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 Peak(s):  Grays Peak  -  14,270 feet
Torreys Peak  -  14,267 feet
 Post Date:  08/02/2010
 Date Climbed:   07/04/2010
 Posted By:  Exiled Michigander

 Grays and Torreys Combo-Standard Route   

It's a beautiful day--let's climb two!

I left from home at 3:30 a.m. and made it to the Stevens Gulch trailhead by 5:15. Getting from I-70 to the trailhead was pretty rough for my little Chevy Cobalt, but with slow and careful driving it survived. Just keep a lookout for some of the large rocks along the road; these could easily damage a small car's undercarriage. I hit the trail at 5:30 a.m. and had the trail and Grays Peak mostly to myself until the summit. The view of Grays and Torreys ahead of me was inspiring, but I spent most of the hike looking back to admire how emerald-green Kelso Mountain was—just stunning. The Kelso Ridge up to the summit of Torreys looked like a lot of fun too. I definitely need to try that route next time.

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Looking south toward Grays (left) and Torreys (right).


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Stevens Gulch and Kelso Mountain.


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The Kelso Ridge, an alternate route to the top of Torreys.


I summitted Grays Peak at 8:30. I was pleasantly surprised to find that I had cellular reception, so I gave my Dad a call from 14,270 feet above sea level. I stayed on the summit for roughly 20 minutes before descending to the Grays-Torreys saddle. There I surprised a mountain goat that had been hiding behind a large cairn. I was probably less than 5 yards away from him when I walked around the cairn, although by the time I got my camera out he had scampered about 30 yards off.

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Torreys Peak and the connecting saddle to Grays.


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A fellow climber, though much more experienced.


It was an easy and relaxed Class 2 hike from the saddle to the summit of Torreys, and I made it to the top a few minutes before 9:30. It was already starting to get crowded, and one group had even hauled a small grill up and was cooking hamburgers and hotdogs! I took a few photos, then retraced my route back down to the saddle and then toward the trailhead. I was back to my car at 11:30.

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Looking back across the saddle at Grays Peak.


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Another nice view of Stevens Gulch.


This is definitely a laidback 14er combo: well-defined trail, not very physically demanding, and no expanses of prayer-invoking exposure. Nevertheless, it's still around 9 miles round-trip with about 3,600 ft. of vertical rise, so you'll get a good lower-body workout. I would highly recommend this route for "entry-level" 14er climbers. It's close to metro-Denver, is rewarding without being overwhelming, and provides good examples of both Class 1 (to the summit of Grays) and Class 2 (from the saddle to the summit of Torreys) climbing. If this isn't enough of a challenge for you, the Kelso Ridge route to Torreys apparently offers some great Class 3 scrambling—and I hope to try that route soon!

Image
Last look back at Grays and Torreys.



Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
 


  • Comments or Questions (1)
mosy 9

love the ernie banks reference     2010-08-03 08:00:21
lets play two!
looks like a solid trip, will be doing the same late this august. Thanks



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