The clouds break away as we drop back down near timberline. Now it's just a long way down the ridge.
Looking down into Federal Gulch, Mark takes off after Terry.
Summit of Grays Peak, 2:37 PM, October 9, 2016
The clouds behind us start to close in a little, casting shadows on the peak.
A nice view of the route as we clear timberline.
A scenic walk along the ridgeline.
Mark contemplates the view from the ridge junction.
Mark has crested the ridge and Terry is right behind (left).
Pretty much just a long trudge from here.
We crest a rocky section of the ridge while the East Fork road is visible back to the west.
Looking back down towards the East Fork valley, Terry and Mark reconoiter.
Terry and Mark take a break on the way up the slope. The fall colors were in full swing.
We near the lake where the climb actually begins. [Terry Patterson photo]
And up we go.
Once the ledges are climbed, the ridge and saddle lie just ahead.
But Mark and I are experiencing scree slopes at 10,000 feet. I didn't feel like I caught my breath the rest of the way up. [Terry Patterson photo]
But eventually we were on the saddle and ready to head up the ridge. It looks like Mars up here. [Terry Patterson photo]
Despite the smoke, it's a beautiful, windless fall day. The approach hike is spectacular.
Mark's right behind me.
At the base of the tower crux, we stop to reconnoiter. I feel the same as Mark. The north face gullies fall away to the Kane Creek drainage.
To the right of the picture sits a small rock, which we missed until coming down. It is intended to mark the traverse path out onto the north face. So we simply continue up and over.
It got a little steep. But all the way, the handholds were excellent.
Near the top of the crux. I was sure happy I'd brought the gloves. The leather was ripped to pieces by the time we got down. [Terry Patterson photo]
Back down the route.
Terry and I take a picture of Mark simultaneously on the last summit ridge.
Mark rests on the summit waiting for me to come on up.
Terry's shot of Mark on the summit ridge. [Terry Patterson photo]
On the summit! [Terry Patterson photo]