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Pikes Peak solo via Crags trail

FAQ and threads for those just starting to hike the Colorado 14ers.
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Pikes Peak solo via Crags trail

Postby phheim01 » Mon Jan 23, 2012 12:51 pm

Hey everyone. I am looking to climb Pikes Peak via Crags trailhead in July. I am still new to climbing/hiking. Last year, I climbed Quandary solo and I now want to climb Pikes Peak and was wondering if I would be ok to go solo on this hike? I also noticed this is Class 2 difficulty. Any thoughts / suggestions would be appreciated. Thank you for any suggestions. I appreciate it.

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Re: Pikes Peak solo via Crags trail

Postby Jay521 » Mon Jan 23, 2012 1:05 pm

phheim01 wrote:Hey everyone. I am looking to climb Pikes Peak via Crags trailhead in July. I am still new to climbing/hiking. Last year, I climbed Quandary solo and I now want to climb Pikes Peak and was wondering if I would be ok to go solo on this hike? I also noticed this is Class 2 difficulty. Any thoughts / suggestions would be appreciated. Thank you for any suggestions. I appreciate it.


There are far more experienced climbers on this site than I am, but I imagine you will have little problem with the physical side of Pikes via the Crags. It's a bit tougher than Quandry but not all that bad. And in July, I doubt that you will be alone. One word of warning, however... Like all 14ers, lightning in the summer can be a HUGE concern. The Devil's Playground earns its name because of that danger. Be SURE you get an early start, keep an eye on the sky and don't be afraid to bail out if the skies are threatening. The mountain will be there another day. Make sure that you are there for another day too.

Good luck! Pikes is a fun climb and solo climbs are always fun.
I take the mountain climber's approach to housekeeping - don't look down

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Re: Pikes Peak solo via Crags trail

Postby phheim01 » Mon Jan 23, 2012 1:07 pm

Jay521 wrote:
phheim01 wrote:Hey everyone. I am looking to climb Pikes Peak via Crags trailhead in July. I am still new to climbing/hiking. Last year, I climbed Quandary solo and I now want to climb Pikes Peak and was wondering if I would be ok to go solo on this hike? I also noticed this is Class 2 difficulty. Any thoughts / suggestions would be appreciated. Thank you for any suggestions. I appreciate it.


There are far more experienced climbers on this site than I am, but I imagine you will have little problem with the physical side of Pikes via the Crags. It's a bit tougher than Quandry but not all that bad. And in July, I doubt that you will be alone. One word of warning, however... Like all 14ers, lightning in the summer can be a HUGE concern. The Devil's Playground earns its name because of that danger. Be SURE you get an early start, keep an eye on the sky and don't be afraid to bail out if the skies are threatening. The mountain will be there another day. Make sure that you are there for another day too.

Good luck! Pikes is a fun climb and solo climbs are always fun.




Thanks for the response Jay521. Appreciate it. Looking forward to the climb. Thanks again.

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Re: Pikes Peak solo via Crags trail

Postby jsdratm » Mon Jan 23, 2012 1:39 pm

I did it solo in May last year and it wasn't too bad. For some reason my GPS said it was a bit longer than what this site stated, since it ended up being 15 miles RT. Technically, it isn't very challenging and you can always walk up the road if necessary. Like others have stated, lightning is the main concern and I advise leaving very early. For me, it started clouding over after I left the summit and was storming a mile or two before I reached the trailhead. I have hiked down the Barr Trail twice and found the Crags route much more suitable (and less painful on the knees) for a day hike.

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Re: Pikes Peak solo via Crags trail

Postby Jelgan » Mon Jan 23, 2012 1:54 pm

Pikes Peak via Crags was my first 14er and I did it solo in mid-summer. I've since repeated in early summer, also solo, so its certainly doable. I had done several other hikes prior to my first climb that took several hours with a little bit of class 2 to make sure I wasn't getting in over my head, and wasn't overwhelmed when I summited. That being said I live in Colorado Springs so the altitude didn't bother me as much as it would someone who lives at a lower elevation. Just make sure you're prepared (right clothes, enough food/water, etc) and its not too bad. And as others stated, make sure you start early, you don't want to be caught in a thunderstorm.

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Re: Pikes Peak solo via Crags trail

Postby bfsmith » Mon Jan 23, 2012 2:00 pm

This is not a difficult hike. I am not sure where the Class 2 is. Heck some of the hike parallels the road. If you choose to go solo then this is probably not a bad one to try. You are never far from cars, people, donuts!

I have a trip report here: http://4000meters.blogspot.com/2009/08/pikes-peak-there-really-is-coffee-and.html.

There is also a route/map on the TR.

Cheers,


Ben

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Re: Pikes Peak solo via Crags trail

Postby phheim01 » Mon Jan 23, 2012 2:15 pm

Thank you all for the responses and suggestions. Appreciate it.

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Re: Pikes Peak solo via Crags trail

Postby KSherpa » Mon Jan 23, 2012 2:18 pm

Why wait for July? If you're willing, physically fit, and have the gear for it, make Pikes Peak your first winter ascent. As far as the fourteeners go, Pikes is relatively (I say this with a healthy dose of respect for this and any mountain) benign and without many of the challenges other peaks present. On the standard Craggs route, you will not be faced with exposure, avalanche danger, or advanced route finding. On a good weather day, it is great route.

If you do decide to accept this mission, you're only challenges outside of wind and winter weather will be route finding coming up the shoulder from the Craggs area. Once you exit treeline and gain the ridge it's a simple hike up to a summit that, worst case, has a road leading straight to it.

So go get some!

Re: Pikes Peak solo via Crags trail

Postby DoubelDD » Mon Jan 23, 2012 2:21 pm

KSherpa wrote:Why wait for July? If you're willing, physically fit, and have the gear for it, make Pikes Peak your first winter ascent. As far as the fourteeners go, Pikes is relatively (I say this with a healthy dose of respect for this and any mountain) benign and without many of the challenges other peaks present. On the standard Craggs route, you will not be faced with exposure, avalanche danger, or advanced route finding. On a good weather day, it is great route.

If you do decide to accept this mission, you're only challenges outside of wind and winter weather will be route finding coming up the shoulder from the Craggs area. Once you exit treeline and gain the ridge it's a simple hike up to a summit that, worst case, has a road leading straight to it.

So go get some!


+1
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Re: Pikes Peak solo via Crags trail

Postby Jay521 » Mon Jan 23, 2012 2:30 pm

KSherpa wrote:Why wait for July? If you're willing, physically fit, and have the gear for it, make Pikes Peak your first winter ascent. As far as the fourteeners go, Pikes is relatively (I say this with a healthy dose of respect for this and any mountain) benign and without many of the challenges other peaks present. On the standard Craggs route, you will not be faced with exposure, avalanche danger, or advanced route finding. On a good weather day, it is great route.

If you do decide to accept this mission, you're only challenges outside of wind and winter weather will be route finding coming up the shoulder from the Craggs area. Once you exit treeline and gain the ridge it's a simple hike up to a summit that, worst case, has a road leading straight to it.

So go get some!


I also agree with this. With the caveat that the wind can be pretty rough up there in the winter. I did Crags to the summit on Jan 15 and about got blown off the mountain.
I take the mountain climber's approach to housekeeping - don't look down

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Re: Pikes Peak solo via Crags trail

Postby Cub8556 » Sat Apr 26, 2014 10:45 am

Jay521 wrote:
phheim01 wrote:Hey everyone. I am looking to climb Pikes Peak via Crags trailhead in July. I am still new to climbing/hiking. Last year, I climbed Quandary solo and I now want to climb Pikes Peak and was wondering if I would be ok to go solo on this hike? I also noticed this is Class 2 difficulty. Any thoughts / suggestions would be appreciated. Thank you for any suggestions. I appreciate it.


Be SURE you get an early start, keep an eye on the sky and don't be afraid to bail out if the skies are threatening. The mountain will be there another day. Make sure that you are there for another day too.

Good luck! Pikes is a fun climb and solo climbs are always fun.


Sorry don't mean to hijack just didnt want to create a new thread for a simple answer, but I will be climbing Crags in August, what time do you guys recommend starting in the morning in order to beat the crowds and possible lightning? We are in pretty decent shape but will be taking it slow since we wont have much time to acclimatize before the hike.

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Re: Pikes Peak solo via Crags trail

Postby Tortoise1 » Sat Apr 26, 2014 3:35 pm

It's long. Unless you are really fast I would say start no later than 6:00am, and 5am would be better.

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