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Colorado 14er Blitz: Day Two

Click on the pictures below to see the full-size version.
Grays Peak - 14,270
Torreys Peak - 14,267
Grays Peak from Torreys Peak. Torreys Peak from near the top of Grays Peak.

Trip Report (8/6/2003):
After four peaks the previous day (the Decalibron), it was off to the Georgetown area to hike up to Grays Peak and then Torreys Peak. It wasn't quite as cold as the trailhead the day before, but the clouds were a bit dark and gloomy. The route starts just above the tree line and is paved for a short distance. After a bit, the trail becomes dirt, but remains very wide, as it weaves at a mild angle through the high altitude brush. You are in a large, fairly deep basin, with a creek and rocky ridge of mountains to your east and south, and the grassy slopes of Kelso Mountain to your west. Eventually, you are able to get great views of Grays and Torreys, with Torreys always looking more menacing and taller than Grays from every angle. You leave the large basin you started in, and the route starts to steepen as you travel through a smaller upper basin and then start switchbacking across Grays Peak. In this upper basin, Grays looks like a pile of loose rocks, Torreys a large pyramid. Once atop Grays, follow a cairned route to the saddle between it and Torreys, then head up Torreys on a decent climber's trail.

What Grays could boast for bulk, Torreys could for small summit size and views. I thoroughly enjoyed the views of the Frisco area, the interstate far below, Longs Peak in the distance, and the basin you just traveled through on the trail.

On the way out, I teamed up with Joe from Illinois, who had just successfully summited both peaks, his first and second 14ers (or peaks of any kind). We had a very enjoyable conversation on the way out, where I was able to answer numerous questions about hiking and the outdoors that he had.

The synopsis… one of my better days in the mountains. Not as many people as the Lincoln group. Weather was clear after about 9 AM. Good company. Great views. Back in Denver at 2:30 PM. Can beat that!!!

Trip stats:
Time: 6 hours
Length: 9 miles
Elevation Gain: 3600 feet
Class (difficulty): 2

Drive:Take exit 221 (Bakerville) from Interstate 70. Go south on the forest service road #189. The road is easy to find... it begins about 100 yards south of the interstate after you pass a parking area on the left. After about 1 mile the road reaches a fork. Take the left fork (signed Grays Peak Trail). The road then circles Kelso Mountain (13,169') and ends at the well marked trailhead. Total distance to the trailhead is 3 miles, but it is rough and requires high clearance. It took me about 20 minutes each way.

Climb: I used the trail that heads out of Stevens Gulch and folowed it all the way to Grays.

Pictures: Click on the pictures below to see the full-size version.
View of the upper basin that the route crosses through.
Looking down at the route midway up Grays switchbacks.
Looking north from the summit of Grays Peak.
I-70 from Torreys Peak.
Looking west from Torreys Peak.
Self photo on top of Torreys Peak.

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