randalmartin wrote:Pikes Peak in April is a terrible choice for a first 14er IMO. Crags can be a post holing nightmare down lower and his it's own share of route finding issues. For April I would say Sherman or Quandary are much better options.
I agree with what Randy is saying if you looking to go up sometime soon to hike Pikes it will be a harder climb that it needs to for your first 14er. I did Pikes as my first 14er via the Barr Trail and it was a very long day. I just went up and took the COG down but it was still very long. If you are still aiming for Pikes here is what my opinion would be.
If you want to go up and back on Barr Trail split it into a 2 day trip by either bringing up your own tent or sleep in a shelter or the cabin. I would hike up drop some weight at the camp, then go for the summit and then come back to the camp on day 1. Have the spaghetti dinner...very delish...and then get a good nights rest. Day 2 have the pancake breakfast and then head back down at your leisure. Your feet and knees will thank you for doing it in 2 days, I know I have gone up and back 3 times in 1 day and my feet were on fire. If you want to do it in 1 and don't care that you hike back down you can pay full price for a ticket on the COG to go down or have someone meet you at the top and give you a ride down. Now if you want a hike that will provide better scenery then I would suggest the Crags route, I did that route for the first time this winter and the views were much better in my opinion, though you will be fighting more wind. I hope that helps.
Good luck on your first 14er no matter which peak you do or which route you take up Pikes!