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 Peak(s):  Torreys Peak  -  14,267 feet
Grays Peak  -  14,270 feet
Kelso Mtn  -  13,164 feet
 Post Date:  07/23/2007
 Date Climbed:   07/18/2007
 Posted By:  roozers42

 Kelso Combo   

With Mel back from a trip to Brazil and having survived a purple bridesmaid dress, she was ready to start hiking again! After throwing many suggestions around, we finally decided to hike Kelso Ridge on Torreys. Mel had Grays and Torreys high on her list, and I hadn't done Kelso Ridge so both of us were happy. I'm working on the front range 13ers and wanted to add Kelso Mountain to the trip if the weather held out.

After playing a concert in Denver Tuesday evening, I drove to Bakersville to meet Mel and sleep in our cars. We woke at 5am, drove up the road, and quickly hiked to the Kelso/Torreys saddle. I won't go into too much detail about the route since it's fairly straight-forward and there is a great description here on the site. I thought it was a bit loose and was glad to have worn my helmet. There are short sections of climbing interspersed with trail hiking on the ridge – more exposure on the left, less on the right. There was one tricky section about half-way up that we felt was 4th class over quite a bit of exposure; I'm sure that if we had looked to the right a bit earlier there would have been something easier. We both thought the knife edge was the best part of the route (we both employed the scooch technique).

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After topping out on Torreys, we headed over to Grays and were given some grapes by some very generous hikers – these are now a "must have" in my pack! Thanks, guys!
The weather was holding quite nicely and we didn't want the day to be over so we decided to add Kelso Mountain to the agenda. On the way down the Grays, trail, we met "Boots" – a very inspirational 72-year-old (turning 73 on August 10th) woman who was just about to gain her 25th 14er summit. Both Mel and I were very impressed and talked to her for quite a while.

"Boots" points at her destination
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Kelso Ridge was very fun, but Kelso Mountain was the most beautiful part of the day. We dropped down to about 12,000 and then contoured our way up the slopes to the summit. On the way down, the wildflowers were amazing and made up for the steep descent back to the trail. Although these peaks are crowded, I think the area is absolutely wonderful and now I have even more of an appreciation for them.

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Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
 


  • Comments or Questions (4)
Greenhouseguy



Good Report     2011-02-04 17:22:13
Nice images! It looks like the weather was kind to you.


Aubrey


Great photos!     2007-07-23 21:10:46
Great photos and story!

While I like the climbs with very few people for the peace and solitude, I also kind of like the crowded routes because you meet some interesting characters like Boots.


Yog


Inspiring     2010-11-30 10:28:38
I hope my Boots keep on walking when I'm in my 70's! Congrats on your climb!


roozers42


Thanks!     2007-07-24 09:54:42
Boots was truly an inspiration - there was no way we could back out of Kelso Mountain after meeting her!



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