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