Fresh tracks on a pair of local 14ers
Story and photos by Kim Fenske
Winter is a wonderful season for climbing Fourteeners. White snowfields create a dramatic contrast against the dark rock of windblown ridges. In the willows, white hares and ptarmigan hide. Among the boulders, pikas chirp warnings across the mountain slopes. The calm air creates deceptive warmth under the brilliant sunlight in a crystal blue sky. On the ridges, the temperature plunges below zero under the impact of a snow-blasting breeze.
During the summer, the trailhead to Grays Peak and Torreys Peak can be reached by a low-clearance vehicle, three miles above the Bakerville exit. South of the freeway, a few miles east of the Continental Divide, the Forest Service road is a three-mile drive to 11,300 feet. The summit of Grays is less than four miles away at 14,270 feet, about a three hour hike on well-maintained trail. (more…)