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 Peak(s):  Gray Wolf Mtn  -  13,602 feet
 Post Date:  09/04/2012
 Date Climbed:   09/03/2012
 Posted By:  emohr

 The Hiking Hipster; My First 13er   

Gray Wolf Mtn - September 3rd, 2012



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Before the Hike:

I hadn't been above 10,000' in over a week, so I was eager to jump on the chance Monday after class. I didn't know where I wanted to go, but I wanted to go. I wanted to pay my respects to Chris Gray and Rob Jansen, who both were sadly killed on 14ers the previous week

I couldn't find out a whole lot about Chris, but he seemed liked by many and only kind words were spoken of him. His last climb was in the Crestones, so he must have been a talented climber. I kept him in my mind throughout this hike. He will be greatly missed and my condolences go out to his family

A difference between my readings of Chris and Rob was that Rob had an entire history on 14ers.com; trip reports, pictures, peak lists, goals, etc. I started looking through his trip reports and ended up reading every one. I never met Rob, but just from his reports and the reports of others, you could tell how nice, polite, talented, and humble Rob was. He was almost done with all the 14ers and had done some difficult climbs like the Maroon Bells Traverse. He was obviously an amazing hiker, but he wasn't portrayed as that on 14ers.com; he was portrayed as a good friend. Rob, you are obviously missed by this community, and I'm disappointed I never had the chance to hike with a legend such as yourself

These two untimely deaths definitely made me look at climbing a little bit differently. My hiking was falling victim to my dumb engineering brain and was being consumed in the stats; how far is the hike, is it a new 14er, how fast can we go.

This hike however, was a tribute to Rob and Chris, and a great day to climb with my climbing partner, apartment mate, and best friend, Ben Haley. I could see how hard it was for the guys of the Brat Pack to lose their climbing partner in Rob over the last week. So instead of worrying about the stats of the hike, I just wanted to spend a good day in the mountains with Ben.

The 6 hour round trip drive for some Sawatch 14ers didn't sound too appealing, and wouldn't really fit into the schedule. So, I looked deep inside myself, and I found my Inner Hiking Hipster . He guided me to 13ers.com and helped me find some nearby 13ers near Mt. Evans. Perfect!

Ben and I left Golden and were on our way to Gray Wolf Mountain after class

We zoomed through Idaho Springs and were on Mt. Evans Road before we knew it. The side of the road still has some pretty nice wildflower action going on.



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Changing colors along Mt. Evans Road

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I normally make sure the driving speed to a 14er is about 5-10 about the limit and that we get to the trailhead earlier than planned. But today, I was more interested in just acting like European photographers with Ben. We took our fair share of road side stops. Even saw a helicopter buzz on by


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Helicopter(left) Echo Lake (bottom center)

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The ridge that leads to Gray Wolf (left to right)



The Hike:

We arrived at Summit Lake with greetings from tourists, suspicious clouds, and the ever so popular goat!


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Upon our arrival

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The Goat

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The Baby Goat

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They look fake.. perhaps Chuck Testa?



After a few shots at the lake, we began our hike. Ben and I had done the trail once before on our way to Mt. Evans via Echo Lake. This time there wasn't any wind or snow, so we quickly made our way up the rocky slope


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View of Summit Lake and Evans to the right

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Looking out towards The Chicago Lake Basin

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We made it up the slope quickly and were headed back down again through a shallow basin towards Gray Wolf. The Basin was pretty moggy, but Ben and I persevered(reluctantly)

The clouds were doin some funky things I had never seen before, and within about 10 minutes of picture 15, were shrouded in darkness, as seen in picture 16. Needless to say, I was concerned.



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Our goal in the distance, weather lookin okay

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Uhhhhh

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Hopefully not another Tornado on Evans... Not today

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Clearing up... maybe? No.. yes?



We watched it. Took a picture of it. And then it just left. And opened up to some good ol' Colorado Blue Sky


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Ahhhh



We then proceeded onward and upward towards the summit along the final ridge

The summit was windy and cold, but welcomed. We ate our food and took our photos while jamming to Ben's iPhone.



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My longtime summit partner; a Houstonite believe it or not

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Rest in Peace

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Sunset

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That flag also seconds as a great parachute

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More sunset

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And more sunset

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With just a little bit more sunset



We celebrated our success, but it was time to go home. We signed our names in on the summit register as well as Chris's and Rob's.

We walked along a ridge in the dark with our headlamps and saw Denver off in the distance. We were even treated with a firework show from in Denver and a Harvest Moon rising over Denver. Couldn't have planned it better myself



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Gazing off towards Denver

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The Harvest Moon

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The Harvest Moon over Denver. It reminded me of Gotham City. I kept looking for that Bat Signal...



We were the last car at Summit Lake, and ready to come home

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Our departing shot



Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
 


  • Comments or Questions
michelle


Nice Report     2012-09-04 05:34:00
Great pictures!


Theodore


3rd     2012-09-04 05:56:45
Goat pic is hilarious! Great pics!


zephyr_pelicante


Again     2012-09-04 06:47:05
Great photography. Great way to get out after class.


dillonsarnelli


very nice Eric     2012-09-04 08:09:10
Congrats on the 1st 13er man. Your pictures are ridiculous as always. outstanding.

edit - 13er


SuperPolok


Love the Colorado flag picture     2012-09-04 10:13:48
Great pictures all around


rajz06


Nicely Done!     2012-09-04 13:38:21
Lovely pics! Got to add this to my list of accessible peaks to climb.


ctlee


Outstanding!     2012-09-04 17:16:15
Your pictures are incredible and your report really captured the spirit of the day. A real pleasure to read!


sunny1


Excellent pics!     2012-09-05 08:25:22
Was up there a day before you - it was a serene tundra stroll. I like doing this type of hike after a difficult climb/hike.
I don't possess the same gift of ”sight” you have for your pics, though. Thanks for sharing. Kudos!
Great report!



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