Peak(s):  Torreys Peak  -  14,267 feet
Grays Peak  -  14,270 feet
Date Posted: 
Date Climbed:   08/27/2005
Author:  samburg
 Kelso Ridge  

Torreys & Grays RT via Kelso ridge

Just got back from doing the loop. I camped in my blazer last night, and set off at 5AM. Hiked by headlamp the first 2 or so miles to the kelso/Torreys saddle. Got to see the sunhit on the peaks about 1/4 way up Kelso. Beautiful sunrise this morning, clear, crisp. Totally awesome. this is the way I like to climb14ers...early and in solitude. Kelso was a blast. Only 2 other people were on it with me. I found the class 3/4 scrambles very fun, especially the butress and knife-edge atop Dead Dog Couloir. My heart was definitely pumping hard. At one point (despite the advice of many) I strayed to the south side, and ended up at the bottom of a very daunting looking technical climb. Without a partner, rope or helmet, I decided to backtrack and regain the ridge on the north side. On the top, it was just myself and 2 others, and we had the whole summit to ourselves for a good 30 minutes. We sat and chatted and watched the crowd grow on Grays trail. I decided to make for Grays summit sooner than later and avoid the rush. Made it there in about 30 minutes, and then started down as the crowd kept growing. On the way down I must have counted over 200 people on their way up. I actually lost count, and gave up, fielding the standard comments/questions..."boy you must have left early..." or "how much further...?". I was also amused by the ammount of people hiking in jeans and cotton garb, carrying maybe 1 water bottle and no food. Makes me cringe. Made it back to the traihead around 9:30, so in total a 4 1/2 hour RT. It felt good. Doing these 2 14ers certainly requires a very early start, especially over the weekend. Im glad I got them done. All in all a fun circuit. Maybe a winter climb will be next if I ever decide to do them again. Less crowds that way

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