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Pikes Peak in April

FAQ and threads for those just starting to hike the Colorado 14ers.
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Pikes Peak in April

Postby luv2hikejulie » Thu Mar 29, 2007 11:36 am

Has anyone had experience with Pikes Peak in mid April? Will be down in the Springs for a conference and would like to climb Pikes on the weekend. This would be my first 14'er, however have been hiking all winter and recently climbed Mt. Garfield on the western slope. Thanks

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Postby CO Native » Thu Mar 29, 2007 12:05 pm

Either of the trails will be easily passable in April. Though traction may be an issue. Be prepared for significant weather change from base to summit though. It'll feel like summer when you start but winter when you reach the summit. Also, afternoon thunderstorms will be an issue again so hike accordingly. If you're doing Barr trail it takes an extremely early start to be able to be back below treeline by noon.
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Postby Kevin Baker » Thu Mar 29, 2007 12:40 pm

If you decide to go up Barr Trail, consider making it a 2 day hike by staying at Barr Camp. It's a nice experience and the caretakers fix you dinner and breakfast! You will probably be able to get by w/o snowshoes in April on both Barr & Crags routes unless we get some storms soon. The east face currently has a fair amount of snow from last Saturday's storm, but I would guess the trail is beaten down pretty good.

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Postby luv2hikejulie » Thu Mar 29, 2007 1:08 pm

thanks for the info

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Postby mac266 » Thu Apr 05, 2007 1:15 am

Some folks like to stay at Barr camp on a 2 day hike. However, I would suggest hiking all the way to the A frame on the first day, then to summit and all the way down on day 2. The reason for that is because everything up to Barr camp is pretty easy...you can pound away to the A frame and then get a good night's rest before the hard part begins.
MAC

"Courage is almost a contradiction in terms. It means a strong desire to live, taking the form of readiness to die." -Chesterton

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Postby luv2hikejulie » Thu Apr 05, 2007 5:35 am

They A frame can people stay there? Is there a cost? Thanks

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Postby Kevin Baker » Thu Apr 05, 2007 7:53 am

A frame is going to be pretty primitive compared to Barr Camp. I don't think there is a cost. If you're going in April, it may still have some snow in it and I have heard mice are sometimes a problem. Hope your trip goes well!

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Postby alanb » Thu Apr 05, 2007 8:16 am

Here is my experience at the beginning of April starting at Crags Campground:
http://www.14ers.com/php14ers/tripreport.php?trip=2325&parmuser=alanb&cpgm=tripmain

I agree with Co Native. At the trailhead even with the light dusting of snow from the previous night it was still pleasant down there. But you can see from the report that at the ridge line it was miserable. I also concur with the traction comment. The trail was well packed but very icy.

If you don't want to length of the Barr trail you may want to consider doing what we did. Start at Crags Campground hike up to Devils playground and follow the ridge to the summit.
"The mountains are calling, therefore I must go."
tweaked by me but originally John Muir

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Postby luv2hikejulie » Thu Apr 05, 2007 8:45 am

Alanb thanks for posting your trip report. Most definately going to try the shorter route, but will be watching the weather and trip reports prior to heading up.

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