Peak(s):  Pikes Peak  -  14,110 feet
Date Posted:  09/23/2012
Date Climbed:   09/22/2012
Author:  ckbn
 Pikes Peak - Northwest Slopes  

Successfully completed my first 14er by summiting Pike’s Peak via the northwest slopes on Saturday 22 September 2012. My partner and I started off at the Crag’s trailhead at 0600. The weather was great, no clouds and a temperature of about 40 degrees. No issues with the trail past the creek crossing and the switchbacks up to the steep slope leading to the saddle. The trail on the saddle was a little wet, but there was no snow or saturated areas going up the slope to the saddle. Once we reach the saddle the wind started to pick up as we made our way to Devil’s playground. Trail traffic was increasing steadily throughout the morning and into the early afternoon. Trail conditions were great with no issues of wet or puddled water along this portion of the route.

As we moved along the trail from Devil’s playground to the summit there were some isolated spots of snow, particularly along the trail edges adjacent to the couloirs and point 13,363. Some areas of the trail were saturated with water from melting snow which made the going a slick around point 13,363. Once we reached the summit blocks (the “lego bricks”) there was some deeper snow and isolated spots of ice along the trail leading to the summit. We took it slow to ensure we remained safe, and made it to the summit at 1100. Weather for the entire duration of the summit climb was absolutely beautiful with blue skies and hardly any clouds, but views were obscured somewhat by haze and smoke that had been drifting in throughout the morning. Wind was still there and I estimated it to be blowing between 15-25 MPH.

The return back to the trailhead was uneventful. We passed a number of folks and groups making their way up to the summit as we descended down towards the trailhead, making it back by 1600. Total time on the route was 10 hours with a total distance covered of 14.4 miles using GPS apps.

 Comments or Questions

09/24/2012 15:32
This is the last climb I have in the front range. Any chance you have a few pictures you can post?

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