A few years back I made a decision not to head up Kelso Ridge- but rather wait till I had my helmet- which was smart…rocks were fall etc. I waited the next two years- to climb this peak, specifically so I could climb via the route I wanted to!
Sarah, Greg, and myself met at the trailhead at 5AM- on a beautiful, cool Sunday morning. The trail was already crowded with lots of people heading up to climb Torreys and Grey’s via their standard routes.
We made our way up to the Kelso Ridge turn off, and hopped up on to the ridge- the sun crept over the landscape- rosey and warm.
We sat down to have a snack, and dig out our helmets- this is where the fun begins- Peanut Butter Helmet Time.
This jagged class 3 ridge, climbs to the summit- including a section we like to call ” the pocket knife” as it’s a small knife edge ridge toward the summit.
There were a few sections that we decided to make class 4….because the rock quality was more solid– and with all of the helmetless idiots behind us- it was the better idea. Most of the people didn’t even realize that they were on Kelso Ridge, they thought it was the standard route. It’s important to do research before you go hike something, like maybe look at the route description… or look at a map! Ack.
We made our way to the “Pocket Knife”, followed by lines and lines of people- generally the more difficult the route, the less people- but any of these easy to get to places, are just SWARMED! One of many reasons I don’t enjoy 14ers on weekends.
We finally made our way up the reminder of the crumbly ridge to the summit…where there were at least a hundred people, with more on their way up- I couldn’t believe it!
We had a snack, then made our way past the throngs of people to our vehicles. I have been on 14ers on a weekend but this was ridiculous- and gives met YET ANOTHER reason to avoid easy 14ers on a weekend- damn crowds.
Aside from the crowds- it was great experience, with good company!