Peak(s):  Torreys Peak  -  14,267 feet
Grays Peak  -  14,270 feet
Date Posted:  09/07/2013
Date Climbed:   08/03/2013
Author:  Fix-It-Felix

 My first (and second) 14er  

Hello all!

So this is my first ever trip report and I feel I should preface with some of my previous hiking background. I have never done a 14er. I did climb Mt. Kilimanjaro in 2007 with virtually no training. It took 4.5 days and I think we ascended about 3500 m over those days. The week before trying Grays & Torreys, I had done Chasm Lake which is off the Longs Trailhead. We actually went 1.7 miles the wrong way and ended up in the boulderfields so it ended up being a longer day than first anticipated. I had also been to Hanging Lake and Garden of the Gods, but I was pretty sure that neither would prepare me for a 14er. With that in mind, here we go!

So I left Denver around 5 am with 3 others and when we approached the parking lot, it was clear that it was already full. We probably had to park a half-mile from the actual trail head and had a hard enough time getting up there in a car that was not, at a bare minimum, an SUV. f I guess I would heed that warning to others in the future. I guess it doesn't help that we went on a weekend as it was quite packed.

The trailhead pretty much starts above tree-line and you can't see the summit from there. The first bit is relatively flat, though long. You have to go quite away before you can see the actual summit. There is a cool rock along the way that a lot of people seemed to climb. I had it in my mind that I should go slow & steady. People passed me quite freely, and I was content to just keep going and never stop. I don't think this was the right approach or maybe I just don't like gradual inclines with loads of switchbacks. You can see the summit of Grays from quite aways away but the switchbacks make it seem forever. The scree didn't necessarily help either. The top of Grays was beautiful, though it was pretty crowded. I had heard of a 'Geological Stamp' present at the top of all 14ers but had a hard time finding the one there.

From Grays, we had to descend down a ridge into the saddle and then onto Torreys. Torreys was much more steep than Grays which I liked, but I was actually quite tired by this point. I made it up and it was probably more beautiful than Grays. After a few photos, we descended back down the saddle and took a short cut to meet up with the main route. As I went down, I saw people descending down the backside of Torreys and I would definitely recommend this in the future. It was definitely less travelled and appeared to be more scenic. I did not really like the descent very much, mainly because it was so populated but also because it seemed super long.

Overall, I was happy that I did Grays & Torreys, but it actually kind of scared me off of doing more 14ers because I was afraid of having a similar experience. Either way, #1 and #2 were out of the way.


 Comments or Questions
Doctor No

Which trailhead did you start from?
09/08/2013 01:31
If it was Stevens Gulch, then I would definitely not recommend descending down the backside of Torreys.


Maybe my terminology was wrong?
09/08/2013 01:36
Maybe it's not the backside, but I meant continue on so that you didn't have to go back down the saddle between Grays and Torreys. Its something I would consider in the future.


Nice screen name!
09/08/2013 21:49
I haven't done G/T's yet, hope to soon before the winter. Or maybe over the winter! Congrats, I bet you're hooked now like the rest of us


Hooked is an understatement
09/09/2013 00:21
I've done a couple more since then... trip reports to follow! And thanks for the compliment on the screen name. It assures me of a costume for this hallowe'en. But also, I met an awesome couple on Bierstadt and I told them I would make a profile on here and have my name in the scree name!

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