From Grace Peak to Gray in 3 Days.

Grace-Grey_013

From Mt. Colvin early in the day.

Point form version of a trip report. Pictures.

  • Leave car at end of S. Meadows Rd.
  • Begin hike at junction of 73 and 9
  • 45 minutes up path to campsite on S. Fork Boquet
  • 4 hours to Grace via Elizabethtown number Four and Spotted Mtns. More than 3000 feet of gain off-trail in blistering sun.
Grace-Grey_005

Dix from Spotted.

  • Hot sun made for slow going, 3.5 liters water won’t be nearly enough.
  • Collect 1L gnarly water from pool on summit of Grace – double chemical treatment.
  • Collect a better liter from under big rock near col – double treatment again.
  • South-Hough-Dix. Much cooler out of sun. Dump a liter of water before descent.
  • Getting late, very long row still to hoe. Plenty of mental tension for no real reason. Tell self: can always set up at Elk Pass in the dark but should be there by 8-8:30.
  • Take on lots of good water at base of slide.
  • Bushwhack to Dial. By far toughest part (killer) of entire hike but nailed route. Decent time in spite of being very, very tired.

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  • Nearly dead heading slowly but determinedly for Nippletop (too late to run up 200 feet to Dial).
  • Thinking, this is way too hard, I don’t want Project Full deck to be anything like this.
  • Gorgeous pre-sunset light playing on the peaks and filtering through trees.
  • Drop pack gladly for .2 miles to summit Nip.
  • Killed the drop to Elk Pass in 25 mins to beat darkness.
  • No one at Elk Pass – good thing because I got the best (driest) spot. Probably never dry due to capillary action from swamp through duff.
  • Set up tarp in dying light. Cook, eat, clean with headlamp then climb into bag. Incredible relief.
  • Frog chorus.
  • Play hard-slept even harder.
  • Birdsong at first glimmer of light.

    Grace-Grey_009

    Early morning at Elk Pass.

  • Break’s over. Seemed short. Up and busy at 4:30, on trail at 6. Camping = time sink so it’s best to enjoy every little thing.
  • Beautiful peaceful and mellow hike over Colvin, drop pack for Blake.
  • Mellow but long descent from Blake to Lake via Elevator Shaft.
Grace-Grey_014

I wonder if it’s steep.

  • Thinking a lot since last night about core of hike- Upper Lake to Gothics
  • Gentle walk getting psyched to Shanty Brook – 30 minute break then….
  • Approx. 3300 feet ascent including Sawteeth and Pyramid. Tons of people after solitude. Hot day.
Grace-Grey_017

View of Basin from Shanty Brook Trail on Sawteeth.

  • Meet-up with High on Life and Claudia doing a big solstice hike. They were fresh as daisies and chipper.
  • Gothics-great to meet Gravity Man (afrer all these forum years!!)-Saddleback (careful descent with overnight pack) and finally Basin.
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Easy does it. Hiker descending Gothics.

  • Snobird campsite in bag stretched out before 8. Only two others there.
  • Late start (6:45!) and mellow hike up Haystack, nice summer breeze.
  • Marcy – great visit with summit steward who brightened considerably at mention of Jack’s name.
  • Packless jaunts up Skylight and Gray.
  • Long walk out from Gray to South Meadows Road.
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Almost done! Marcy Dam.

  • I tried out my new Trakfone and got reception on Haystack (actually talked to randomscooter!) but not on any of the Dixes, Dial South, Nippletop or Colvin. Now I have to figure out how to take days 1 and 2 and spread them across 3 days.
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One thought on “From Grace Peak to Gray in 3 Days.

  1. Wow just a great few days for you and your training, weather was great but yes too warm…..love your highlights and photos. Was so good running into you. Wishing you the best …HOL

    Like

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