Went out to climb Pikes Peak via the Northwest Slopes from Crag's Campground on Sept. 29 with an out-of-town friend. We had wonderful weather the entire way up and some cloud cover for the hike out.
We got to the lower parking lot for Crag's Campground and left the car around 8:30 am. The trail was in great shape and some of the aspens were still brilliant for us. We hit the first bit of snow at Devil's Playground which we reached around 10:30 am.
Below Devil's Playground showing snow higher up on route After passing Devil's Playground, the trail got a little muddy from melting snow, but it wasn't too sloppy and mostly avoidable. We got a little off track approaching the bottom of the talus field because we lost the cairns for a bit, but got back on track. The snow covered the talus field pretty completely, but the climbing up wasn't too bad and we didn't hit any ice.
Me and my dog Snyder climbing up the last leg to the summit
We continued the climb up and hit the summit around 11:40 am. We had donuts at the top and spent about 40 minutes on the summit (it was my buddy's first 14er). With the sun warming the snow and having to downclimb a snowy talus field, we decided to put on some Yaxtrax and Microspikes on our way down and the other two climbers in the party used a trekking pole for stability. Overall the climb down the talus field wasn't bad and we didn't have any slips. We continued our hike out, had to turn around and hike a half-mile back up for a forgotten trekking pole, and got to the car around 4:00 pm. Overall we had good weather, good company, good conditions, and a fun climb. About 14.25 miles in just over 7.5 hours.