Peak(s):  Grays Peak  -  14,270 feet
Torreys Peak  -  14,267 feet
Date Posted:  07/21/2008
Date Climbed:   07/19/2008
Author:  covfrrider
 Reverse Alpine Start aka Golfing Goats  

Grays Peak/Torreys Peak
July 19th, 2008
Route: Standard
Round Trip: ~9 miles
Elevation Gain: 3200'

The plan:

Originally, I had no intentions of climbing anything, as I needed to run some errands and get some things done on the home front before heading out on vacation next week.

After getting a few things done, I headed over to the pool in my complex to take a dip and cool off. Not 5 minutes after I arrived, a birthday party arrived, and after 15 minutes of screaming, squealing and splashing, I knew I needed a different plan. It was about 2:30, and after a glance at the mid afternoon sky, I felt like things were stable enough for a quick trip to Grays and Torreys. I've also recently started playing with Hugin (panorama stitching software) so I was hoping for some interesting late day lighting to take pictures in.

After gathering my things and getting $50 in gas (a half a tank ) I was on the road at 3. I arrived at the G&T TH a little after 4, and crossed the bridge at 4:15.

The climb:

Gray and Torreys come into view (Click photo for full res)

The State flower

I made good time up the trail, stopping to shoot pictures often. The view of the valley with Kelso as the centerpiece is pretty cool in the afternoon sun. The shadows all go the "wrong" direction from what you are used to seeing. The other benefit, is on mountains as busy as these, later in the day you get a sense of solitude.

Kelso Mountain (Click photo for full res)

Torreys with some amazing back lighting

I summited Grays at 6:30 and had 15 minutes with my first Mountain Goat encounter. This mom and kid were just lounging about on the summit, and seemed like they couldn't care less that I was there. At one point I was within 10 feet or so of them.

Golfing goats?

Classic goat shot!



After the goats moved on, Jonathan and Becky arrived from Torreys, to claim their second summit. They had climbed Torreys from Grizzly following (or rather attempting to follow) one of Roach's descriptions. They explained that they had climbed up to and joined Kelso Ridge about 2/3rds of the way up. They summited by the knife edge and white rock! I was duly impressed, as that was their first fourteener.

We hung out and chatted, and took in the incredible evening scenery. What a treat to be up there with the sun on its way towards the horizon. At 7:15, we parted company, they headed down thge Grays route and I took off for Torreys. At 7:50, I summited Torreys, took a few pictures and was on my way.

Torreys casts its shadow across the basin

Kelso Mountain and shadow (Click photo for full res)

Sunset (Click photo for full res)

I finished the hike in the dark, arriving back at the TH at 9:20. I was relieved to find Jonathan and Becky there, as they were parked on the Grizzly side and I had been concerned about them bushwhacking back over there in the dark. I gave them a ride to their car, and headed back to the big city. What a great way to have spent a Saturday evening!

 Comments or Questions

holy crap
02/05/2011 00:22
those are some solid shots of the GT region. The resolution held up VERY well on those close ups of the goats and the panorama of the sunset in your last pic makes that region look very appealing. What kind of camera did you use? Job well done.


07/21/2008 20:41
Thanks Brian. It‘s a Canon A720IS. 6x optical zoom, 8.1 MP. It‘s a fantastic camera, has all the feature of a DSLR, but in a very compact form factor. I‘m still learning the nuances of it, but am getting better. The pano stuff has been fun, because you have to ”eyeball” the metering to ensure each frame has similar exposure, or they just don‘t stitch very well.


07/21/2008 20:50
That last picture is absolutely beautiful. Thanks for sharing.


wow - they should have pool parties more often
07/21/2008 20:52
cheers on the spontaneous afternoon trip

great photos

looks like you just missed some weather to the north

really like the afternoon perspective


So you were the guy . . .
11/30/2010 17:28
we saw coming off of Grays' summit around 7pm. My buddy Jon, my wife Anna-Lisa, and I were heading up Kelso Ridge to catch the sunset but reluctantly turned back because of the dark clouds looming to the north. Sure enough about an hour later a lightning storm came over the G+T saddle, I'm sure you probably saw it . Glad you got outta there, great pics by the way.


yup, that was me...
07/22/2008 00:07
the clouds to the north were no biggie, the ones to the S-SE however were the ones that put on the light show. I was well below the saddle before the lightning started... I got hit with maybe five rain drops, as I was moving away from it at a pretty decent clip (1 hour, 20 minutes from Torreys summit to the TH). While we were on Grays, a sailplane flew over, about 500-700 feet AGL, directly into that cloud... there was some big time cloud suck... looked fun!


07/22/2008 00:28
It was a popular evening up on G and T. I was up on Mt Edwards from Waldorf at about 430-5pm after a not-so-alpine-start last Saturday. I slept in, but just couldnt resist after seeing the weather. Other than about 10 goats, it was a tranquil summit.


07/22/2008 05:13
Flowers, goats and peaks - oh, my! Thanks for showing us Grays and Torreys from a different - original - perspective. Just gorgeous!

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