Peak(s):  Grays Peak  -  14,270 feet
Date Posted:  07/30/2011
Date Climbed:   07/30/2011
Author:  ColoNativeinPA
 Devils in Baggy Pants  

During WWII German Wehrmacht units, upon learning they faced the American 82nd Airborne Div., were gripped with fear. The diary of a dead German officer found at Anzio stated that " American parachutists - devils in baggy pants are less than 100 yards from my outpost. I can't sleep at night; they pop up from nowhere and we never know how they will strike next. Seems like the black hearted devils are everywhere."

You never know what a 14er will bring to you.

Our hike was great. The weather was perfect, trail was dry and we found a parking spot realtively near the trail head. This weekend I hiked with a co-worker of mine who was out to bag his second and third 14er. I was more than happy to have the company.

We left the trailhead at 7:04am and 42 deg on the thermometer. Perfect hiking conditions.

The trail to Grays is very well worn and there's never a doubt where to go. We made great time going up the mountain and at about !2K feet we stopped briefly for a power bar and to gather ourselves to push to the top.
there's a mountain goat somewhere in the background

As we stood there a gentleman tapped me on the shoulder and said " Way to go Airborne" and I wondered " How'd he know I was an Army paratrooper ?"

He grabbed me by the arm and pointed to my tattoo on my forearm " Army Jump Wings" "duh"
Can you see my tattoo?

So I asked him how he knew they symbol. Turns out that he was in the same unit I was years ago the 82nd Airborne Div. And beyond that he and his hiking partners were members of the Army's elite parachutist demonstration team " The Golden Knights".

The bond was immediate and we took a grand picture together at the summit of Grays, 4 old paratroopers with more than 6000 jumps between us. ( Way, Way , Way most of them theirs.)
Old paratroopers on a 14er

Adam and I took the mandatory summit pics , ate a snack and tromped off to Torreys.
Not so short when I stand on a rock

Best part of Torreys was our companion climber, the mountain goat. Darn thing was just about domesticated! Seemed to almost pose for the pictures.

The pitch to Torreys is fairly steep but the path was firm and dry so real big worries.

Again, mandatory summit pics

Now the slog back to the car.

The wild flowers 2/3 of the way down were a real nice break in the monotomy of the homeward march.

All in all a good day. 8.2 miles in just under 5 hours. Not too bad - we lingered a little at both summits so we weren't in a big rush.

So, again a 14er hike brings me more than just elevation, exercise and scenery. This hike brought me in touch with men who've served their country in the same fashion that I did. Daring men who when asked "How far are you going?" Will always respond "All the Way"

Thanks to all who have served!

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):

 Comments or Questions

Thanks for your service and what a nice surprise`
07/31/2011 04:40
To share the summit with fellow 82ners. Glad you had a great day!


What a great trip
07/31/2011 15:58
It's great to meet up with new friends, especially when you have such a common bond.
82nd are great and I've had the honor to serve with them, side by side.

Semper Fi

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