long way up there

Karen considering her near future

group walking under Grays

end of the road, turning onto the trail

the basin below- a beautiful place

Katrina turns the corner to the upper slopes

upper slopes- break time underneath the summit of Grays

on the grassy upper slopes

upper slopes

Katrina over a cool looking frozen lake

nearing the crux- the steepest work below the ridge

Grays waiting patiently

Susan and Tonia making the ridge

we all meet back together on the ridge

Jim working on his snowman

happy snowman before a ruthless attack by Pat

the ridge- final summit push

summit push

Summit relaxing on Summit

faculty meeting- let's talk about the gum rule some more!

happy teachers

Jim gaining Torres, Grays in background

back on Grays- can you see the group below?

back on the lower trail

crossing a stream

the walk out- sore feet!

last look back at Grays- we climbed that!

I had been worried about the weather- specifically the wind- and if the ridge would be too hard for people to enjoy. It turned out to be a near perfect day. Absolutely no clouds over us the whole day, and the wind was always brief when it would arrive. Everyone was able to summit, and it was a happy group of teachers on top of Grays at 11:15. A smaller group took off towards Torres, but we all were more or less back together by the time we regained the road at the bottom of the basin. The walk out was quick, but a flat tire on Tonia’s car was waiting. Matt and Pat were rock stars, and while the rest of us relaxed, they got the job done.

This was Katrina’s first summit of a 14er, I think everyone felt accomplished and had a good time! To the teachers!

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):

  • Comments or Questions

Congrats!     06/21/2012 17:39
Teachers are a hardy group.


Connections/Advisement idea     06/21/2012 17:40
Great day, Thanks again for organizing this James! Lets do it again soon..


Faculty meeting!     06/21/2012 18:52
Yeah, that's where to hold one! Congratulations all! What a great learning experience!

Doctor No

Well done!     06/21/2012 20:09
We did Horseshoe Basin in 2009, and despite being a Saturday in August, we didn't see a single person until we reached the summit of Grays. A truly underrated hike!


Fun     06/22/2012 00:25
Three guys to eight females, thats the correct way to hike Grays. Nice work to everyone.


Good job!     06/22/2012 02:07
This was one of your group member's 1st fourteener? And she's a teacher?? I'm not ashamed to admit that mountain climbing is one of the primary reasons why I am a teacher... Summers off=Mountain freedom


Yes, can we please discuss the gum policy?!     06/22/2012 05:11
It really was a great hike in and out. The road seemed much worse to drive then it did while walking, but save the extra nine miles and drive!

James Scott

That road     06/22/2012 14:22
did seem to me to be far worse in the afternoon coming out than driving up in the morning. Maybe that moose we saw was walking back and forth on the road and causing erosion- moose cause a lot of erosion with their four legs. Forgot to mention the moose in the trip report. And the excitement of the science teachers noticing lady bugs and bees. And moose.

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