today i feel as though i can officially consider myself a colorado transplant. a born-again colorado native (if that exists). more like a wannabe colorado native i think most official colorado natives would say. regardless, today, i conquered my first two fourteeners.
i’ve had these hikes on my bucket list for quite some time now. and finally, in the last free weekend before the rush of discoveries orientation and the beginning of the school year, i’ve been able to cross them off.
my roomate jake and i took off from denver a touch after 5 sunday morning. my new car (who i’ve decided to name luna) got her first taste of mountain driving and i’m happy to report she did quite well. after a very rocky, skinny, cliff wrapped road (and a very nervous me) we made it to the trailhead and by 6:20am we were off. off to explore almost 3000 vertical feet of colorado landscape, air, sunshine and glamorous views.
three hours later, we summitted grays peak. 14,270 feet. and although the climb was tough- i would definitely suggest it to anyone acclimated to the altitude who isn’t wearing a boot or some other sort of movement restricting device. although i did read an article that claimed this 14er was essentially wheelchair accessible. i’m thinking it was a joke. but there was a part of the climb that was relatively flat: the first fourth of the climb. maybe.
after taking multiple pictures, one of course with our wich wich bags (you get a free sandwich, DUH!), we started our treck down and up again to torreys. this summit was more of a straight shot – straight UP, that is. unlike the many switchbacks that led up to the first summit. what kept us going? the early morning climbers that were making their way down and saying “it’s so much easier on the way down”. well thank you, captain obvious. but again, in about an hour, we made it to the summit. 14,267 feet.
and after basking in the wonderful 360 degree mountain view, chatting with two brothers from jake’s church, swapping cameras with at least 5 other summiters, and having a few snacks (mom, your scotcharoo bars made it to the top), we started making our decent.
we arrived again at the trailhead by 1:15pm. exhausted and feeling accomplished, we headed home. after making a stop in idaho springs at the original beaujo’s pizza, that is. all in all one heck of a successful day. i can’t wait to do another one. and no – i didn’t do it all for the wich wich. but i’ll make sure i get my free sandwich.
here are some awesome photos from the journey!