Ascent of Grays Peak on 2015-07-11

Climber: Gustav Sexauer

Other People:Solo Ascent
Date:Saturday, July 11, 2015
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Grays Peak
    Elevation:14270 ft / 4349 m

Ascent Trip Report

After dropping the team off for the Triple Bypass, I went to have my own adventure on my first USA 14er. I found the road from the interstate alright, but just after a sign warned that the road went through private property for 1.4mi, a set of large potholes proved too much for the Corolla. A determined individual could have made it, but it was getting too risky seeing as it wasn't my car. I had to wait ten minutes for the steady line of cars to stop long enough for me to back up to a wide part in the road to park. Thus, I was around 1.5mi from the trailhead when I began.

The valley was cool at the start, but after a bathroom break at the trailhead I was quickly in the sun and down to a T shirt. I decided to start with a fast pace and not slow down until I was passed by any of the hundreds of people on the trail. The trail quickly went to the northern side of the valley away from the stream bed. Once it reached the end of the valley it began to climb and switchback in the rocks. There was snow to walk on for two short sections of trail. Some ladies I passed asked about my bear spray which they hadn't seen before. I also saw someone carrying a dog in a backpack. Up a little from the start of the switchbacks the pitch increases and I felt my heart beating in my chest. I toned it down which quickly stopped that, but I was still hiking quicker than normal, aided by not having a partner. The altitude ended up never having a noticeable affect on me which proved that driving around at elevation was strangely good enough two and three days ago. After not being passed, I reached the top still without a break, but I was determined not to sit. I walked around the top for about ten minutes, then started to make my way down. I got caught behind a number of other people and was for a while in the middle of a fast descending group. The traffic mellowed out when the trail did, although I was passed by two runners. A man in front of me spotted a pika, which was a good change of pace from the people. I made it back to the car in time to get to Loveland by noon, which was my goal, despite starting hiking later than I hoped, at 7:25am.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:4010 ft / 1221 m
    Extra Gain:110 ft / 33 m
    Round-Trip Distance:10.6 mi / 17 km
    Route:Grays Peak Trail
    Trailhead:321  10480 ft / 3194 m
    Grade/Class:Class 1
    Quality:5 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Maintained Trail, Snow on Ground
    Weather:Pleasant, Breezy, Partly Cloudy
Ascent Statistics
    Time:2 Hours 20 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Time:1 Hours 40 Minutes

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