Pikes Peak

Colorado 14er peak questions, condition requests and other info. 14er Trip Reports, Condition Reports
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Pikes Peak

Postby Ziplinesd » Mon Oct 29, 2012 8:30 pm

Im going to be in Colorado Springs this week, I want to hike Pikes Peak. Is there snow on the trail? What's the conditions? Anyone interested in hiking thursday or friday?? any info would be great. Thanks.


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Re: Pikes Peak

Postby George Kaplan » Tue Oct 30, 2012 7:13 am

I was up there 10 days ago on the Crag's Route. There was some patchy snow on the trail all the way from Devil's Playground to the top, but only a few short drifts deeper than 3 inches that needed to be crossed. The last bit up the talus had a lot of icy patches, but we were still able to make it up without needing to put on microspikes. We also ran into a couple of climbers who had said that they were able to find some snow-filled gullies on the north face, though I'm not sure how long and continuous they were (the climbers had just parked along the highway and had not climbed up from Bottomless Pit.) Since then, another storm came through and blanketed the peak this past Friday, though a lot of that has melted off already. We're supposed to be getting warm mild weather in the Springs all week, so that should hopefully keep things gradually melting a bit more. I'm not sure what the Barr Trail side is like, but would guess that it is even more free of snow than the Crag's Trail. I would guess that it would be pretty doable still from either route this week, though there will be some patchy snow and you might need some traction to handle some icy patches.

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Re: Pikes Peak

Postby mtnjim » Tue Oct 30, 2012 7:55 am

I drove the road to the summit a week ago and did some 2s on the Barr trail. Very little snow and didn't use traction, though I had microspikes and screw shoes in the car. The little storm last week didn't seem to drop much there and I saw lots of tourist cars on the PPH website cams sunday afternoon. If the road is open to the summit you can bet there's not a lot of snow to drift around at the top. Check out the panorama from that site's cameras for current summit conditions.

If I was carrrying a pack, I'd definitely have microspikes in it, though you may not need them. I'm trying to do some acclimatizing so may drive to the top Th or Fri or both if the weather holds and the road stays open. If I'm there, I'll be in a very red 2 door, black top. Say hi!


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Re: Pikes Peak

Postby peter303 » Tue Oct 30, 2012 8:20 am

At least three different ways of doing it.
1) Barr trail - literary a marathon length. Would involve some hiking in the dark this time of year. Maybe some snow and ice above treeline.
2) Craigs trail from bottom. May be some snow in trees and about treeline. Maybe some ice on summit talus. Trail head road open as of 10/20.
3) Drive to Devils Playground and catch Craigs trail midway. Watch for road closure. Maybe some ice on summit talus. Watch the time - road only open 9-5. You'll need at least 90 minutes round trip driving to Devils Playground. The hike is fairly short. And you want to hang around the summit for a while.

I'd recommend #3.

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Re: Pikes Peak

Postby CO Native » Tue Oct 30, 2012 9:11 am

I would not recommend #3. Prettly lame hike to spend all of it next to a road.

Barr trail is the most enjoyable route. It is long, though not quite marathon length unless you start in downtown Manitou Springs.

You also have the option to ride the Cog Railway up to Mountain View which will leave you with about 6 miles of hiking to the summit.

The Peak is holding some snow on all slopes now. Treeline holds the deepest snow with some drifts that are a couple of feet deep. The trail is broken though and you won't have to deal with anything like that. The Sixteen Golden Stairs on the Barr are icy in spots but still passable. I recommend bringing microspikes and gaiters no matter which route you choose.
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Re: Pikes Peak

Postby kman » Tue Oct 30, 2012 9:32 am

Ziplinesd wrote:Im going to be in Colorado Springs this week, I want to hike Pikes Peak. Is there snow on the trail? What's the conditions? Anyone interested in hiking thursday or friday?? any info would be great. Thanks.


I went up and down Pikes Peak this past Saturday (10-27-2012) via Barr Trail. If you opt for this route, you will have no issues with snow until the last mile to the summit. In this area there are a few sporadic wind-crusted snow drifts where gaiters would be advantageous. There is good boot pack through these drifts however. I carried micro-spikes but did not use them. The weather forecast looks favorable for Thursday and Friday, so enjoy. Here is a picture of conditions on Barr Trail just below the summit from this past Saturday. It will still be very cold above treeline, so pack accordingly. (pic #2)
Pikes Peak 27 October 2012.jpg
Pikes Peak 27 October 2012.jpg (44.47 KiB) Viewed 671 times
Pikes Peak 27 Oct 2012.jpg
Pikes Peak 27 Oct 2012.jpg (45.92 KiB) Viewed 671 times

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Re: Pikes Peak

Postby MuchosPixels » Tue Oct 30, 2012 3:14 pm

Ziplinesd wrote:Im going to be in Colorado Springs this week, I want to hike Pikes Peak. Is there snow on the trail? What's the conditions? Anyone interested in hiking thursday or friday?? any info would be great. Thanks.


I did the Barr Trail once but it was late March and it was wicked windy and there was quite a bit of snow just below treeline and above. I had no traction issues but I did wear micro spikes and they were a must above treeline if you wanted to move swiftly and safely.

Its a great trail!

A few tips.

Start slow and steady. The first 2-3 miles of switchbacks are brutal and you will encounter quite a few people unless you start very early (5AM). Dont despair. It gets a lot easier after that. Its still uphill obviously and every once in a while you need to push a bit but it isnt bad at all. After Barr Camp you have a few long switchbacks up to treeline. From then on it gets progressively tougher so take it easy. Its best to be steady. Unless you have spent about 3-4 days days, just prior to attempting the climb, at 8k-11kft you wont be used to the altitude.

If you are not used to the altitude you will get whipped. I would not do it. I remember when I tried it I spent 6 days skiing in Breckenridge and then drove to the trailhead. A few hikers that looked super in shaped passed me when I was heading up at around mile 1. I was solo and kept going at a steady pace (I had a 40lb pack on) even stopped a few times to take pictures. At about mile 5 I saw two guys laying on the side of the trail. They were toast. I asked them if they were ok, they said they were fine and were taking a break. I proceeded to Barr Camp but never saw them again. I think they bailed. Even at 13,000 ft I felt fine. It is MUCH more enjoyable if you are acclimatized.

Conditions should remain as described for at least 7-10 days.

Re: Pikes Peak

Postby zephyr_pelicante » Thu Nov 01, 2012 7:34 am

OP: are you still going? I'm hoping to go up to Crags 11/3 (Sat)

Any more updates on conditions? I'd imagine with the sun in the last week or so the snow is pretty hard by now. I plan to bring the spikes.

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Re: Pikes Peak

Postby Dark Helmet » Thu Nov 01, 2012 9:23 am

Last I heard there was quite a bit of snow on the mountain, but that was 4-5 days ago.

if you are going to take the train down, its a weather dependent hike, but start around 5am if you can. Round-Trip hike? I wouldn't do it unless you are SERIOUSLY quick on the way up.

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Re: Pikes Peak

Postby Ziplinesd » Fri Nov 02, 2012 5:56 am

Hey guys, Thanks for the Info, I really appreciate it. To get acclimated ( because I live at sea Level) Wednesday I hiked the incline which was amazing and back down barr trail, yesterday I hiked up devils playground trail to the road. Im heading up to Barr trail now and I feel pretty confident! :-D Thanks again.


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Re: Pikes Peak

Postby shaberer0511 » Fri Nov 02, 2012 10:19 am

I was actually thinking of climbing Pikes the week of Thanksgiving if the weather holds out and there is not too much snow. How is the Crags trail looking as far as snow and ice? All I have is hiking boots and trekking poles.
"The Good Lord gave us mountains so we can learn how to climb. (Lonestar)"

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Re: Pikes Peak

Postby climbingaggie03 » Fri Nov 02, 2012 10:42 am

as long as we don't get any more snow between now and then I'd bet you'll be ok, but hard to say this far out. Most likely all you'd really need to add would be micro spikes, yak trax or something equivalent. It's getting kind of chilly up there though...

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