Peak(s):  Pikes Peak  -  14,110 feet
Date Posted:  04/17/2012
Date Climbed:   04/14/2012
Author:  CO Native

 Lightning Season Returns  

Sort of did the peak backwards. Drove to the summit, hiked down then back up again. I certainly wasn't expecting lighting yet this year. Temperatures were in the low teens, it was foggy, and snowing. Not the usual lighting sort of conditions.

The summit was heavily fogged in on arrival with only some light snow falling.

Heavy fog and snow.

During the descent a window opened up in the weather providing some stunning scenery. However we noticed some flashes that at first we wrote off as being from the vehicles on the summit.

Our destination, and the glow of Colorado Springs through the clouds.

After getting below the 16 golden stairs there was one flash that was quite bright and we heard some low distant thunder. It was clear it was coming from the other side of the mountain, but motivation enough to begin to seek shelter as the storm began to move back up the mountain.

The storm rolling back in.

We beat a hasty retreat to the shelter of our vehicles.

Headed back to the summit.

The drive back down was very slow as whiteout conditions moved in on us.

White out on the highway.


 Comments or Questions
Wish I lived in CO

04/18/2012 11:22
Not often you have to hurry UP to the summit for shelter!


Snow and lightning ...
04/18/2012 15:03
Always an interesting combination (and generally not expected by people) ... I can recall a spring climb of Aetna and Taylor where we were trapped at the saddle for about an hour waiting out such an event. Glad it all turned out okay ... neat to see a ”reverse” report per se (sort of like doing a Grand Canyon hike). Thanks for posting. Happy trails!


04/19/2012 21:43
I wouldn't have expected lightning either this early in the season! Thanks for posting!

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