Great FIRST Winter climb. I climbed to Barr Camp the first night, arrived at around 9pm. Summited the next day and came down the third day. Basic, safe Winter climb, but long.
"Foaming at the mouth" tourist scene
Having done Barr Trail in the fall, I thought I'd try the "back way" up Pikes Peak. This is a nice route. Nice views above treeline. Once to Devils Playground you kind of parallel the road for a way but that wasn't so bad, especially this time of year when there aren't very many cars (still pretty snowy).
My family and a family that is friends with my family rode the cog RR to the summit. It was truly awe-inspiring seeing the flora and fauna change all the way until we were above tree line and the snow next the the RR tracks was over 10 feet tall. I can see how this mountain could inspire the writing of "America the Beautiful." We enjoyed the summit and shopped in the summit store for awhile and then rode the train back down. Next time I want actaully climb this mountain!
Did an overnighter and camped at the Devil's Playground. Cold and windy but not too cold and windy if you know what I mean. Actually not all that much snow up there.
A hard summit day, we drove to the top. Public Weenie #1.
Nice hike, but a scary thunderstorm hit on the way down.
We (Scott, Steve, Pat and Darryl) stayed in Cripple Creek last night to get used to the altitude since we live in Delaware at sea level. Went for a practice hike to the Crags which turned out to be a short hike, so before you know it we are heading for the summit! Once above the tree line there were beautiful views and still some snow. Got to the summit in late afternoon and had to hustle down before nightfall. Had a great day and went to do the Barr Trail the next day. Darryl
Beutiful views all the way up. I was really impressed!
I organized this trip for a group of friends on Labor Day weekend this year. There were 10 of us (I think I have lost track). I wasn't having such a good day due to lack of sleep and just took my time at the back of the pack. The mountain was surprisingly enjoyable given the number of people I was expecting and a holiday weekend and all. It was quite nice to have the restaurant/store at the top to hang out. A truly unique experience. Probably not a mountain I would ever climb again unless via the Barr Trail.
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 ;-)