Peak:  Pikes Peak (14er)
 Route:  Northwest Slopes
 Range:  Front
 Posted By:  Aristotle
 Date of Info:  02/25/2012
 Date Posted:  02/26/2012

Climbed the Northwest route, road up is packed snow to Crags TH. No snowshoes needed on entire route, though I packed them and used them on the lower trail to avoid the occasional posthole. Wind was subdued until treeline, when it picked up a bit - but by the saddle at 12,500, NOAA‘s prediction of 55mph was right on. We continued up through Devils Playground, to about 12,800, when it looked like my dogs jowls were beginning to ice up. She has a couple of areas toward the back of her mouth where the inner tissue faces out, and looked vulnerable. Though "Gracie" has summitted in winter before (did Evans last January from well below Guanella Pass) and true to her breeding loves the snow and mountains, this was the stiffest cold wind she‘s encountered and I became concerned that she might get frostbite on parts of her mouth that were exposed, so we turned around. With another couple of hours on the summit ridge, I didn‘t want to chance an injury. I welcome any stories of others with dogs in high winds and how they fared.
Photo 1: At about 11,200', view northwest. (2) Still in the trees at about 11,000' (earlier photo). (3) View south to summit from 12,800'. (4) Gracie on way back down, at about 11,500'.

Photos (click for slideshow):
Image #1Image #2Image #3Image #4

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