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