Conquering Cameron Cone
Cameron Cone forms part of the Colorado Springs western skyline - here viewed from near Garden of the Gods
Like many who attempt 10,707' Cameron Cone
, I had been tempted by her
on a daily basis for some time. Cameron Cone is visible from both my home
and from my office so it really started to bug me that I had not summited
it. On a mid-November Saturday in 2005 I managed to have the day free and
the forecast was for sun and high winds. I arrived at the Barr Trailhead
as the sun started to rise in the east. I was really excited to be getting
under way. The excitement was mixed with a little nervousness as the rumor
was that the route finding was really difficult on sections of the route and I
was going solo.
As I exited the Barr Trail and proceeded down to cross the creek and the cog tracks
, the crowds were left behind.
I saw no one from the Barr Trail all the way to the summit. For me the most difficult part of the route was getting
from the cog track crossing to Magog Ridge
- I ended up doing quite a bit of bushwacking and even came across
a homeless person's digs - luckily they weren't around.
Once on the ridge the going got a lot easier; however, the wind was brutal and brought me to my knees on a
few occasions - Gog
and Magog Rocks were both interesting to look at and also made great wind breaks.
I followed the double track
until it faded to a single track trail and eventually a faint trail - it would have been
difficult to stay on route without the ribbons on the trees. I found that the final 500' to 600' feet was easier to
bushwack than to try and follow the ribbons - it seemed like too much work as this section of the route was
more of an obstacle course with all of the boulders and downfall.
Once on the summit I soaked in the views of Pikes Peak
(it still looks so darn far away!) and then looked down
at Crystal Park
and Colorado Springs beyond and knew I would never look up at Cameron Cone's summit
again the same way - she was definitely more work than most of the 13ers and 14ers I have summited.
The steep descent was rough on the knees, ankles and toes. By the time I made it back to the Barr Trail I was
ready to take a load off and relax. I made it home, showered, and tried to describe the days events to my wife
before realizing that you had to be there......you had to be there.
Why do we do this? "Because it's there" sounds like too much of a cliche but it seems to be the best reason I
can come up with.
Disclaimer: Rather than submit duplicate or repetitive pictures I have linked to a few previously submitted pictures by other SP members to give some photo reference to the text.
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