| Torreys - standard
After taking my teenage son on his first ‘teener hike up Democrat the week before, it was time to take my wife on her first ascent. We skipped Grays because I had bagged it for my first 14er about 13 years ago with my brother so I felt no particular need to do it again and my wife was fine with saving it for another day. However, we both felt like we could have knocked it out. While I would recommend bagging both peaks at once if you haven't hiked them yet, I think it makes more sense to do Torreys first since it is slightly farther and I think it is easier to consider Grays *after* Torreys rather than the reverse. I mention this because I usually see it discussed as “Grays first, then Torreys”. There is no difference in total distance/elevation, it just seems like it would offer a mental boost to do Torreys first. A final note for those looking for an “easy” 14er hike; having just summited Mt Democrat a week earlier and having it fresh in my mind, I found that hike much easier than Torreys, simply because the distance was much shorter (4 miles vs 8 miles RT) with less elevation gain. From trailhead and back (excluding resting at top), Torreys was just under six hours and Democrat a little over four.
We had hoped to make it to the parking lot in order to minimize hiking distance but, arriving at 8:30 AM on a Sunday, we had to settle for .6 miles from the trailhead. I considered forging ahead to the main lot thinking we might get lucky, but opted instead to just get in line as the road was narrow and there weren’t a lot of great places to turn around and it’s always a drag to meet someone driving down from the lot - forcing one of you to perform some gymnastics to allow a vehicle to pass. So we just bit the bullet. As it turned out, it looked like the parking lot was pretty full after we hiked up there so it was almost certainly a good decision. But I will say, even though the initial .6 hike up the road went quickly on fresh legs, on the return trip back down, it seemed so long that each time we rounded a bend and didn’t see the truck, we decided that it must have fallen off the side or been stolen! I knew it was .6 because we decided to drive back up to the trail head to measure it since it seemed like it was much farther.
creek at the trail head
The trail head. Footbridge to the right. Grays/Torreys are in far upper right or maybe just off the picture.
mine ruins near start of trail
I like checking out all the mine ruins that you typically see on these hikes. These are on the left at the beginning of hike.
grays on left, torreys on right
about 1-2 miles in. 10 AM. Grays is to the left. Torreys to the right. Storms not a problem this day.
momma goat and baby
Looked up and there was a momma mtn goat with her baby. They danced off after a minute or two.
goats playing on ice
This was the best I could do w/ my iphone from the Grays/Torreys saddle. The specks on the ice are five/six mountain goats romping. I think they are truly playing as they would run, jump, and slide across the ice.
the final climb up to Torreys. Lots of folks on Sunday on a popular peak. This is the Class 2 part, but a pretty decent trail up.
Made it! My wife and I with the sign found at the peak. Her first 'teener, and she's ready for another.
Looking over at Grays from Torreys. If you look closely, you can see all the folks on the peak and trail.
west to breck
Looking west towards Breckenridge. Might be able to see ski runs. Silverthorne I think on the far right middle along I-70.
back down to valley
Looking back down at the approach route through the expansive valley. 13er Kelso mountain on left.
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