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Grays / Torreys for a first timer... (plus: camping?)

FAQ and threads for those just starting to hike the Colorado 14ers.
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Grays / Torreys for a first timer... (plus: camping?)

Postby derekw » Fri Jul 26, 2013 11:12 am

So I'm taking my friend out to hike his first 14er. I figured Grays is a good starting peak...and then we'd have the option to hop over to Torreys if we feel up to it. We're both flat-landers, but, are in OK enough shape and will have a few days to adjust to elevation.

This will be on a Tuesday... so not too busy, I wouldn't think. (although I'm sure it won't be deserted)

We have a subaru outback that should be able to get to the upper trailhead from what I read.

My big question with this location is camping. I read that there are a few camping spots near trailhead... will these fill up quick? The other concern I have is sleeping at 11k . . . not sure we'll get along with that well or not.

Finally... how are the views on Grays compared to some of the other easier front range mountains? Still a chance we could head elsewhere.

Thanks

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Re: Grays / Torreys for a first timer... (plus: camping?)

Postby wildlobo71 » Fri Jul 26, 2013 11:27 am

Are you camping just for the experience of high-altitude camping? It's an hour from Denver; it's also close to a lot better camping than what's available near the road up to Grays Peak TH. There are a few sites for car camping, be careful of Private Property issues. I have also seen people camping in the basin if you want a little hike-in and camp. There is plenty of water in the area.
Bill W.
Yes, I have my Scotch.

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Re: Grays / Torreys for a first timer... (plus: camping?)

Postby Rambler » Fri Jul 26, 2013 11:36 am

Funny, did that exactly a year ago tomorrow. See my report for views (great) and first pic is of the lot. We camped about 40 ft behind where we parked on a semi-flat area. There wasn't anyone else there and it was a Friday. Didn't get much sleep and deciede to leave for the summit at like 3am. Beat the crowds and it was cool to be headed down past everyone coming up asking "wow, you already summited?"
http://www.14ers.com/php14ers/tripreport.php?trip=12548&parmuser=Rambler&cpgm=tripuser

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Re: Grays / Torreys for a first timer... (plus: camping?)

Postby Relative to Zero » Fri Jul 26, 2013 11:48 am

I did this route 2 weeks ago. Id say its a good one for you to do. Just mind your footing if you decide to cross the snowfield (if its still there). I camped at the parking lot right by the bridge. It definitely fills up by about 6 am.

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Re: Grays / Torreys for a first timer... (plus: camping?)

Postby derekw » Fri Jul 26, 2013 12:01 pm

Thanks for the feedback.

That looks like a neat spot to camp to me. The only thing I'm concerned about is how we'll I'll do at 11200 camping. We'll arrive in Denver Friday. Get up above 10k on a few hikes before Tuesday... hopefully that's enough to get adjusted. I've camped in Leadville before and it was OK.

One thing I failed to mention is that I'd like a campground without lights and far enough away from the city that I could do some photography. This may be a good option.

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Re: Grays / Torreys for a first timer... (plus: camping?)

Postby derekw » Fri Jul 26, 2013 12:02 pm

Relative to Zero wrote:I did this route 2 weeks ago. Id say its a good one for you to do. Just mind your footing if you decide to cross the snowfield (if its still there). I camped at the parking lot right by the bridge. It definitely fills up by about 6 am.


Snowfield part of the route? I take it it's not...

Also... are they still missing the sign up on the trail? (had read that it was down)

Re: Grays / Torreys for a first timer... (plus: camping?)

Postby phillinley » Fri Jul 26, 2013 2:11 pm

derekw wrote:
Snowfield part of the route? I take it it's not...




That snowfield coming down from Torrey's to the GT junction was just a tiny patch on Tuesday and was more mud and rock at the crossing than anything else. Nothing to be concerned about now.

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Re: Grays / Torreys for a first timer... (plus: camping?)

Postby Greg YEAH » Fri Jul 26, 2013 7:44 pm

The sign at the junction with the trail up to Grays and the saddle is still missing. I had to redirect a few hikers today as I was coming down because they thought they were headed up to Grays.

There wasn't an issue with the snowfield. The only issue today was the glaze ice on the rocks as temps at the summit were below freezing and just barely above freezing when I got to the summit around 800am this morning.

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Re: Grays / Torreys for a first timer... (plus: camping?)

Postby Pops921 » Fri Jul 26, 2013 8:08 pm

Grays is a great first time 14er. Trail all the way to the summit. It is popular every day of the week. I would look around for a lower camp ground, you will probably sleep better. Sorry, I can't help much on camp ground recommendations, but Denver and Vail are only an hour away.

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Re: Grays / Torreys for a first timer... (plus: camping?)

Postby MuchosPixels » Fri Jul 26, 2013 8:59 pm

derekw wrote:So I'm taking my friend out to hike his first 14er. I figured Grays is a good starting peak...and then we'd have the option to hop over to Torreys if we feel up to it. We're both flat-landers, but, are in OK enough shape and will have a few days to adjust to elevation.

This will be on a Tuesday... so not too busy, I wouldn't think. (although I'm sure it won't be deserted)

We have a subaru outback that should be able to get to the upper trailhead from what I read.

My big question with this location is camping. I read that there are a few camping spots near trailhead... will these fill up quick? The other concern I have is sleeping at 11k . . . not sure we'll get along with that well or not.

Finally... how are the views on Grays compared to some of the other easier front range mountains? Still a chance we could head elsewhere.

Thanks


Most times it's preferable to camp below treeline. Colorado has some very nasty thunderstorms during the summer months and sometimes into fall. They can shake a tent pretty darn good!

Gray's has a very well travelled trail so it's a good choice. It is an amazing area to experience the alpine. Yes there are many other choices but Gray's is a good start. Don't worry much about it start early and avoid common afternoon weather. You won't be doin much sleeping but It would be cool to see a sunrise from the top!

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Re: Grays / Torreys for a first timer... (plus: camping?)

Postby ryanmicj » Fri Jul 26, 2013 10:01 pm

I did Grays last year for my first 14er, and it seemed to be perfect for first timers. We camped at the trailhead the night before, at the north end of the parking lot. We went on a Sunday and there were only two other groups camping that night. We had spent a few days in Summit County before attempting to summit, so I think we were pretty well acclimated and had no problem sleeping. We got up at 5 AM and were pretty well rested.

I, too, have a Subaru Outback and had no problems getting to the trailhead.

I thought the views were excellent, but then again it was my first time up that high. Also, the wildfires had caused everything to be pretty hazy, so my photos don't do it justice (though thats poor technique as much as haze).

As for night time lights, there are none. Its very dark, and a good spot for photography. I was able to capture this with my limited skills:
Image

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Re: Grays / Torreys for a first timer... (plus: camping?)

Postby CincinnatiJeff » Mon Jul 29, 2013 9:09 pm

If we want to do Grays (we're camping), what other peaks in the area would be recommended? We want to do three or four over a 4-day period.

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