Grays Peak

Date to Climb: June 20, 2009

Date Climbed: June 20, 2009

Elevation: 14,270

Range: Front

Latitude: 39.63370, Longitude: -105.81750

Route: North Slopes ll, Class 1

Torreys Peak

Date to Climb: June 20, 2009

Date Climbed: June 20, 2009

Elevation: 14,267

Range: Front

Latitude: 39.64267, Longitude: -105.82108

Route: South Slopes ll, Class 2

Round-Trip Mileage: 13 miles

Pre-Climb Comments

The standard routes are fairly easy. There are no major problems, but starting at the 2wd trailhead adds six miles to the route. Because of the location of the trailhead, we felt that it would be safer to car camp. It does not seem like a secure place to leave a car overnight. We will start early walking up the road and plug along. Of note, there is a great parking area and restroom at the trailhead, but the road has not been improved at all. It sort of does not make sense, it is as if the Forest Service is trying to promote 4WDs. We will look at the road and see if we can find a way to drive up it, or we will be happy hiking the road.

Post-Climb Comments

The lower trailhead parking area, next to the interstate, was trashed. There was graffiti and bullet holes in the nearby road signs and litter everywhere. It did not seem like a great place to leave a car. So we walked up the road to scout out one of the worst obstacles, just a quarter mile up the road.

Gads, I remembered that it was tough in our 4WD Toyota truck, it was going to be really difficult in the Element. After discussing driving stradegies we decided to go for it. We had little trouble, but had to both be watching and planning. The tires spun a little but overall, traction was good.

At the upper parking lot there was a small Chevy sedan that made the drive up the perilous road as well (sorry, I do not know the model names, but it must be a remarkable car.)

Car Camping

At the Trailhead

We camped in the parking lot. All was grand. The trailhead is a very popular destination. Cars arrived early and climbers scurried up the trails, hoping to find good snow conditions. After repacking the car, gearing up the dog, the three of us were underway at about 5:30. There were lots of people ahead of us on the trail. As the miles passed we became acquainted with a few of them. There was the boy that carried a Crazy Creek chair to the top just to look stylish in the summit photos. And a pair of guys who climbed in tennis shoes and all cotton clothes. They made the top of both peaks and were in very good spirits.

Grays Torreys Saddle

Grays - Torreys Saddle

Snow covered all the ground above tree line. The weather was not as cold as recent days, but we were in the clouds (or fog) all day. At an easy pace, we made it round trip to both summits in about five and a half hours.

traversing from the saddle on the way down

Jake Following on the Descent

Back at the trailhead we loaded up the Element and headed down the hill. The road was easier to descend that to climb, but you still had to watch the huge bumps, ruts, and holes.

We have climbed 13 peaks, 41 to go!

Grays Peak - June 20, 2009 summit check

Torreys Peak - June 20, 2009 summit check