Diane and I have done quite a bit of hiking over the last several months. The idea was to get in shape to do our first 14er – after I turned 50. I thought I was in pretty good shape – until I was put to the test by Torreys Peak.
Torreys is supposed to be one of the easier 14ers and many people summit both Torreys Peak and Grays Peak on the same day. Now, maybe I am overreacting because we did hike about 10 miles the day before near Mount Evans on the Chicago Lakes Trail. In retrospect, we probably overdid it and should have taken it easy the day before attempting Torreys Peak. We probably should have gone to bed early and relaxed that evening, but we didn’t. And did we pay….
Fortunately, we did make it to the top. But it wasn’t easy. My 17-year old son and his friend came with us and they scampered up the hill like mountain goats. They were often waiting impatiently as we dragged our sorry butts up to their resting spot and then they just took off again like it was nothing.
Shortly before the summit we went through a short snow bank near the top and dealt with some pretty harsh winds as we crossed the saddle between Grays and Torreys. The winds were so strong that our friend almost turned back because he was having trouble keeping his contacts in with the wind, but he hung in there. Then a short climb to the summit and we were there.
Beautiful! Love those 360 degree views. I can see why so many people are enamored with climbing 14ers.
What a feeling! What an accomplishment!
The climb down was fairly easy. Your feet take a pounding, but your lungs and thighs have a well-deserved respite.
I plan to do it again, but I learned my lesson. Next time, I will take it easy the day before!