Peak(s):  Torreys Peak  -  14,267 feet
Grays Peak  -  14,270 feet
Grizzly Pk D  -  13,427 feet
Date Posted:  07/13/2007
Date Climbed:   07/01/2007
Author:  Hogleg 1

 Torreys via Loveland Pass  

Day two of my trip started high and early, 7am, on Loveland Pass (11,990) on the Continental Divide.
The route starts by summiting a "hill" that comes close to 13,000ft. There is a shortcut that goes around this hill but it was blocked by a snow bank.
Another hour or so and another couple of "hills" I was at the base of Grizzly Peak (13,427). The climb up Grizzly Peak is an arduous climb with lots of scree.
Finally on top of Grizzly I got a awesome view of Torreys (14267) but the ridge that leads off of Grizzly to the saddle between the two mountains was a bit intimidating with a good bit of exposure to the North and a loose rock and scree field to the South.
Here I made my first mistake of the day and took off onto the Southeast flank not spotting an easy path across the top ridge of Grizzly. Any path down the Southeast side quickly petered out and I found myself sliding slowly on my but down the next several hundred vertical feet. It took over an hour and a half to reach the saddle and by that time the back of my legs were covered in small cuts and scratches. As I started up the Western flank of Torreys I noticed two women heading off of Grizzly and marked a return route as to avoid covering the same route as before. The remaining route up Torreys is nothing but a huge scree field and by the time I got to the top I was quite tired.
I reached the summit of Torreys at around noon and faced the dilemma of weather or not to make an attempt on Grays (14,270). I was moving quick enough but after my mistake on Grizzly I was getting tired quickly. I knew that if I made an attempt that I would not only have to summit Grays but also have to turn around and resummit Torreys. But with Grays so close I knew that it might be a long time before I would I would have the chance to summit Grays again, and I wanted another summit especially one so "easy" after turning around on Longs the day before. So here I made my second mistake of the day and went for the summit of Grays.
Upon reaching the summit of Grays I knew that it was going to be a hell of a fight to get back to Loveland Pass. Looking at my watch at 1pm I knew that I had best get moving quickly although the weather looked great. The trip back was great until I reached the saddle between Torreys and Grizzly. Looking up at Grizzly I realized that every ounce of energy and determination that I had was going to be need to re-summit Grizzly. It took a little more than an hour to re-summit Grizzly this time taking the ridge line. Walking the ridge line took quite a bit of energy on my part as I was determined to avoid the exposure of the North flank as much as possible. Finally summiting Grizzly I collapsed, worn out, at the rock shelter at the top and rested for probably about 15 minutes. Here is where I discovered my third mistake of the day, I had run completely out of water with about 2 ˝ hours to go. The rest of the journey was nothing more than making myself place one foot in front of the other and plodding on as best as I could. Tired, dry, burnt, and battered I finally reached my car at 6:30 pm. I opened my cooler and was so thirsty that I just started to guzzle the cool but slightly nasty water. I didn‘t care that water was probably the best water I have ever had.

For anyone thinking of climbing Torreys via Loveland pass I would recommend the following.

1. Park a car at the Grays Peak parking lot. Climbing one way isn‘t to bad, climbing both ways is quite a journey.

2. Leave really early. I got very lucky that no storms blew in while I was hiking. Remember that the entire trip is above treeline and that there is really nowhere to take cover.

3. Bring extra water. I consumed almost a gallon of water during the climb and could have used at least a liter or two more.

4. Use high powered sunblock. I used only 30spf which wasn‘t enough to prevent my arms from getting burnt. Remember again that you are above treeline the whole time and that there is no shade the entire trip.

5. Bring a camera. The views are just unbelievable.

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):

 Comments or Questions

Nice Work
07/13/2007 15:10
Looks like it was a great day.. You are making me a little uneasy with the photos of Loveland Pass. I have to climb that bad boy tomorrow during the Triple Bypass Bike race! 8)

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