Saturday, September 27, 2008


(click pic to see more)

Today we got up early to hike Gray's Peak. It's a 14er. We planned on taking a 6.5 mile (round-trip) trail, but the road to the trailhead required a higher-clearance vehicle than our Echo. So our hike started 3 miles from the trailhead. Somehow by the end of the day we had hiked 14 miles -- new meaning to "14er".

The way up started easy, but once we got to some snow it became pretty slick and slowed us down. There were clouds overhead but nothing too scary, so we kept going. Closer to the summit we heard some thunder but it was coming from the east, so we kept going. By the time we summited Gray's Peak there were thunderclouds on both sides of the mountain, although at quite a distance and moving slowly. It was surprising that at 14,270 feet there wasn't the slightest breeze. We stayed up there for about 10 minutes and headed back down -- decided to skip summiting Torrey's Peak due to the weather.

The return trip was a blast -- lots of glissading made for a quick descent. It was actually slower and more difficult where there wasn't snow on the trail. At one point there were graupel flurries but nothing substantial.

The weather turned for the better so we decided to recon the start of another hike/climb we had read about. It climbs the Kelso ridge for 1800 vertical feet, starting at a saddle between Torrey's and Kelso Peaks. The guidebook suggested a rope and some rock hardware (and an ice axe if there is snow), so we forwent the expedition for today, but it looks like it's going to be a great way to summit Torrey's Peak next summer.


Donna said...

The glissading video is great - it made me think of your descent at the waterfall in Triberg.

Dan said...

Oh yeah! I forgot about that sidewalk o' ice. There's a vid of Laurel glissading, I should post that too.