| Grays & Torreys Peaks Combo
On June 26, 2010, Steve Broadwater, Nicole Weis, and Matt and Kris Webster arrived at the Grays Peak winter parking lot at 6 am sharp. After combining gear into one 4-wheeled vehicle, we started up the rough gravel road to the summer trailhead. We secured a decent roadside parking spot, and quickly made out to conquer the tandem peaks at 6:30. The weather conditions were perfect, and despite these fantastic conditions, the trailhead was fairly low on hiker traffic.
After a short bit of hiking and some elevation gain to warm us up and get the heart rates going, we got our first views of Grays and Torreys and the 1 mile cirque that spans between them. We could clearly see the remaining snow on the ridge line, each of us hoping that it wouldn't impede the double-dip plan of the day.
We took our time while we enjoyed some relatively flat terrain to snap a few more shots with the photo-worthy backdrop.
Our goal was to summit Grays in under 2.5 hours. We were making good progress, so we took some time to take in the scenery and snap a few more photos.
We summited Grays at 8:50 am (beat our 2.5 hour goal by 10 minutes - thanks to our pacesetter Kris!!) Took the obligatory group summit shot on Grays Peak, then turned our attention to Torreys.
From our perpective on Grays, we could now see the exposed ridge clear of snow all the way across the 1 mile saddle up to Torreys, so we made quick work down the ridge and quickly gained the switchback trail up to Torreys. The views to the West are amazing (could clearly see the Breckenridge ski area and Lake Dillon)!! The summit photo on Torreys shows the incoming weather...it was time to head down.
After making our way back down to the lower part of the saddle, we cut onto the ridge trail that cut through the snow. Took a shot of the views from atop the snow shelf below the ridge...making sure our footing was secure, of course.
Ended up with quite a few photos to pick from, but this one is great to show scale, as you can see people atop the ridge decending up and down Torreys Peak, and also the various routes chosen to cross the snow field below the saddle back across to the Grays Peak trail. Apparently some earlier hikers showed up with skis and make very quick work of the decent. We chose the more obvious and proven path across to join Grays Peak trail.
Completed the 8.25 miles and 3,600 feet of elevation gain in 7.5 hours, returning to the SUV at 2 p.m. Another successful outing on Colorado's 14ers! Thank you Colorado, and, we'll be back again for some more next year. Did someone say quadruple-tap Democrat, Cameron, Lincoln, and Bross in 2011?
"In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks." (John Muir)
Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):