|Mike and I taking break on the way up to Mt. Grays' summit.|
|Mike shortly after leaving trailhead.|
The sun was already up but it was rather chilly, probably in the upper 30's or lower 40's. We were well layered and I had my fleece buff, fleece hat and some gloves. I also had a light wind resistant poncho in my pack which I'm glad I did as it came in handy later at the top. The first mile or so was very gradual. We met another hiker and her dog. At first, it wasn't our intention to pick up another hiker but after a while Julie and her dog, Toby, would accompany us the whole way. It was Julie's original plan to hike with a friend, but her friend had bailed on her that morning and she came out on her own. She was glad for the company and we enjoyed hers and Toby's.
We made our way through the valley until we clearly had the profile of both summits well in view coming up what is the east face of both. There were a ton of people out and we could make them out on the zig zag switchbacks all the way up to the top of Grays. We could also see people already on the summit of Torreys. While we would have preferred a more solitary climb, we were just happy to be on the trail and enjoying some beautiful Colorado scenery.
We took the left fork that was the trail up to Grays. It was rocky and some what technical in sections but not too bad. Some where around 12,500 ft. the trail turned right and headed up at steeper grade. We stopped here to snack and to turn and look at the view at the valley below. Looking eastward across the valley, we had a ridge on our left crowned by Torreys and another ridge on our right that bent northward on the other side of where our car was parked at the trailhead. We all commented on the weather and how lucky we were to have clear, blue skies. It was a bit warmer at this point and we put away our fleece cap and gloves. After the snack, we started up the steeper trail.
|Summit of Mt. Grays at 14,270 ft.|
We hit the switchbacks on the final approach to the summit. Most living things were not growing at this elevation. It's August, so there were very small patches of snow, but none in significant amounts. During the rest of the year, I'm sure there is plenty of it especially at this altitude. We reached the top and there must have been 30 to 40 people on the summit. Mike and I searched for the USGS marker, but we couldn't find it. We did however pick up a cardboard sign on which some one had hand-written in marker, "Grays Peak 14,270 ft." We took the mandatory summit photos with the sign and then looked across to Torreys Peak, our next goal.
|On the saddle with Torreys behind me.|
|Sitting on top of Torreys.|
The descent was mostly uneventful. Clouds had moved in and few of them did not look friendly. Seeing them made us glad that we were on our way down. When we reached the approach trail, there were several hikers that were just making there way up.
|Mike, Julie, Toby and me at the end of our hike.|
Grays and Torreys were 14'ers number three and four for me and I hope not the last. The climb was probably not the best idea given that we were about to take part in a six day stage race covering 120 miles with its share of climbing. However, we don't get too many opportunities to be in Colorado and couldn't resist the urge to knock off a couple of summits. I hope to do it again soon.
|Mike and I on summit of Torreys.|