Peak(s):  Grays Peak  -  14,270 feet
Torreys Peak  -  14,267 feet
Date Posted:  06/15/2012
Date Climbed:   06/14/2012
Author:  WinterKlondike
 Fourth time's the Charm  

Grays and Torreys were the first Colorado 14ers I ever attempted. It was in October of my first semester as a CSU student. At just about 13,000 feet the massive amounts of snow and the raging blizzard turned us around.

I attempted the peaks again last summer, this time as a volunteer guide for a club at CSU. We made it a few hundred feet higher but were turned around this time by thunder and lightening.

In April, I once again attempted the peaks, once again in a blizzard. This time we only made it a mile past the summer trail head at which point the snow was so blinding we decided it was to dangerous to continue.

April attempt #3

Finally, yesterday I stood on the summit of not one, but both peaks, but not without some setbacks.

As river guides on the Poudre, we have been out of work for almost a week because of the High Park fire, so some of us decided to take on some mountains instead. Andrew, Star (my dog) and I drove up to the trail head on Wednesday night so we could spend some time away from the smoke. The rest of the group was supposed to show up by eight the next morning so we could beat the impending thunderstorm.

Andrew and I woke up at about 6:30 and took a long time eating breakfast and packing up. At about 8:20 Jeremy showed up. He got out of the car and almost immediately one of his dogs stepped on the automatic lock. Now we had two dogs locked in a car and the day was quickly heating up.

Jeremy attempted to break his window, but to no avail (so if you own a Ford Focus you can rest assured your windows are very strong.) By this time, we had drawn quite a crowd who all laughed at our predicament and continued on their way. The three of us (and Star) drove Andrew's car to the summer trailhead where we called AAA. Thankfully the fact that the dogs were in the car put us in high priority. Eventually they showed up and quickly rescued the dogs. At this point it was almost 11, the other three had not shown up so we decided to start without them (turns out they had decided against waking up early so they stayed in Foco.)

The beautiful weather of the morning was giving way to clouds and wind, which was almost a relief from the heat.


The hike was fairly uneventful to Torreys. One of Jeremy's dogs, Tucker, was getting sore paws so I offered him Star's RuffWear booties, which helped a lot.

Dogs checking on each other

We kept on eye on the weather, which was slowly turning into what may have been threatening but we weren't worried yet, and once I reached my highest point yet on the peaks, I would have been hard pressed to turn around until things got really bad.

Torrey's waiting for us

We took some time at the top of Grays to relax and I pointed out some landmarks to the men, this was their first fourteener summit and my (and Star's) sixth.

View back down the trail

Then we headed over to Torreys, anxious to beat the storm that was still building. Tucker seemed to be struggling some so we gave him some asprin and took the ascent slow, and we all made it. (At this point I was really amazed and happy that Star, who is 8, was still doing well.)

Stoked we finally made it

We didn't spend much time on the summit because it was cold and windy and starting to rain, but still no thunder or lightening.

Admiring the view and the impending storm

Just below the saddle we crossed our only snow field of the day, which we all know is very little for June. (Needless to say, we were bummed about where our water was coming from to raft )

Our only Snow field

About a mile and a half out from the trail head Tucker ripped open both his back paws. Thankfully I have some dog first aid knowledge, so we got them wrapped up and added booties to his back paws. He did great on the way out, but we did loose a bootie. . . so if anyone finds a grey ruffwear dog bootie please let me know!

We returned to the cars about 6:15. A great, but long day. Finally the mountains allowed me in, but that doesn't mean I'll ever loose respect for what they can do.

Oh and by the way, there was never any thunder or lightening.

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):

 Comments or Questions

06/15/2012 19:00
For some reason your photos got resized to really small sizes.


06/15/2012 20:12
Should be fixed


Good work!
06/15/2012 20:29
Way to be persistent and I'm glad you finally got to the top


Nice job!
06/15/2012 20:48
I hope Tuckers paws are healing nicely. My dog tore his pads on the back and it took a while to get him back to 100%. Shortly after, he tore his ACL on a hike in the metro area, so he won't be doing any 14ers this year.


Great persistence
06/16/2012 00:36
Way to keep trying at the peaks, it's awesome that you finally got them!


Good persistence!
06/16/2012 03:51
Same thing happened to me on Torreys...first time T-storm turned around, then a Fall snowstorm, then a Spring snowstorm!! Then, on the forth time, finally made it up!

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