Yellow, White, n’ Blue: Some Fall Kelso Fun

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Nice to see some white stuff up high.

As our weekend sojourn in Vail to admire the changing aspens and snow-capped Gores came to a close, Anna-Lisa and I decided we weren’t ready to return to the city just yet. Our friend David (Zambo) expressed some interest in Kelso Ridge, it being a short scramble route and relatively close to Denver. This idea also appealed to Anna-Lisa as, prior to this weekend, she was the only person in Colorado who hadn’t climbed Grays and Torreys. Well it was an easy decision, the three of us set off from the top of the Stevens Gulch road around 9am on Sunday morning, ready for some fall Kelso fun.

A fine objective. Photo by David.

We were blessed with a perfect day; bluebird, not a breath of wind, and warm for late September. We arrived at the ridge in no time and cut our class 3 teeth.

Despite Anna-Lisa’s scrambling resume being rather short, the terrain didn’t seem to phase her in the least.

David just cruised along and enjoyed the physical advantages brought on by a stout summer of 14er-neering, Anna-Lisa and myself on the other hand had some wind to suck every now and then. Time to get back in shape!

Upon transitioning to the upper portion of the route…

…we came around a corner and found more white stuff…

…as well as a high altitude sentry right in our path.

Lucky for us this guy came in peace, he decided to join our party for awhile.

Some more wandering uphill finally had us to the knife. Photo by David.

…and a white tower. Photo by David.

…and not long after, we topped out on Anna-Lisa’s 5th 14er.

Like seeing an old friend, Kelso had provided me with a welcomed dose of nostalgia. This ridge run will probably never get old. I know it had to be the same for David, the last time he climbed Grays and Torreys he was about half his current height. We stayed on the summit for awhile and enjoyed the perfect fall weather. When it finally came time to discuss our descent plans, Anna-Lisa made it clear she was not about to leave without bagging Torreys’s bigger brother, so off to Grays we went.

From the summit we carried a conversation almost all the way back to the parking lot. We each made sure to take a few looks back at Grays in her coat of fall white.

A parting photo – Vail’s primary September attraction in full bloom.

It’s a beautiful time of year out there, don’t miss out on it people!

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