|Peak:||Pikes Peak (14er)|
|Date of Information:||04/21/2012|
Hiked up and down the Peak today (4-21-2012) with my brother, via Barr trail. From the Parking lot to Barr Camp, the trail is completely devoid of snow. From Barr Camp, to timberline, there are sporadic sections of ice where traction devices might be helpful - see picture #1. These areas had softened up nicely by the afternoon descent however. From timberline to the summit, the first mile (of the 3 miles from timberline to the summit) of the trail is pretty much wind-blown and devoid of snow with the last two miles snow-filled but nicely boot-packed and easy to follow. The trail does take a direct approach to the metal sign indicating the 16 Golden Stairs, as opposed to continuing south for one more switchback - see picture #2. Also, above the 16 Golden Stairs, the trail completely deviates from the standard route and takes a direct approach to the summit over an area of boulders, and has you summiting by the observation deck. My brother and I decided to "put a trail in" on the standard route to the summit which takes you further to the north and correctly right by the tribute plaque to Fred Barr and also brings you out on the summit by the metal trail mileage sign. Picture #3 shows my brother breaking trail behind me on the standard route just below the summit. Picture #4 (taken during the descent) shows the proverbial "fork in the road," where you can either continue on the standard trail to the summit which we are on, or head straight up over the boulders to the summit.
Photos (click for slideshow):