From Grace Peak to Gray in 3 Days.


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.

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.


  • 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.


    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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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… your highlights and photos. Was so good running into you. Wishing you the best …HOL


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