Started at 12:30pm on Saturday. A nice sunny, warm day down in Manitou. Lots of hikers and runners enjoying the Barr Trail. Made it up to Barr Camp by 3:45, where I relaxed and filled up on water. Continued onto the A-Frame. What a great shelter. Almost completely protected from the howling winds, and a wonderful view of the city lights below. The sunrise from here was phenomenol!
Started hiking again at 6am. I figured I'd be up at the summit by 9:00. Ha! Once above treeline, conditions deteriorated. The snow was deep in places, and I was glad I brought my snowshoes. The wind was fierce. The blowing snow covered up the trail in lots of places. Sometimes I could barely walk forward against the wind. My progress was sloowwww. At the start of the Golden Staircase, I pretty much lost the trail for good. I almost turned around at about 13,900' because I was convinced I couldn't make it up the steep, snow-covered slope, and it was getting late. But finally I did. Then I had one final, steep section to scramble. I could hear the train blow its whistle from just behind the ridge; I knew I was almost there. Finally, I peered over the ridge and saw the train and the summit house. I made it.
I shared the summit with a trainload of people (the highway was closed), and when the train left, it was just me and the Summit House staff. I rested, filled up with water again, and started back down. The top section was MUCH faster going down. After quickly losing the trail from the top, I glissaded down the east slope until catching the trail again at about 13,100'. I got to the A-Frame from the summit in 2 hours -- it had taken me 6 hours to get up.
After that it was just a lonnnng hike back down to Manitou. Got to the car at about 8:30pm.
This puppy is loooooong. Of course you knew that already, I just thought I'd point it out again. You MUST find a pace you can keep without stopping frequently or you'll be on it a painfully long time. Personally I started a little after 6:00 and summited just a little after 2:00 pm - embarrasingly long, IMHO - especially since my partner was sipping coffee on top for an hour and a half before I dragged my raggedy @$$ up there.
Oh, incidentally, a one way ticket down on the cog is $16. Just in case you were...ya know...curious ;-)
BTW - fall is totally the time to do this peak. Less crowds, and its not swealtering hot on the opening switchbacks like it normally is in the summer.
Forgive the late entry since I did this so long ago, but I was filling in summit logs for some other 14ers I did recently and thought I'd 'virtually bag' this one as well.
Pikes was the first 14er I did, and thinking back I dare say it is my favorite hike of all time. I don't think there's another trail to a 14er with more elevation gain. Loved hiking through the forest and seeing all the climate zones.
Coming from Phoenix, I had a tough time with the elevation, but a steady diet of Tylenol beginning the night before really helped. We started at 6:30 from the Cog Railway Station in Manitou and made summit around 14:00 (45 minute stop at Barr Camp for lunch).
We encountered snow before treeline, and completely lost the trail shortly after the treeline shelter. So we ended up taking the 'straightline' approach to the peak. Made the hike a little more interesting I'm sure as we were knee deep in snow at places. Mental note: snow shoes next time.
Going got really tough above 13,500 for me. Lost all sense of balance, and took a break after every 10 steps. But we made summit in good time, and thankfully, the weather was clear.
The best part of the trip was at the summit house enjoying a cup of hot cider, taking off the now soaked shoes and socks, and enjoying the stares of all the tourists on top. One gal asked 'did you hike all the way up here?', and I remember replying with a smile 'yeah, we sure did!'
One thing that peeved me was the lack of a hiking souvenir shirt at the shop. Everything said 'I survived the drive!' Big deal! What about 'I survived the hike???'
One bit of advice: take the Cog Railway down. I would have hated retracing our steps had we walked back down 13 miles! All in all, it was an awesome hike.
I decided to drive to the summit and climb down to below 12000 feet and return to the summit. It turned out to be a pretty good way to do it since I didn't spend a long time on the trail that way and I did have to climb "at altitude".
Moved to Colorado Springs at the base of the mountain in 1994. Summited 1994, 1995, 1996, (missed 1997), 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001 and hope to keep summiting each year that I am here.
Before moving to Colorado I was hiker and backpacker. After moving here I started bagging peaks. I missed an ascent in 1997 because I had no one to go with and felt that I should not do it alone. Now I have built enough confidence that I do this alone if my friends are busy !
Every week I do at least a 2 hour hike on this mountain as one of my workouts. What a great mountain to have in my backyard. I love it!!!
Ran the 13 mile ascent in 4:28:53, then next day ran the marathon round trip in 6:30:15 with about a 4:30 split to the summit.
3:20 up, Shivering and dehiderated on the train down.
A lovely climb on a November weekend with amazingly perfect weather. Spent the night at Barr Camp on the way up - a cold night, but the day was warm. A quick hike up to the summit - disconcerting to be eating a hot sandwich in a snack bar at the summit, but then again, I appreciated the chair over the usual boulder, and then the long hike back to Manitou Springs. My longest hike in a day so far, me thinks. I'd like to do it again in actual winter.
I have done Pikes before in the Pikes Peak half marathon. However, I have refused to do Pikes Peak in the Summber because of all of the tourists on the top who drive up or take the tram.
So, along with three buddies we decided to do Pikes in January. We took snow shoes; at the beginning we thought that we would not need them because the trail was packed. However, after about 2 miles into the hike the snowshoes were necessary and really made a difference.
After summiting we were blasted by horrible winds. I spilled a bit of water on my jacket and it froze within 2 seconds. We estimate that with the wind chill facor it was -50 degrees below F. But, we were the only ones on the summit so it was great! Make sure that you wear plenty of layers, have face protection, etc.
A tough hike, but a wonderful trip! I noticed that there were not too many winter reviews about Pikes . . . so here it is:
1. Wear many layers and be prepared.
2. No avalanche danger.
3. Make sure you are hydrated as our water froze.
4. Have fun . . . summiting in the winter is a great experience.
Did this thing in a quick decision after a rainy morning,
when the sun came out at noon.
I just took my waterbottle and a sweater and went jogging
up the hill. It took me less than half of the posted
time, but I was pretty happy to be able to catch a car
on the way down after that ;-)
good climb, can even catch a ride on the way down!!
(But dont tell anyone)
Beautiful day, no significant clouds, absolutely gorgeous climb! Very windy for a while above the A frame. Sun had set for the last mile before reaching the summit. I estimate it was about 30 degrees. Had started trail at 7:00 am , rested too long at Barr Camp and didn't make it to the top until late which I would not do again. It was weird to find so many tourists by car on the summit after having not seen but few souls on trail . Took advantage of that and hitch hiked down the mountain, I felt like I deserved a free ride....hehe! (Last ride down with the cog railway is at 4:30 btw)
My partner and I elected to bag Pikes from the Northwest side, avoiding the Barr Trail parade. This was a great 14 miler, we only encountered one other climber on the trail. Upon reaching the Devil's Playground area, we discovered that the day we picked to climb was the day of the Pikes Peak Ascent Run - what a total zoo! The summit was covered in people. It was a relief to get off the top and back down on the trail!
Stay at Barr Camp for a night and finish it in two days, the descent is rather quick!
I left Manitou Springs at 12:30a and arrived at the top by 10:30a. I had two long rests, one at Barr Camp and the other just above 11,000 ft. In addition to being tired, I needed to wait for the sun to start warming up the mountain. The Pikes Peak Manitou Springs Cog Railroad brought me back down.
Why did I climb at night? First, I am not in great shape and I knew I would not do so well in the heat of the day. Second, its better to be operating in the dark when you are fresh. Third, the Cog RR fills up quickly, my best chance to get a ride down was to arrive at the summit early. Fourth, the lightning display over the plains was awesome.
Long, fairly boring day hike timed perfectly so at the summit I could watch obese flatlanders disembark the cog railway direct to eating cheese fries in the cafeteria. All the while I was starving because I didn't pack enough food...came pretty close to dumpster diving...need to ski the couliors on the east side next.
Grew up in C. Springs, climbing the Peak many times in all seasons. Now I use the west side for training.
In order to avoid the Barr Trail crowds, and to make the climb shorter, we backpacked up a couple miles from the Crags Campground TH, camped in a meadow, then started early the next morning for the summit as a day hike. What a weird experience to climb a 14er with a restaurant on top and packed with people who had gotten there by train!
Not as long as the Barr Trail, pretty easy walk-up.
Long day hike.. camped at Barr cabins