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Mount Kelso, Colorado
September 3, 2001
13,164 feet

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Route from Grays to Kelso to the trailhead
Kelso from Torreys
Kelso from Torreys summit
Kelso from Grays
Kelso fromGrays summit
Kelso from Grays Peak Trail
Kelso from
Grays Peak Trail
Kelso Ridge
"Kelso Ridge" from the side of Kelso
Kelso Summit
Kelso summit
Rich os Kelso summit
Rich on the summit of Kelso.  Grays and Torreys in the background
     Before Dennis and I had started our Grays - Torreys hike, I had been contemplating also climbing Mount Kelso.   Kelso is a seldom hiked 13er that sits in the valley northeast of Grays and Torreys.  Most people just don't seem to care about a 13er when there are 14ers in the area.  After having climbed both Torreys and Grays, my legs were getting a little rubbery.  As we descended from Grays, I  decided that as long as I was there, I might as well do Kelso.  It wasn't very likely I'd ever come back to the area just for Kelso, and I've been kicking myself for not doing Cameron, Lincoln, and Bross when I had the chance.  So, rubber legs or not, up the side of Kelso I went.
     The first bit was tough.  I went straight up the side of Kelso's southeastern side from the Steven's Gulch stream to the ridge.  It was very steep, and the footing wasn't the greatest.  A few steps, rest, a few steps, rest.  Once I got to the ridge, it wasn't too bad.  The ridge from the infamous "Kelso Ridge" on  Torreys to the summit of Kelso is a nice, gentle ridge with a bunch of little false summits which I skirted to the east.  I signed the register on the summit, which I hadn't bothered to do on Grays and Torreys.  According to the register, I was the only one who had climbed that day.  Only one person had climbed the day before.  Especially compared to the mass of humanity on Grays and Torreys, it was nice and quiet on Kelso.  Nobody to bother me, not even the famous mountain goats.  After taking pictures, I headed east down the side of Kelso to catch the main trail.  There was a lot of loose ground on the way, tough on the knees, and I ended up landing on my backside several times.  At least I didn't do a head-first face-plant.  Once I got to the trail, I headed back to the trailhead, caught up with Dennis, and caught a ride in the back of somebody's pickup truck for the mile and a half back to our rental car.  Total time for Torreys, Grays, and Kelso was almost 9 hours - a bit slow, but not too bad for a flatlander.
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