Buying Gear?  Click Here
Buying gear? Please use these links to help 14ers.com:

More info...

Other ways to help...
 Peak(s):  Pikes Peak  -  14,110 feet
 Post Date:  11/07/2010 Modified: 08/08/2013
 Date Climbed:   11/06/2010
 Posted By:  rajz06

 Crags To Pikes Saga   

I started about half a mile from the Crags campground which used to be the old trailhead location. Parking at the campground is no longer allowed for unauthorized vehicles so I parked by the side of the main dirt road and figured I'd save about a mile by starting there versus the new trailhead. Soon I was at the junction that is now marked with a sign showing the route separation, and proceeded to cross the stream on the first log bridge.

Image
Log bridge


Within minutes, I encountered the first snow on the trail as I made my way through the dense pine forest. At this point, I wasn't sure how much of a threat the snow would be as I pressed on.

Image
Snow on the trail


My first challenge was the long steep stretch around 11,000 feet which is steeper than it looks in this picture and a good precursor for the tougher pitches that lay ahead.

Image
First steep stretch


The trail then meanders through the pines making its way up the beautiful hillside strewn with boulders breaking the monotony of the pines.

Image
Trail through the pines


Image
Pines and boulders


Approaching treeline, the trail gradually climbs southeast as it strains to the top of the grassy knoll.

Image
Grassy knoll


As I neared the top, I caught my first glimpse of the most visited peak in North America, looking like nothing more than a small mound from that perspective!

Image
First glimpse of the peak


As the trail flattened out, I got a much needed respite and enjoyed the lovely views of the valley to the south:

Image
View of the valley to the south


and through the rock towers passageway looking right at the peak.

Image
Pikes view through the towers



The trail doesn't get serious again until past Devil's Playground so I took the opportunity to fortify myself with a snack. In this view taken just past Devil's Playground, you can see Point 13,363 and Pikes Peak in the background.

Image
Point 13,363 and Pikes


While the snow was relatively light and scattered, there were a couple of traverses that required some negotiating like this icy ledge bordering a steep overlook to the east.

Image
Icy ledge


The traverse skirting the east side of Point 13,363 also had some snow accumulation on its east face but the snow was packed and posed no real traction issues.

Image
East face of Point 13,363


There were two final pitches to overcome before the saga would be over and the trail from this point was well marked with cairns.

Image

The first of the two was a traverse across a grassy boulder field.

Image
The penultimate pitch


Image
Tundra and rocks


The final pitch starts at 13,400 feet and climbs the Class 2 talus notable for its characteristic pink granite.

Image
The Talus


Image
Pink Granite


Finally, the guard rail just below the summit sprung into view and spurred me on to the summit.

Image
Oh so near!


I took a moment here to bask in the glorious sun and marvel at the spectacular views of the snow-capped Sawatch mountains to the northwest.

Image
View of the Sawatchers


The summit as always was a gaggle of tourists, children and dogs.

Image
Summit crowd


But there was one special bushy-tailed visitor worthy of mention.

Image
Special visitor


I wonder which trail he took to the top!

Here is yours truly, tired but triumphant.

Image
Yours truly


This marked my sixth ascent of the peak, the most of any of Colorado's fourteeners. My love affair of these magnificent mountains that started on Barr trail in the fall of 1997 has raged unabated and in its fourteenth year is now stronger than ever. Climbing these mountains and marveling at their beauty up close has given me a joy that I couldn't possibly put in words and in that regard Pikes will always have a special place in my heart.

Image
The Magnificent Sawatch



Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
 


  • Comments or Questions
Brian C


Nice day     2010-11-07 16:35:47
One of my coldest hikes ever was Crags in November a few years ago. Wonder what that fox was doing up there! Donuts?


James Scott


Great Pics     2010-11-07 19:31:56
Did the fox drive up, or take the train?


zach62884

wow     2010-11-07 19:56:10
I would have expected more snow then that, great pictures!


mtgirl


Fox     2010-11-08 10:55:35
I hiked up Pikes Peak via the Crags back in June and also saw a fox (around 13,000 feet). He acted more like a dog than a wild animal. Even wagged it's tail like a dog. Strange !


DScott49


Nice Report!     2010-11-08 13:08:18
Living in Colorado Springs I find Pikes calling to me frequently. I have climbed up and down from Manitou Springs five times and twice from the Craigs. Thanks for sharing all the pics from your journey, it is almost like I did it again (without the aches and pains to follow)


Kitten


We saw you!     2010-11-09 13:05:36
Great report! Hey, we were the couple just behind of you on the way back and in front of you during the ascent (in fact we show up in Picture 11) I had the feeling you were taking pics for the trip report, good job! Yes, that fox was something, so tame...


rajz06


Thanks!     2010-11-12 14:41:18
Kitten, I wondered if you might catch me online, and you did!

DScott49, we do share the same love-hate relationship with Pikes.

Indeed, it is a small world and we have these magnificent mountains and this great site to thank for that.



   Using your forum id/password. Not registered? Click Here


Caution: The information contained in this report may not be accurate and should not be the only resource used in preparation for your climb. Failure to have the necessary experience, physical conditioning, supplies or equipment can result in injury or death. 14ers.com and the author(s) of this report provide no warranties, either express or implied, that the information provided is accurate or reliable. By using the information provided, you agree to indemnify and hold harmless 14ers.com and the report author(s) with respect to any claims and demands against them, including any attorney fees and expenses. Please read the 14ers.com Safety and Disclaimer pages for more information.

© 2014 14ers.com®, 14ers Inc.