TORREYS PEAK – 14,275' / GRAYS PEAK – 14,278'

In honor of our recent stint working on the front range peaks, I’m taking this weekend to tackle a few summits. I was a bit ambitious, leaving the trailhead this morning at 230a. I was expecting the hike to be longer, but I cruised right up to the base of Kelso Ridge (around 5 miles from the lower parking lot). Since I was still nearly two hours ahead of the sun, I took a nap. Or tried. It was chilly, and I hadn’t prepared for such an abrupt and time consuming stop. Ah well, it was worth the wait. I wanted some cool photos, since this was going to be the most challenging hike I’d undertaken so far.

First we should note that this is not the standard route for Grays and Torreys…it’s way better. It’s not for those inexperienced in class II and III scrambling. There is a short section with considerable exposure, so it can be nerve-wracking if you’re not comfortable making the moves. It’s a mini knife edge – a lesser version of the Capitol Peak knife edge. Class III scramble, class IV exposure…class V awesome! It freaked me out, but it was the next intentional step in my progression of climbs. I’m pushing my limits and increasing my tolerance. I can only imagine what kind of stuff I’d be doing now if I’d grown up out here. Ah well, I’m here now. And that’ll do.

On the way down from Grays – rising a whopping three feet higher than Torreys – I saw a mountain goat, my first of the summer. Hopefully the first of many.