Well it’s Saturday night and I’m writing a TR. I think I’ve now come full circle in life…
Pikes beat me on December 23rd after that massive snowstorm we had (the only snowstorm we’ve had - before today) and I was determined to return the favor. 3 weeks earlier I was dealing with 3 feet of powder and no visible upper trail below treeline. I realized this afternoon that I didn’t stand a chance back in December!
This is more of a pictorial because, after tonight’s storm, most of what I am going to say is useless. For the record the trail was super snow packed, I left the snowshoes in the car, used the micro spikes below tree line (they also would have been helpful near the summit, but I was too lazy to put them back on) and I was able to drive all the way to the Crags TH.
Pikes was pretty much the only 14er that wasn’t forecasted to get snow until later in the day.
Left Denver around 4:30AM ish, and hit the trail a little before 7 AM
I included the picture below because this is where the trail splits @ 11,150 and cuts right. 3 weeks ago there was no visible trail either way and I went left and couldn't correct it. Don't go that way!
split in the trail @ 11,150 - Head right!
looking back above treeline
When you hit the saddle the summit comes into view. You also get a better idea of where you're headed.
first view of the summit as I hit the saddle
trail that will take you to Devils Playground in the distance
clouds rolling in over the summit
these rocks are awesome
headed toward Devils Playground and the road
1st glimpse of the road
The ranger stopped twice to talk to me. He mentioned they'd be closing the road and if I was getting picked up later that might be a problem. I told him that was cheating. I think I was the only guy out there today on foot.
the ranger mobile
A closer look at the summit from the upper portion of the trail
the final push to the top
After turning around and seeing this all of a sudden, I decided not to turn around anymore.
came out of nowhere behind me
Some pictures from the summit:
the restaurant is CLOSED
i got to wear my goggles today, i like my goggles
some views from the summit
the mountains are getting some much needed snow!
And when the clouds really started to roll in the pictures were great. I have about 100 more.
notice the cloud at the top
a better look
every direction had some different weather going on
i think my hand is more tired than my legs from waving back to all the cars.
Back to treeline
the snow got me below treeline, but I was cruising
Time to go home - I-25 was a parking lot in the winter storm