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Peak(s):  Pikes Peak  -  14,110 feet
Post Date:  03/05/2008
Date Climbed:   02/29/2008
Posted By:  Dad Mike


 Pikes - Barr Trail   

Trip Report #1
Winter Ascent #1...kind of
Mileage: 16-18 miles
Elevaton Gain: 7500‘

It was 60 degrees in Colorado Springs when I left my house. I started up the incline around 1pm. There were a couple icy spots, but nothing too bad.

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One of my favorite things about the Barr Trail are the views of Pikes Peak you get along the way. It never seems to get closer.

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The other thing you see a lot of are milage signs...and you‘re never as close as you think.

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The trail from Manitou to Barr Camp is mostly dry. Yak Trax would help in some spots, but not necessary. I arrived at Barr Camp around 2:30 and was greated by Theresa and Neil.

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I made a reservation to stay the night in the main cabin. This is a large room with a bunch of matresses that is attached to the kitchen/living room. I‘ve walked past Barr Camp a few times, but this was my first time inside. It‘s pretty impressive considering how far it is from civilization. And the caretakers, Neil and Theresa, made me feel right at home.

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After a restless night I was dressed and ready to got at 6:30. I would have left earlier, except part of the fun of staying at the camp is that they make you breakfast in the morning. It turned out to be a bad decision...the pancakes were the worst I‘ve ever had in my life. I feel bad saying that because I really enjoyed my time there, but how you screw up pancakes that bad...I‘ll never know.

The sun was peaking through the trees when I hit the trail around 7.

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The trail from the camp to the Bottomless Pit sign was pretty packed down...no need for snowshoes. From there to the A-Frame the trail got harder to follow and the snow got progressively deeper. I straped on the showshoes soon after the sign. I lost the trail completely about a mile below the A-Frame.

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I ended up coming out of the forest below the A-Frame. From there I checked the condition of the trail...it didn‘t look like any fun. No one had been on it in weeks. I decided the best route would be straight up the gully.

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The conditions couldn‘t have been better. It was right around 30 degrees and very little wind. I was surprised how little snow there was above treeline. If I wanted to I could have avoided snow completely. The only tricky part was the large snowfield & cornice right below the summit.

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I just hugged the rocks on the left and worked my way around and over it. I got to the Summit at 9:45. I know it‘s not a difficult peak to climb, but I always get a great sense of accomplishment on the top of Pikes Peak. This time was especially nice because the train wasn‘t running yet, the road wasn‘t open all the way to the top, and I was all alone (rare on Pikes).

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I made it back to Barr Camp at noon and back to the car at 1:45pm.

It wasn‘t what I imagined for my first winter 14er, but it was still an amazing couple of days.



Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
 


  • Comments or Questions
sgladbach


Nice Job!     11/30/2010 17:20
Good work on a first winter 14er. seems like you picked the right weekend!

These conditions on this part of the route are quite common:

"The trail from the camp to the Bottomless Pit sign was pretty packed down...no need for snowshoes. From there to the A-Frame the trail got harder to follow and the snow got progressively deeper. I straped on the showshoes soon after the sign. I lost the trail completely about a mile below the A-Frame. "

How did you imagine it going? :

"It wasn't what I imagined for my first winter 14er, but it was still an amazing couple of days."

Again, congatulations.



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