Peak(s):  Grays Peak  -  14,270 feet
Torreys Peak  -  14,267 feet
Date Posted:  08/19/2007
Modified:  08/20/2007
Date Climbed:   08/19/2007
Author:  KeithK
 So Easy a Caveman Can Do It!  

Grays Peak (14,270') and Torreys Peak (14,267')
Round Trip: 8.25 miles
Elevation Gain: 3600'
Route: Standard
Solo effort!

I've put off doing these two for quite awhile, and after repeated efforts to find a partner for this hike, I finally decided to just go DO it! Awake at 2:15 a.m., a full 30 minutes ahead of the alarm, I was quite happy to get up and get moving. I left Parker at 3:45, and arrived at the Grays Trailhead at around 5:05. Geared up and ready to go, I hit the trail at around 5:15. This was the first time I've hiked with a headlamp, and it was actually kind of fun. The darkness kept my attention on the trail, and the first mile or so went by very quickly. Soon enough, daylight was encroaching, and I extinguished the headlamp.

This sign greets the hiker about 2 miles in...

The trail is easy and solid, and I soon had my first view of the 2 peaks I intended to "climb".

Torreys was particularly attractive in the morning alpenglow...

I was keen to pay attention to the turnoff for the Kelso Ridge trail, as that route has my fascination. The trail is well marked with a cairn, which as it turns out, is a very popular tool on these mountains.

The ridge starts innocently enough...

Then looks pretty interesting...

Shortly thereafter, Grays lies dead ahead...

The trail here is so distinct and easy to follow, that a caveman could literally do it. Okay, so I really don't know what that means, but I had the Geico commercials stuck in my head all morning, and that seemed like a fitting enough name for a Trip Report. Other considerations were "Stay Right Except to Pass", "The Early Bird Gets the Best Parking Spot" and "Two is Always Better Than One".

As I continued hiking, though, I realized that this really was an easy trail...

This hike reminded me of Elbert, and it was just a matter of continuing up the switchbacks until finally gaining the summit at about 8:35! That's a personal record for sure, as most 4 mile hikes have taken me between 4 and 5 hours. I suppose hiking every weekend will eventually begin to betray progress.

I snapped a few pics, mingled with my fellow hikers, but didn't linger long. I wanted to simply have a snack, rest the feet for a minute, and continue on. As for snacks... REI kindly included a sample of a product called "Shot Bloks" with my recent boot purchase. They are quite good! I had the "Margarita With Salt" flavor, and I think we have a winner with this one. I've been looking for something simple and easy to carry in my pocket, and these worked perfectly. And they didn't taste like paste.

So, on to Torreys...

The descent off of Grays is well marked, and I made quick time down to the saddle on the rocky trail. Looking up at Torreys was daunting, but I was amped from having already summited one peak, and I thought to myself just how much fun I was having on this day.

Torreys from the saddle...

Although steep, I found the trail to not be difficult, and it kind of reminded me of the summit pitch on Huron. It did not take long to top out, and it was great to encounter my 10th 14er summit this summer, and overall!

My summit shot...

Kelso Ridge and Kelso Mountain from Torreys...

Quandary and neighbors...

The Tenmile Range and Sawatch in the background...

Holy Cross...

Longs and company...

Pikes Peak... next week's destination? Hmmm...

Looking down at Stevens Gulch...

There was virtually no wind on the summit, and it was a great day all the way around. I sat and chatted with a young couple, Josh and Tara. Thanks for the grapes, guys! These were the first two 14ers for them and another couple. I know that the "crowds" on these popular peaks are looked upon with disdain, but I like to meet other hikers and get a chance to share experiences. A young man from the Basque Country had his picture taken with his peoples' flag on display, and that was really cool to see. Shortly before 10:30, I decided it was time to head down. I was quite anxious to be on I-70 before the idiot parade turned it into a parking lot! The descent was reasonably quick, and I passed far too many people that were still an hour or so away from either summit. I guess it's just a reality that some people will take that chance.

As I had hiked in the dark earlier, I didn't know these mines were here...

I also noted my parking spot, the result of an early arrival...

And making sure that my truck is distinguished...

I started chatting with the couple that I was parked next to, and I particularly noted the girl's exuberant and energetic attitude. They had actually left their car at the trailhead last night, and climbed Torreys from Loveland Pass. As we chatted, I realized that this was kimmarielovescolorado, and we had a good time talking about 14ers in general. It was very nice to meet you guys!

The bumpy and rough road went quickly, and it was soon onto the interstate, where it was already a parking lot at 1:30! Oh well, I've reached double digits, and I was still genuinely stoked by the day's accomplishment!

 Comments or Questions

02/05/2011 00:22
”I'll have the roast duck, with the mango salsa”

”I don't have much of an appetite”


11/30/2010 17:28
”my mother's calling... i'll put it on speaker.”


A Caveman Just Did It!
11/30/2010 17:28
Kelso Ridge will probably have to wait until next year, but it does look like an uncommonly good way to climb a common peak. Kimmarie's route sounds like fun as well. Congratulations on reaching those peaks that you've already seen from so many different angles. How many times have you driven right past them on the way to some other peak? Nice job on the trip report.


Congrats on hitting the double digits!
11/30/2010 17:28
Nice TR Keith. I like hearing stories from the perspective of relatively new hikers. Sounds like you've got the addiction and are well on your way! Keep it up.


11/30/2010 17:28
”Going with Geico doesn't make me any less of a Caveman.”

Kim, I look forward to hiking with you soon, and the ski lessons this winter!

Brian(GG), Kelso will have to be a warmup next year before we hit Snowmass or Capitol! You're right, it was nice to climb these after looking at them from the other peaks we've done.

Sarah, thank you, and I really appreciate the comment coming from such an accomplished climber. I honestly didn't think I'd care 6 months ago, but now I see no practical reason not to complete the 14ers in their entirety.


Nice job Keith!
11/30/2010 17:28
Are you sure you didn't stay at a Holiday Inn Express the night before?


08/22/2007 03:35
Dammit, you stole the name of my next TR!!!


08/30/2007 01:09
How do you post more then 15 pictures?

   Using your forum id/password. Not registered? Click Here

Caution: The information contained in this report may not be accurate and should not be the only resource used in preparation for your climb. Failure to have the necessary experience, physical conditioning, supplies or equipment can result in injury or death. and the author(s) of this report provide no warranties, either express or implied, that the information provided is accurate or reliable. By using the information provided, you agree to indemnify and hold harmless and the report author(s) with respect to any claims and demands against them, including any attorney fees and expenses. Please read the Safety and Disclaimer pages for more information.

© 2017®, 14ers Inc.