| Reverse Alpine Start aka Golfing Goats
Grays Peak/Torreys Peak
July 19th, 2008
Round Trip: ~9 miles
Elevation Gain: 3200'
Originally, I had no intentions of climbing anything, as I needed to run some errands and get some things done on the home front before heading out on vacation next week.
After getting a few things done, I headed over to the pool in my complex to take a dip and cool off. Not 5 minutes after I arrived, a birthday party arrived, and after 15 minutes of screaming, squealing and splashing, I knew I needed a different plan. It was about 2:30, and after a glance at the mid afternoon sky, I felt like things were stable enough for a quick trip to Grays and Torreys. I've also recently started playing with Hugin (panorama stitching software) so I was hoping for some interesting late day lighting to take pictures in.
After gathering my things and getting $50 in gas (a half a tank ) I was on the road at 3. I arrived at the G&T TH a little after 4, and crossed the bridge at 4:15.
Gray and Torreys come into view (Click photo for full res)
The State flower
I made good time up the trail, stopping to shoot pictures often. The view of the valley with Kelso as the centerpiece is pretty cool in the afternoon sun. The shadows all go the "wrong" direction from what you are used to seeing. The other benefit, is on mountains as busy as these, later in the day you get a sense of solitude.
Kelso Mountain (Click photo for full res)
Torreys with some amazing back lighting
I summited Grays at 6:30 and had 15 minutes with my first Mountain Goat encounter. This mom and kid were just lounging about on the summit, and seemed like they couldn't care less that I was there. At one point I was within 10 feet or so of them.
Classic goat shot!
After the goats moved on, Jonathan and Becky arrived from Torreys, to claim their second summit. They had climbed Torreys from Grizzly following (or rather attempting to follow) one of Roach's descriptions. They explained that they had climbed up to and joined Kelso Ridge about 2/3rds of the way up. They summited by the knife edge and white rock! I was duly impressed, as that was their first fourteener.
We hung out and chatted, and took in the incredible evening scenery. What a treat to be up there with the sun on its way towards the horizon. At 7:15, we parted company, they headed down thge Grays route and I took off for Torreys. At 7:50, I summited Torreys, took a few pictures and was on my way.
Torreys casts its shadow across the basin
Kelso Mountain and shadow (Click photo for full res)
Sunset (Click photo for full res)
I finished the hike in the dark, arriving back at the TH at 9:20. I was relieved to find Jonathan and Becky there, as they were parked on the Grizzly side and I had been concerned about them bushwhacking back over there in the dark. I gave them a ride to their car, and headed back to the big city. What a great way to have spent a Saturday evening!