|Grays Peak from 9200ish feet.|
I had checked into Grays in 2009 after my first solo. The folks on the Idaho Summits board recommended it for its proximity to the road (I drive a Nissan...not an off-road friendly vehicle), straightforward approach, and at class II/III, depending on conditions, was within my abilities, especially as a solo.
|"Hal" at the trail head.|
I decided to take the west ridge approach both ways, thinking it was easiest but noted that it would be relatively easy to bushwhack down to the Federal Gulch trail should I need to get off of the ridge. I took my GPS, with an estimated approach route, and unlike my first solo, a hard copy topo and a trip report.
I left Friday afternoon to stay with friends in Hailey and left at 6:45 a.m. to reach the trail head for a reasonably early start. According to my beta, it would be 5 miles and 4500 feet.
|Heading to the high point at 9200ish ft.|
When I reached the summit in almost exactly 4 hours, I was pretty stoked and in a little disbelief. After all, I got wrapped around a couple rock outcrops at lower elevations that ate up some time and I took a number of micro-breaks (stop for a moment until your breathing stops racing) when I was climbing above timberline.
|View from 9200 ft|
While on the summit I noticed weather building to the west and heading my way. Nothing too immediate, but sure enough to get a move on. So after the requisite snack break, 360 photos, video and Splattski, I was off.
|Bushwacking to the Federal Gulch Trail.|
|You can't buy more nature...only preserve, protect and enjoy it!|