Forum
Buying gear? Please use these links to help 14ers.com:

More info...

Other ways to help...

Start time for Greys and Torrys

FAQ and threads for those just starting to hike the Colorado 14ers.
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Jun 19, 2012 1:50 pm

Start time for Greys and Torrys

Postby jeremy26 » Tue Jun 19, 2012 2:04 pm

I am hoping to do my second 14er this weekend with some friends from work who are from Texas. We all live in Denver, so I thought Greys and Torrys combo would be a good choice.

I was wondering what time we needed to start by. We are all college aged kids, so I think we will be able to maintain a good pace. I had a friend recommend starting at 5 am, but I would prefer to not have to start that early if we can avoid it. Would something like a 7 am start be acceptable?

Is there a general time you need to be off the mountain to avoid thunderstorms? Any other time related risks I should be aware of? I know you have to play it by ear and be safe, but would be nice if we didn't set ourselves up for failure by starting to late.

Thanks for any advice,
Jeremy

User avatar
Posts: 15
Joined: Sun Jun 20, 2010 5:45 pm
Location: Denver, CO

Re: Start time for Greys and Torrys

Postby Mtn_Topper » Tue Jun 19, 2012 2:13 pm

I don't believe in a universal, hard and fast start time rule. This is relatively short, easy hike and I think that if you move at a reasonable pace and pay attention to the weather, you should be fine starting at 7am. If it were a peak with more difficult terrain and a longer route, then an earlier start might be warranted. That being said you can have weather at any time and the important thing is to know when to turn back.

User avatar
Posts: 871
Joined: Sun Jul 08, 2007 7:01 am
Location: Broomfield, CO.

Re: Start time for Greys and Torrys

Postby JA_son27 » Tue Jun 19, 2012 2:15 pm

Be off the summit by noon at least. If you want to succeed, the earlier the start the better. I would start hiking by 6.
Watch for "Gray Bottom" clouds, they carry the potential for lightning (which is the reason for the early start) Make sure to check the weather link on this site too
"The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me."
Matt 25:40

User avatar
Posts: 5411
Joined: Wed May 04, 2005 10:46 am
Location: Craig

Re: Start time for Greys and Torrys

Postby Scott P » Tue Jun 19, 2012 2:38 pm

11 am is a good rule of thumb to be off the summit areas, but who knows if this current weather pattern continues?

The past two weekends I was in the Elk Range and Elkhead Mountains and the afternoons were completely clear and free of clouds. I don't think the high mountains around here (surrounding the Yampa River Valley) have had a drop of rain in weeks nor any thunder either. Probably the same with much of Colorado as well. Of course that could change with a drop of a hat.
I'm slow and fat. Unfortunately, those are my good qualities.

Posts: 2166
Joined: Wed Jun 17, 2009 4:19 pm

Re: Start time for Greys and Torrys

Postby peter303 » Tue Jun 19, 2012 2:52 pm

On a nice summer weekend like this one, the main trailhead parking will be full by 6:30AM. Then it winds done the mountain up to a mile, skipping some sections of private property.

Last Sunday traffic started slowing around Georgetown by noon and was a crawl by 2PM.

Posts: 273
Joined: Thu May 10, 2007 2:44 pm

Re: Start time for Greys and Torrys

Postby viejo » Tue Jun 19, 2012 2:57 pm

You've got a good forecast for Saturday. You'll likely have no problems starting at 7:00. The later you start, the more people you'll run into, and the more crowded the parking will be.

The other option that might be more chancy weather wise would be to try a late afternoon/evening walk-up. If you leave the trailhead at 3:30 or 4:00 you'll likely be past the small potential of June PM storms and can head up in the calm of the evening. Bring a light. You could even start a bit later if you don't mind returning in the dark. Crowds will likely thin out in the afternoon. You've got good twilight through 8:30 - 9:00 PM. Being up top for sunset would be awesome.

User avatar
Posts: 20
Joined: Sun Aug 15, 2010 2:42 pm
Location: Aurora, CO

Re: Start time for Greys and Torrys

Postby EagleX » Tue Jun 19, 2012 3:54 pm

I echo what everyone else has said. Did both peaks 2 weeks ago, left at 6AM and was back at the car before 10. I would leave early to get out of the heat, but 7 sounds fine to me.

My brother and I are planning to do the Kelso Ridge route on Saturday, so maybe well see you up there! Enjoy the hike!
All we have to do is decide what to do with the time that is given to us.

User avatar
Posts: 767
Joined: Sun Jan 09, 2011 7:26 pm
Location: Bozeman, MT

Re: Start time for Greys and Torrys

Postby Matt Lemke » Tue Jun 19, 2012 4:19 pm

viejo wrote:
The other option that might be more chancy weather wise would be to try a late afternoon/evening walk-up. If you leave the trailhead at 3:30 or 4:00 you'll likely be past the small potential of June PM storms and can head up in the calm of the evening. Bring a light. You could even start a bit later if you don't mind returning in the dark. Crowds will likely thin out in the afternoon. You've got good twilight through 8:30 - 9:00 PM. Being up top for sunset would be awesome.


Bingo! This is a GREAT idea. As I like to say, "Late starts in Colorado are a rare beauty" Take advantage of them when you can especially in June shortly before the monsoon moisture really comes in.
Lemke Climbs
The Pacific Coast to the Great Plains = My Playground
"Take risks not to escape life, but to prevent life from escaping"
"When you come to face what you fear, let the creator guide you"

Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Jun 19, 2012 1:50 pm

Re: Start time for Greys and Torrys

Postby jeremy26 » Tue Jun 19, 2012 10:20 pm

Thanks for the advice everyone. I am really intrigued by the Idea of an afternoon hike. Would the parking lot be clear by then?

If we did decide to do a morning one, say start at 7, what are the options when the parking lot fills? Do you just park along the side of the road, or do you have a long additional hike getting to the trailhead?

Thanks again for all your help

Posts: 273
Joined: Thu May 10, 2007 2:44 pm

Re: Start time for Greys and Torrys

Postby viejo » Wed Jun 20, 2012 7:42 am

By 3:30 or later in the PM, parking should be significantly cleared. If not, you're probably no worse off than getting there at 7:00 AM on a weekend.

Once the lot fills, it's parking along the road, which can line up a mile or more from the Trailhead. When parking along the road, be careful not to block entrances to private property along the road.

User avatar
Posts: 20
Joined: Mon Apr 09, 2012 8:46 am
Location: Fort Collins, CO

Re: Start time for Greys and Torrys

Postby WinterKlondike » Wed Jun 20, 2012 9:23 pm

Due to some outstanding issues we didn't get started until 11 and we were ok, but we were also lucky to not have thunder. Make sure you feel qualified to make a call about the weather and no matter what you decide don't ever let the need to summit convince you to make bad decisions. The mountains are not going anywhere.

I would say that even thought getting up early seems like a drag, its awesome to get home by early afternoon and be accomplished!

Finally, enjoy yourself. That's the only thing that matters.
- It's not the number of breaths you take but rather the moments that take your breath away.

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 8 guests