Grays and Torreys

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Thread starter #1
I decided to roll the dice on getting out for some peak bagging this holiday weekend, despite what I feared would be an off-the-charts amplification of the usual weekend trailhead madness that really spoils anything close to home on the front range for me. However I've recently switched jobs which has left me with 1 unallocated day off for the remainder of this year, so it's weekends or nothing at this point. You play the hand you're dealt.

Hoping that the early bird would get the empty trail, I left my house at 3am and headed up in to the mountains. Best I70 traffic ever. Sipping the starbucks I bought the night before, a soundtrack of random Interpol tracks carried me up to the continental divide and the 4x4 lot at Stevens Gulch trailhead. 4:45am and I got the second to the last spot in the lot. Ahh, Colorado...

Despite the number of vehicles, there weren't many people on the trail and they were spread out enough that it felt as if I had the entire valley to myself. I would see a bobbing light ahead of me growing closer, a hiker would eventually appear beneath it, and after a friendly exchange of 'mornin!' I'd hike back in to the darkness. A dozen feet of trail visible ahead of me, and a sky full of countless stars above.

Soon enough I was nearing 14,000 feet when I stopped for a sip of water and a look back over the gulch, the sun just cresting the ridge behind me.

1024.5T5A9298.jpg


Torrey's peak stood to my right, while the peak of Gray's was close but just out of sight ahead.

1024.5T5A9306.jpg


Three people on the summit of Grays moved off just as I crested the peak. I had the summit to myself. My 6th fourteener and, somehow, my first of 2018.

1024.5T5A9312.jpg


A few minutes enjoying the scenery. Kelso Mountain's 13,164 feet stands dwarfed in the valley below.

1024.5T5A9321.jpg


Torrey's peak sits a mile north across a shallow saddle.

1024.5T5A9323.jpg


The descent off the peak of Gray's involved quite a bit of sliding through loose scree, with 500 feet of elevation evaporating in the process and Torrey's peak looming that much higher with every step. The final push up Torrey's was considerably steeper than the run up Gray's, but soon enough there was no more mountain above me and again I stood alone on the summit of my 7th fourteener.

1024.5T5A9327.jpg


I get three more peaks before I have to grow a third hand...

To the south Grays stood as a border between valleys of fall and summer colors, but surely not for long. Looking west towards Dillon I watched snow showers moving over the Gores, and I hiked through flurries down to 12000 feet.

2048.5T5A9328-Pano.png


Wading through a line of a couple hundred people coming up valley I made it back to my jeep in short order, raced east on I70 marvelling at the gridlock of the westbound lanes, and was mowing my lawn by 11:30.

A wonderful morning of standing on the roof of the world, and mowing the lawn. What a crazy life.

 

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KJR

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#3
Nice video. Looks like a great morning!

Hope the new job is good!

Kevin
 
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#4
Great photos! And awesome that overall you had the summits to yourself. Good way to head into fall.
 
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#5
Congrats on #6 and #7. So what's in line for #8?
 
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Thread starter #6
Not sure. My planning typically consists of checking the weather forecast and balancing it against how far I feel like driving. Wouldn't mind tagging Bross since I didn't do it last fall and that would finish the Mosquitos.
 

Perry

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#8
Love it!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

Ugly

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#9
Really cool. Good use of time, even the mowing of the lawn.
That pano from orange to green is also really sweet!

Thanks!
 

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Titans

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#11
I decided to roll the dice on getting out for some peak bagging this holiday weekend, despite what I feared would be an off-the-charts amplification of the usual weekend trailhead madness that really spoils anything close to home on the front range for me. However I've recently switched jobs which has left me with 1 unallocated day off for the remainder of this year, so it's weekends or nothing at this point. You play the hand you're dealt.

Hoping that the early bird would get the empty trail, I left my house at 3am and headed up in to the mountains. Best I70 traffic ever. Sipping the starbucks I bought the night before, a soundtrack of random Interpol tracks carried me up to the continental divide and the 4x4 lot at Stevens Gulch trailhead. 4:45am and I got the second to the last spot in the lot. Ahh, Colorado...

Despite the number of vehicles, there weren't many people on the trail and they were spread out enough that it felt as if I had the entire valley to myself. I would see a bobbing light ahead of me growing closer, a hiker would eventually appear beneath it, and after a friendly exchange of 'mornin!' I'd hike back in to the darkness. A dozen feet of trail visible ahead of me, and a sky full of countless stars above.

Soon enough I was nearing 14,000 feet when I stopped for a sip of water and a look back over the gulch, the sun just cresting the ridge behind me.

View attachment 68553

Torrey's peak stood to my right, while the peak of Gray's was close but just out of sight ahead.

View attachment 68554

Three people on the summit of Grays moved off just as I crested the peak. I had the summit to myself. My 6th fourteener and, somehow, my first of 2018.

View attachment 68555

A few minutes enjoying the scenery. Kelso Mountain's 13,164 feet stands dwarfed in the valley below.

View attachment 68556

Torrey's peak sits a mile north across a shallow saddle.

View attachment 68557

The descent off the peak of Gray's involved quite a bit of sliding through loose scree, with 500 feet of elevation evaporating in the process and Torrey's peak looming that much higher with every step. The final push up Torrey's was considerably steeper than the run up Gray's, but soon enough there was no more mountain above me and again I stood alone on the summit of my 7th fourteener.

View attachment 68558

I get three more peaks before I have to grow a third hand...

To the south Grays stood as a border between valleys of fall and summer colors, but surely not for long. Looking west towards Dillon I watched snow showers moving over the Gores, and I hiked through flurries down to 12000 feet.

View attachment 68559

Wading through a line of a couple hundred people coming up valley I made it back to my jeep in short order, raced east on I70 marvelling at the gridlock of the westbound lanes, and was mowing my lawn by 11:30.

A wonderful morning of standing on the roof of the world, and mowing the lawn. What a crazy life.

You sure know how to beat the I-70 gridlock- well done ! What a great workout for a Sunday morning.
Gorgeous sun rise picture- thanks so much for sharing- love it!
 

Miya

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#13
Breathtaking!
Glad you were able to miss the herd of people. :)
 

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