It has frequently been noticed that all mountains appear doomed to pass through the three stages: An inaccessible peak - The most difficult ascent in the Alps - An easy day for a lady.Albert Mummery lived 150 years ago in a different time. He never met some of them women I know, and underestimated what the fairer sex are capable of.
— Albert Frederick Mummery, My Climbs in the Alps and Caucasus
My friend Erin H. and her family are soon moving to Wisconsin, a land who's highest point is "Timms Hill" under 2,000'. I promised her family that I would take them on a 14er before they left. Because of the logistics of watching her 3 young kids, this morphed into 2 trips- one for the ladies, and one for the guys.
My 3 companions for this trip are Erin H., Anastasiya, and Erin S. None of them had attempted a 13er or 14er in the past, but they all live in Colorado springs above 6,500'. I was nervous that perhaps one of them would have problems with AMS, but I didn't doubt they could phsyically do it. At the same time, I would be helping myself on my quest to summit all the 14ers in Colorado - somehow completing 40 ascents without setting foot on one of the 'easiest' and most popular 14er trails in the state.
Grays Peak 14,270'
Torreys Peak 14,267'
Grays via East Slopes, Torreys combo via S Slopes
8.25 miles RT, 3600' elevation gain
Difficulty: An easy day for a lady
My secret stash for this hike would include: extra water, extra snacks, extra ibuprofen, an extra jacket, and a little summit surprise for those women who reached the top. I also packed along my Nikon D5100 camera with the 18-55mm lens- first time I'd brought it on a hike.
Let's hit it!
|At the Trailhead for their first 14er experience- 8AM|
|Heading on up the nice, wide trail.|
|Erin S. had a GPS watch so she was able to tell us the distance and elevation at any time. This was useful!|
|Heading on up. Anastaysia and Erin are in the center|
|A climbed a rock next to the trail- the girls were SOOO impressed. ;)|
|At this point we are nearing 14,000 feet but the trail is nice and has moderate switchbacks.|
|Anastaysia and Erin top out at 14,270' ! Awesome.|
|Erin S. was the first to reach the top. She couldn't stop smiling!|
|(L to R) Anastasiya, Dan, Erin H, Erin S on top of Grays Peak. 1st 14er for the ladies!|
|The only downside was there was literally over 150 people on the summit, which is thankfully quite large|
|The ladies head up Torreys Peak after a brief downclimb to the saddle.|
|The conga line reminds me of ants on an anthill|
|More people can be seen on the trail below|
|Erin H. on Torreys Peak summit, 14,267'|
|Anastasiya on Torreys Peak|
|Erin S. on Torreys Peak.|
|Summit Panorama looking East, 5-shot composite|
|Summit Panorama looking South/West, 5-shot composite|
|I love it! Summit victory on Torreys Peak, with Grays Peak in the Background.|
|3-shot pano looking West. See any stormclouds?|
|A little bit of shade to cool us off. Anastaysia at right.|
|Cool bird on the trail sign. Wishing for my 300mm lens!|
|Torreys looks impressive as you are heading down.|
|The beginning/middle portion of Kelso ridge- looks fun!|
|Human Traffic Jam! We got slowed down quite a bit on this portion|
|Down in the Valley|
|Almost back! The last part of the trail is very gentle|
|Remnants of an old mining operation|
|Finished! 8.25 miles and 3600' of elevation gain. Nice work, ladies.|
|Very nice bridge at the beginning|
I was honored to "guide" these women on their first 14er. I know they all enjoyed the experience and they all took something away from it- I got to summit 2 additional 14ers with great company.