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Snowshoed the North trail on 11-18-18. The road is deep with snow and chains are recommended to get to trailhead. We drove a Toyota 4Runner with big tires and made it, but our friends Subaru wouldn’t have made it without the chains. We had to pull three other cars out that were stuck.
We used snowshoes almost the entire way. Top is icy. Yaks trax needed. We got married on top with the most beautiful views of the surrounding ranges. Round trip in 6.5 hours.

This was my wife and my first 14er. Our friends carried their 2 year old and 4 year old with them. It took us forever but we had a blast. Didn’t make it to Torrey’s.

Road to the trailhead is 4 wheel drive only when we were there. Much of it is passable with a car but there are a few parts that a low clearance vehicle will definitely not make it across. This probably changes with rain and snow but definitely worth mentioning to be ready to hike the road or have a high clearance vehicle.

hiking
1 month ago

This was my first 14er. I chose this for my birthday and did it 10/19/18. I did not complete it because I underestimated the snow and attempted it 24 hours after leaving an elevation of 10 feet above sea level. I made it to 13,523 in about 6 hours and back down in 3 hours. I had to turn around because I was going alone and I left a deadline with friends and needed to make it back before they sent a search party. I will do this again in June after acclimating for a few days.

I had 4wd so I got to drive to the trailhead at 5:30am. I met 3 young men walking up the road and gave them a ride and learned they had just flown in from Miami a few hours earlier. We all struck out at 6am but they turned back after realizing they were too tired and in no shape to hike. I learned it is really cold at 6am there, I still have fingertips that tingle.

I learned a lot and can't wait to do this again when I am a little more prepared. The mountains were beautiful covered in snow but man that snow sucked to walk in. I questioned myself all the way down then decided I was coming back to conquer the mountain as soon as I could.

Summited 2009-08-01, with my lovely wife. We camped at half moon and then left right at dawn. It snowed the night before on the upper reaches. This is an easy Class I hike but still can be an ass-kicker. Poles are helpful. Exposure above tree line at 11k means you gotta be aware of the incoming afternoon storms in the spring and summer - you still have 3k vertical to go when you leave the forest. This hike will also throw you a few false summits, hahaha. Keep on trucking because the views up top are amazingly worth it.

One of the better beginner 14ers there are. Plan accordingly for the weather.

rock climbing
1 month ago

Wicked climb! made it to the lakes in 70 min. then the climbing begins. fun test of your route finding and climbing skill.

Really great hike. Started at 5:00 AM and parking lots was getting full. I definitely felt the elevation. I recommend a few days to acclimate before attempting the hike.

One of our favorite 14er hikes thus far and absolutely our favorite Peak link-up! A few key points:
1. Make sure you have All-Wheel drive. The road leading up to the trail head is extremely rocky and unsafe for non-sport vehicles.
2. The trail gets fairly gravely and sandy towards the top of both peaks - so you need hiking boots if you don't want to be sliding everywhere on the descent.
3. Weather rolls in very quickly on all 14er peaks - so start your hike EARLY (8am at the absolute latest) and pack layers/gear to prepare for all weather conditions - high winds, rain, hail and snow.

10/20/18 Amazing Hike!! Views are insaneeeeee. Make sure you have a 4x4 and not an all wheel drive...BIG DIFFERENCE... We had to pull a mini out of a ditch on the road up to the trail head. Because of that we decide to park at the base which will add an additional 6 miles round trip to your hike. So plan for hitting a half marathon along with your 14er if thats the case. Our total mileage ended up being 13.7 miles. Because of the additional mileage and the time spent pulling the mini out of the ditch we were only able to hit Grays. Also if you want a more enjoyable hike make sure you bring krampons and walking poles. Krampons at a minimum. It was ice and snow for the entire duration of the hike.

Amazing but add about 2 hours more to your time due to snow. Definitely need crampons and poles. Snow is knee and higher at some points and very slippery. Took us about 7 hours return with crampons.

We hiked Grays on 20OCT2018. First off, if you plan on hiking this trail later October 1st, make sure you drive a 4WD capable vehicle to make it to the parking lot unless you want to add 5+ miles to your hike.
Plenty of snow along the trail. We hiked it without spikes or poles and that caught up to us on the way down. Other than the snow, which was the biggest issue, the hike was gorgeous! Met a couple of friendly folks throughout the trail. Even picked up three on the road up. My girlfriend was 5 months pregnant and we did our gender reveal at the top. Great time going up, miserable going down. Beautiful views!!!!

Truly amazing hike with breathtaking views from the summit. Trail had dusting of snow up to treeline. This lower section was icy on descent...YakTrax were helpful. Above treeline snow was a bit deeper, but trail is clear and doable with boots... snowshoes won't be really necessary until another snow or two. Wife and I summited with boots and YakTrax...poles are a must as traction can be difficult on the steeper sections.

hiking
1 month ago

First: I have tried summing Blanca before, also in the middle of October. The first time we weren't quite prepared enough and didn't feel safe without spikes or crampons. Also, Lake Como Road is a bit of an ankle breaker and it really killed my knees. So, this year we thought we'd be clever and try to mountain bike the road and had enough snow gear to do the summit. What we had forgotten: the majority of the road is not even bikeable on the way up, so we ended up walking our flipping bikes up 4k of gain to Lake Como. They were sort of worth it on the way down, but a large portion still was too sketchy to bike down until the halfway point of the road.
We ended up not being able to summit (again.....) due to weather blowing in about 6 hours earlier than we had previously been told. We did see a herd of big horn sheep, which was great. The rest was pretty meh considering we still didn't bag the peak. If we had I'm sure it would have been 5 stars.

Definitely a tough one with the snow! Make sure to have snow pants and waterproof boots through it. At some points you’ll be hiking through knee deep snow. The top is well worth it if you’re determined enough to get through!

49th 14er, easy class 1 with amazing views of collegiate peaks. No scrambling towards the summit. Very good maintained trail. Start early to beat the crowds! Took me 5 hours round trip, started at 6am back to the vehicle at 11am. Spent only 10-15 mins at the summit.

Pretty easy hike for a 14er until you get to the saddle, then it gets a little technical. We went really slow with this one for a total of 10 hours. Started at 630 and was off the mountain still in plenty of time. If you get a nice weather day in the fall I would highly recommend, the Aspen trees were some of the most beautiful I've seen. Of the 12 14ers I have hiked, this was one is up there as far as a good hike and beautiful views. Enjoy!

My first 14er. It felt pretty moderate to me, no section of the trail felt hard. Beautiful views from the summit and good colors on the aspens down low. 9-30-18

beautiful late Sept hike

2 months ago

I like this trail so much that I hiked it twice in one week. The views are stunning. Shared the trail at 13,000 ft. with a mountain goat

Great day for a hike! Started later than normal- around 8:30. Parked on the road about 1/4 mile out from TH. Took ~2:15 to summit grays, ~45 to get to Torrey’s, and ~2 to get down. 5.5hrs total with 15min breaks at each summit. My GPS watch was closer to 8.5miles total. Gusty winds at times but I was prepared with layers. Trail wasn’t too busy and lots of friendly hikers. Definitely recommend a car with good clearance to get to TH- AWD. People were offering rides to those who parked further down the road or bottom.

This was my first 14er (and 2nd) so I was a tad nervous about the weather and altitude (being from Chicago where a 10 ft hill is a mountain!) but they were great! The winds did not start until you hit the switchbacks on Gray (wide open) and then ALL the way up the ascent on Torreys (25+ MPH is what I would venture to guess where I almost lost my phone numerous times "documenting" the hike). I was able to make it through with shorts, t-shirt base layer and a flannel, although, I put gloves on 3/4 up Gray and a hat for all of Torreys.

As mentioned, starts out slow, little steep, but nothing compared to what comes as you come around and see the "ants" walking up and down the mountain. It is good to be able to see the trail in the mountain and the goal always being in site. Was not very scenic for flowers and wildlife, the Aspens are still golden, but the views are SPECTACULAR!!! Could not believe how clear it was and the 360 panorama view.

I hit the Trail Head about 645am and had to park on the street. By the time I arrived back, 1030am, it was full with another 30-40+ cars! It took me under 4 hours to solo summit both but I may say that I was going at a brisk pace (did not feel that way) and I still took about 10 breaks for food, water and, of course, PHOTOS.

Beautiful trail with scenic views the entire way up and the entire way down. We started at 730 and ended around 330 for both 14ers (including many breaks). The first portion of the hike is a slight inclined walk through the valley where you can see chipmunks, bunnies, and marmot. Then you reach a more rocky area where the incline increases through many rounds of switch backs up to Gray’s peak. To get to Torrey’s, you walk down the back side of Gray’s for maybe 30 minutes before hitting a relatively straight, rocky incline to Torrey’s peak. This section of the hike is definitely the most difficult, but you can clearly see the end goal making it a great challenge with a rewarding ending. At the top of Torrey’s you can see 4 ski resorts, Pike’s Peak, Mt. Evans, and Mt. Bierstadt. Truly a great weekend hike that is 100% worth doing. Worst comes to worst, you do Gray’s and call it a day! Remember to bring plenty of water, food, and also something to make a sign with (i.e. cardboard) to commemorate the feat. Happy hiking!

Great hike. Very doable. The wind felt stronger than the 20mp forecast and really cold. beautifl blue sky sunny day though. By the time we summitted Grays my fingers really hurt and wouldn't work despite wearing gloves the whole time and I couldn't stop shivering. We started to go toward Torreys as I really wanted to do both while I was there, but it was so miserable with the wind whipping so I'll have to go back do Torrey's another time. It was spectacular views and great people on the trail. Just the right amount of company. I also lost my down puffer. It was stuffed in my friends outer pocket. looks like a black pillow on the side of the trail. lmk if you come across it. Thanks!

Great trail for the fall! Hiked to both summits with 2 other 30-year old girl friends. We stopped for maybe a total of 1 1/2 hours to eat lunch, drink a beer, relax, and it took just under 8 including that. We live in the high Rockies, but the altitude way at the top still made it difficult to breathe. Towards the very top of each it's really steep but definitely doable.

Great hike with amazing views from the summit. It is a long hike with false summits. Just keep hiking until you can see 360 deg panorama view (also you can tell it’s the peak). Took 4 hrs up and 2 coming down(had poles which saves an hr coming down!!) poles also save time on climb also!! Once you get out of the forest , the views are great the whole way to the top ! There was snow on top of mt and it was windy and cold so take layers! I was surprised there was not a rock scramble to the peak. There is a good trail from the base to the peak which makes this 14’r easier from technical standpoint than most. It is a long hike but not very difficult . I left at 7 am and didn’t see but 1 person going up. Coming down I saw 20 plus! If you want solitude, go early!!
Fun 14’r- take plenty of water and good shoes as it is a long hike! My gps showed just shy of 10 miles but vertical is just short of 4500’ which is a full day

All in all a great hike! We started at 5:45 am on a Friday and about 5 vehicles at the trailhead. It was a brisk 35 degrees at start and 20 mph winds around 12,000 ft and up to both summits . Around noon it warmed up just in time for our decent. The highs were in the low 50s but felt warmer. Took us about 8 hours to complete both Grays and Torreys. My friend and I are in our 50’s but both in decent physical shape and we conditioned ourselves for about a month with several high altitude hikes before we tackled this one! This hike was difficult breathing once we got up to 13,000 ft and I did have slight altitude sickness. My recommendation would be to replenish fluids with plenty electrolytes and make sure your munching something throughout even if your body doesn’t feel the urge. We met up with mostly young hikers (20,s and 30’s). Thought the trail would never end coming down . Recommend using poles as some of the mountain had steps as high or higher than my knee height (I’m 5’4”) All in all an awesome day!

hiking
2 months ago

I hit the summit of Columbia first thing this morning. Annihilated me, absolutely annihilated me. Be weary before stepping into this one as the Class II can be a tad misleading. No crazy bouldering but the sheer steepness of the slope after the treeline is insanely intense. There's a solid trail leading up the first saddle but slowly disappears, leaving one lost and bewildered, only option to continue straight up. Number 26 of 2018 and probably the most difficult. I'll take that 17 mile 6600 gain Blanca hike over this one any day. Schooled by Columbia.

I read the reviews mentioning needing an AWD or 4WD vehicle to get to the trailhead, while I saw some sedans up there, I wouldn't recommend it. We camped the night before (because we read about the parking situation) and started at 4:30am. Summited Grays around 7 and Torreys around 8. Made it back to the tent by 10am. Easy hike, beautiful views. Definitely recommend!

Great hike. Very fun and beatiful for my first 14er!

As part of an Outward Bound course, I carried a 65 pound pack over the top of Mt Elbert, as we did not return the route we ascended. That was 38 years ago. I plan to try it again as a day hike at age 65.

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