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 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

6/20/12
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.

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group shot

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

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on the road, early morning

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first look at Grays- long way up there

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Karen considering her near future

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group walking under Grays

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end of the road, turning onto the trail

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the basin below- a beautiful place

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Katrina turns the corner to the upper slopes

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upper slopes- break time underneath the summit of Grays

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on the grassy upper slopes

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upper slopes

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Katrina over a cool looking frozen lake

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nearing the crux- the steepest work below the ridge

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Grays waiting patiently

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Susan and Tonia making the ridge

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we all meet back together on the ridge

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Jim working on his snowman

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happy snowman before a ruthless attack by Pat

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the ridge- final summit push

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summit push

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Summit relaxing on Summit

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

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happy teachers

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Jim gaining Torres, Grays in background

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back on Grays- can you see the group below?

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back on the lower trail

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crossing a stream

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the walk out- sore feet!

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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 (8)
tmathews

Congrats!     2012-06-21 11:39:36
Teachers are a hardy group.


jcosby

Connections/Advisement idea     2012-06-21 11:40:31
Great day, Thanks again for organizing this James! Lets do it again soon..


MtnHub


Faculty meeting!     2012-06-21 12:52:36
Yeah, that's where to hold one! Congratulations all! What a great learning experience!


Doctor No


Well done!     2012-06-21 14:09:22
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!


EatinHardtack


Fun     2012-06-21 18:25:07
Three guys to eight females, thats the correct way to hike Grays. Nice work to everyone.


Tempelton


Good job!     2012-06-21 20:07:53
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


mlandon

Yes, can we please discuss the gum policy?!     2012-06-21 23:11:35
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     2012-06-22 08:22:05
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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