How A City Girl Climbed Two Mountains

How A City Girl Climbed Two Mountains

I’ve never considered myself an outdoorsy person, but I had already been living in Colorado for a few months and decided it was time to go climb a mountain. Or two.

 

In Colorado, they have what are known as “14ers” which are mountain peaks that are over 14,000 feet. There are 53 14ers in Colorado and there are people who are ambitious enough to climb every single one of them. Some of my friends and I had already gone on a few small hikes, but it was time we uped the anty before winter started so we made plans to climb a 14er. We also realized that if we went to Grays Peak, we could actually knock two 14ers off the list because Grays is connected to Torreys Peak by a .8 mile long saddle.

 

Mountains surrounding Grays Peek in Colorado

 

Now, as I said earlier, I’m not really outdoorsy. The closest thing I experienced to being outdoors, camping, or hiking, was during my time in the Army. But there’s that saying…

 

“When in Rome…”

 

So when in Colorado… you climb mountains. Our group got to Grays peak really early because we didn’t want to get back too late. The sun was just starting to rise over the mountains and we could still see the moon.

 

The sun rising over a mountain and the moon still showing in Colorado

Grays Peak Trail Head Colorado

 

We grabbed our packs full of water and snacks and headed out. At first, the terrain was still pretty nice. There were flowers and some trees. As we got higher, however, there was less and less vegetation.

 

Flowers near Grays Peak Colorado

Grass and mountains near Grays Peak Colorado

 

And let me tell you, they don’t call them the “Rocky Mountains” for nothing. It really is all rocks. I was pretty happy when I found an occasional plant.

 

Rocks at Grays Peak

Rocks and flowers at Grays Peak

 

It took a few hours but we finally made it to the top of Grays Peak. We were a little winded, but in very good spirits. We snacked and took in the views.

 

The view from the top of Grays Peak

The view from the top of Grays Peak

Taking in the views from the top of Grays Peak

 

Half of our group ended up not wanting to go on to Torreys Peak. But Jared, Joe, and I wanted to keep going. We motivated each other and really had a great time on our way to the second peak. We had to keep taking breaks because the elevation was killing our lungs, but we kept going. I occasionally would belt out “I’m a maniac, maniac…” and stomp my feet like in Flashdance and the guys would laugh. Like I said, we were in really good spirits. And I was pretty proud of myself for being able to keep up with the guys too. For a city girl, I thought I was doing pretty well.

 

So from Grays Peak we went down about 400 feet to the saddle that divided the two peaks. We crossed it and began the steep climb to the top of Torreys Peak. The views there were amazing…

 

The view from the top of Torreys Peak

The view from the top of Torreys Peak

The view from the top of Torreys Peak

 

I think at this point the guys and I were a little quieter. We were really soaking up what we had just done and accomplished. And catching our breaths. Eventually we started making our way down the mountain. At this point my knee was starting to hurt a bit, but I sucked it up and kept going. The hike down to the bottom was definitely easier and took less time than the hike up.

 

At the top of Torreys Peak

Jared, me, and Joe at the top of Torreys Peak

 

This is probably one of my fondest memories of my time in Colorado. I tried something new and spent the day with awesome friends. Even though I rolled my ankles a few times and should have worn more layers (it was freezing at the top!!) I couldn’t have asked for a better day.

 

Panoramic view from the top of Torreys Peak

Photo credit: Joe W.

 

 

So the moral of the story?

  • – Don’t be afraid to try something new.
  • – Push yourself physically and mentally.
  • – Surround yourself with good people that will always motivate you.

 

Have you ever surprised yourself and done something you never thought you would/could do?

 

19 Comments
  • Carol Colborn says:

    That was awesome! Didn’t know they had that 0,8 mile saddle (not that it would have mattered). At my age, I don’t dare any more. But you…Go!

    • Buddy says:

      Yup, if we’d had to climb all the way back to the bottom of the first peak I’m not sure we would have made it to the second in the same day!

  • noel says:

    What a challenge and height to climb. I’m surprised at how dry the area is, scary to see that the snow melt is pretty bad for this year and the water table for this year.

  • April says:

    Congratulations for taking the plunge, city girl. You made it all the way up there, and just check out that view you got to see when you arrived. Loved your photos, they complimented your story very well. The moral of the story bit at the end was great too.

    Being in Colorado, have you checked out Great Sand Dune National Park? You might have another mountain to concur there only THIS one will be made of sand.

    April

    • Buddy says:

      Thanks so much April for the kind words! I’m no longer in Colorado, but when I go back to visit I’ll make sure to look up the park. Thanks for the tip!

  • Mags says:

    I just visited Colorado for the first time last month. I don’t consider myself very outdoorsy either, but there’s just something about the scenery there I guess. I didn’t make a huge trek, but big for me. Thanks for sharing. You’re pictures are stunning.

  • Natalie says:

    I’m definitely not a hiker, either, though I do attempt one from time to time! The views from the top are usually amazing, which (kind of) makes up for all of the effort getting there. 😀 My in-laws live in Colorado, and they’re always posting pics of them hiking and mountain biking–if we ever manage to get out to visit them, I might have to try doing as the Colorado people do!

  • Sue Reddel says:

    Congrats on making it through the whole journey to the top. I have to say that I’m not a as adventurous as you. Loved the photos and the view.

  • Stunning view! Just absolutely gorgeous! I love hiking whenever I can, it is a good challenge and a great way to get out and enjoy the scenery. I’ve always wanted to visit Colorado since I’ve always hear so much about the outdoors. Congratulations for making your way to the top, hopefully I can if I ever visit Colorado. I think It is great that you challenged yourself. I never thought I could run the half marathon and I ended up accomplishing three of them! It is fun and a great accomplishment when you push yourself to finish. 🙂

  • Brianna says:

    What a fantastic hike, the views look spectacular!

  • Alli says:

    I commend you on such a great hike! Way to go 🙂 An experience you will always look back on and be proud of yourself 🙂

  • […] favorite hike was in Colorado, which is known for its “14ers” (mountain peaks that are over 14,000 feet high). Some friends and I had decided to hike not only […]

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