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 Peak(s):  Pikes Peak  -  14,110 feet
 Post Date:  10/06/2011 Modified: 10/07/2011
 Date Climbed:   10/06/2011
 Posted By:  JQDivide

 Pikes Peak; Manitou to Divide   


Pikes Peak: Manitou Springs to Divide
Oct 5-6, 2011


About 27 miles (depending on which source).
Actual Hiking Time:
Barr TH to Summit: 6 hrs, 55 minutes (13 miles, 7,500 feet)
Summit to Craggs TH: 2 hr 50 min. (6.5 miles, 4,300 feet)
Craggs TH to Divide, McGinty’s: 2 hrs, 10 min. (7 miles, 1,000 feet)
Image
Pikes Peak from my yard the morning I left.


Preface: I figured after living by this mountain for 9 years it was time to climb it. I was planning this trip earlier this year while sitting at the office. But as time went by and other plans came and went, I put this trip on hold. It was supposed to be three days. Day 1: Manitou to the A-Frame. Day 2: A-Frame, Summit, the Craggs. Day 3: The Craggs to Divide and home. I missed my chance earlier this summer/fall so I cut it down to two days and watched the weather for a chance to go. The new goal: Manitou to Divide via Pikes Peak.

Tuesday, Oct. 4
Dropped off my car at the Craggs TH, in case I was in bad shape or had bad weather and didn’t want to walk to Divide. Stashed some fresh clothes, snacks and Gatorade in a cooler.

Wednesday, Oct. 5, (9 miles) Beautiful weather.

Image
Pikes from Woodland Park

8:15 a.m. I grabbed a ride with my neighbor into Woodland Park. Then took the Ute Pass Express (9 a.m.ish) down to Manitou Springs, this is the last month for the express to run. The driver was like a real creepy Matt Frewer. Image
The Ute Pass Express Bus, my ride down the pass.

Then I rode a Metro bus to downtown Manitou, just shy of Ruxton Ave. Walked from the round-about to the Barr Trail trailhead, maybe half to one mile. Gave $10 to some dude living in his van with a couple dogs.
Watched a bunch of school kids get ready to load a Cog train. Checked out the bathroom at the TH and wished that I didn't. It was three-day fraternity kegger bad.
Left the trailhead about 10:10 a.m., which is now a pay-to-park, credit cards only.
Image
Barr Trail sign


Once I passed the top of the Incline I only saw five people, three coming down and two going up to Barr Camp.
Image
Pikes from Barr Trail

Image
Barr Trail Sign at 9,800 feet

1:25 p.m. Reached Barr Camp in just over three hours and met Meredith and Laura, the part-time caretakers. Neil was discussing a painting job with them before he headed down. I know it's old, but it looks to be in rough shape, most of the Summit Huts I've been to are in better shape. But I would stay there. Ate lunch, bought a Gatorade and headed out about 2:50 p.m.

Image
Barr Camp


4:25 p.m. Reached the A-Frame.
Image
Just three more switchbacks after this tree to the A-Frame

What a great set up! I’d go back just to camp there. There is a small creek that runs just a few steps from the structure for water. The A-Frame faces directly East, so the winds coming off the mountain don’t get inside. But the sunrise sure does. There were two thin mattresses (better than a camping pad), four sleeping bags, a towel, a sheet, some tools and boy scout cook set. Fire wood is scarce in the surrounding area. But in the warmer months, the twinkling lights in the Springs make up for it.
Image
A-frame sign

Image
The A-frame.

Image
At the A-Frame, doing my best Les Stroud tripod shot.

Cooked dinner about 6:30 and watched Colorado Springs lighten up as the sun set.
Image
Great view of Colorado Springs from the A-Frame


Thursday, Oct. 6 (17 miles)
7 a.m. sunrise. (Beautiful pink sky before that.) Finally got out of my bag, it was a little chilly before the sun started to heat things up. Got up, cooked breakfast, packed up. I didn’t get much sleep because of all the winds and gusts coming off the mountain.
8:30 a.m. left for the summit.
9:10 a.m., 12,700 foot sign (The A-Frame is just about 11,500) The winds kept up during the hike to the summit. I fell over once, but that prepared me for the harder gusts as I made my way up. Some one said the gust were up to 50 mph.
Image
At 12,700, notice how clear it looks that direction.

Image
Trail heads into the clouds and snow

9:50 a.m., Cirque sign. Was just below the clouds at this point.
Image
Even with the clouds.

10:15 a.m. 16 Golden Step sign… there are a lot more than 16 steps before you reach the top. Shortly after I passed the sign, I could smell the greasy cooking coming from the Summit House. Then I heard the Cog train.
Image
Almost to the top, notice the ice on the sign.

10:35 a.m. Summit House and two Cog trains full of school kids.
Image
Train full of kids. Photo is not blurry, just poor visibility
Mass chaos inside. They pretty much wiped out the food. I did get a nasty cheeseburger and a Gatorade.
Visibility was only 50 to 100 feet and the winds kept blowing. Once the kids, teachers and parents got back on the train, no one was left inside. I was the only customer.
11:25 a.m. Left the Summit House and grabbed a self portrait at the sign.
Image
Another Les Stroud shot, no one was left on the peak but staff.

I saw two other hikers leave a few minutes before. I thought I would try to catch them because I was unsure of the trail down until it reached Little Pikes. But I couldn’t see them or the trail. I followed the road, there were no cars in the parking lot, so I wasn’t scared of getting hit by a tourist. I was a bit concerned about frostbite because of the temperature and the high winds, so I bundled up a bit.
Image
The road down

Image
Image
Little Pikes

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Frozen Tourist signs, no wonder no one was on the mountain

Image
Same spot facing Northeast, and lower elevations

Image
Same spot facing northwest, big difference

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Cool ice on a rock, the wind blow the ice in straight line.


I saw a glimpse of the two hikers and increased my pace. I caught up with them just before the Devil’s Playground, which we reached at 12:35 p.m. We stopped next to the rocks to get out of the wind and talked for a bit.
Image
The Playground


Image
Looking down the valley towards the Craggs Trail/TH


1:15 p.m. I reached treeline. It started snowing a bit, not much and nothing was sticking.
Image
About 2.5 miles to go to Divide


2:13 p.m. I reached the trailhead. I went through the campground just to see how much time it took, it is about 5 minutes faster than taking the new trail.

When I got to the car, it started to sleet. I wasn’t sure if wanted to walk the next leg of the journey to Divide in sleet. It only lasted a few minutes. I washed my pits, changed shirts and regrouped. Left my backpack in the car and grabbed my daypack.
2:40 p.m. Left my car at the trailhead and started walking.
3:32 p.m. Reached the highway, 4 miles to go. It went fine until the last mile, wind and sideways sleet. Two people stopped to offer me a ride, said thanks, but no, I just couldn’t do it, I was so close.
Image
Divide and McGinty's in the shopping center.


4:47 p.m. Reached Divide and McGinty’s. Had a Guiness and the Bubble & Spuds.
Image
Guiness and Bubble & Spuds, kind of an Irish take on nachos


My wife came and picked me up and drove me back to the Craggs to get my car, which had about 2 inches of snow/sleet on it.



Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
 


  • Comments or Questions
lackerstef


I like this version.     2011-10-07 08:01:50
Of course I have done Pikes from Barr and Crags, but never this. I am definitly interested now, especially for a winter climb. Thanks for the post!


globreal


That's quite the adventure!     2011-10-08 13:10:05
Nice idea....Manitou to Divide...and nice trip report. And you met your goal. Way to not give in a take the offers for a ride.

And there is a stream right next to A-Frame? I didn't know that. Good to know.
Congratulations on a fine cross country and over a big-bump adventure!



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