Peak:  Grays Peak (14er)
 Route:  East Slopes
 Range:  Front
 Posted By:  acwixom
 Date of Info:  09/15/2012
 Date Posted:  09/19/2012

Still awesome conditions but getting colder up there! The aspens are almost all golden on the way up to the trailhead and can be seen in great numbers on some of the other sub-treeline slopes as you look behind you to the north/northwest on the way to the summit of Grays (or from the summit). The snow from the brief cold snap a few days before was still lingering, especially on the north-facing slope of Grays, but presented no problems (i.e. had melted from the trail) until going down the ridge to the saddle between Grays and Torreys. On that stretch down to the saddle, there were several areas where there was hard-packed snow/ice on the trail. Even though it was probably only a couple inches deep, it caused a lot of slipping and sliding, some of which seemed dangerous considering the higher level of exposure on the path down to the saddle. No one in our group or the groups around us was hurt, but several people fell on their derriere and slid for a few feet. We ended up climbing down on the rocks just to the side of the trail, which still had soft snow that provided much better traction.

All in all, a great day, beautiful skies and beautiful fall colors in the aspens and willows - cold and windy though. Dress warm!

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