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Peak(s):  Grays Peak  -  14,270 feet
Post Date:  09/08/2012
Date Climbed:   09/08/2012
Posted By:  familyoffive

 Just did Grays   

Had a bad start to the day by locking my keys in my car at 5:15 a.m but by 10 a.m. was finally on the trail. Usually the timing would be a problem due to the chance of bad weather but there wasn't a cloud in the sky today and the temps were perfect. The trail is shorter than the other 14er that I did this year (Elbert) but it seemed more difficult due to the rocks that are on easily 90% of the trail. They are boulder size down to golf ball size but they are strewn over virtually all of the trail making the "down" just as difficult as the "up". I ended up parking on the road about 15 minutes from the trailhead and local knowledge will tell you to proceed to the areas above that upper lot as there seem to be many places where you could park. The road was certainly passable but I can't imagine how bad it must have been before the recent upgrade. There must have been 100's of people on the trail at any given time, and it's supposed to be after the "season". Actually this was fine for me as I was solo and I prefer to see other people on the trail in case of I get injured or lost (which isn't much of a risk on this particular trail). There were just a few families with younger kids and tons of 20+-30+ year olds with a few oldersters thrown in the mix. The views down in the valley were just as jawdropping as the vast panoramas from the summit due to the changing aspens. I think I took longer to hike down because I stopped so frequently to admire the colors. TWo and 1/2 hours up and two hours and 10 minutes down with about 40 minutes at the top. It was busy up there but people are so pleased to be there that the crowds didn't bother me as they did at Elbert. I think an entire college football team screaming and yelling up at the summit might have dampened my enjoyment of that climb but today it was pretty mellow in spite of the large numbers. Many, but not most, people were also heading over to Torreys. It just wasn't in the cards for me today.

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