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 Peak(s):  Pikes Peak  -  14,110 feet
 Post Date:  04/17/2012
 Date Climbed:   04/14/2012
 Posted By:  CO Native

 Lightning Season Returns   

Sort of did the peak backwards. Drove to the summit, hiked down then back up again. I certainly wasn't expecting lighting yet this year. Temperatures were in the low teens, it was foggy, and snowing. Not the usual lighting sort of conditions.

The summit was heavily fogged in on arrival with only some light snow falling.

Image
Heavy fog and snow.


During the descent a window opened up in the weather providing some stunning scenery. However we noticed some flashes that at first we wrote off as being from the vehicles on the summit.

Image
Our destination, and the glow of Colorado Springs through the clouds.


After getting below the 16 golden stairs there was one flash that was quite bright and we heard some low distant thunder. It was clear it was coming from the other side of the mountain, but motivation enough to begin to seek shelter as the storm began to move back up the mountain.

Image
The storm rolling back in.


We beat a hasty retreat to the shelter of our vehicles.

Image
Headed back to the summit.


The drive back down was very slow as whiteout conditions moved in on us.

Image
White out on the highway.

 


  • Comments or Questions (3)
Wish I lived in CO


Interesting     2012-04-18 05:22:27
Not often you have to hurry UP to the summit for shelter!


Presto


Snow and lightning ...     2012-04-18 09:03:07
Always an interesting combination (and generally not expected by people) ... I can recall a spring climb of Aetna and Taylor where we were trapped at the saddle for about an hour waiting out such an event. Glad it all turned out okay ... neat to see a ”reverse” report per se (sort of like doing a Grand Canyon hike). Thanks for posting. Happy trails!


ylingli


Wow!!!     2012-04-19 15:43:35
I wouldn't have expected lightning either this early in the season! Thanks for posting!



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