Peak(s):  Pikes Peak  -  14,110 feet
Date Posted:  06/01/2011
Date Climbed:   05/22/2011
Author:  FireOnTheMountain
 Heroically traversing to the Y(MCA)  

First off, I LOVE to climb mountains and am very un-lazy on the mountain, but once I come home that all goes out the window and I'd rather do something like read a book . On multiple trips I tell myself "Man, I will definitely write a report on this one!" then I get home and am succumbed to the window (and a book). So anyways, here it first TR and more than a 10 days old (hey, beggars can't be choosers)

I climbed Sherman, Gemini and Sheridan on Thursday then hit up Elbert on Friday then returned home on Saturday. I found myself awake pretty early on Saturday already planning a trip for Sunday with a killer group I joined a few weeks earlier. So Saturday evening, I convinced nkan02 (aka Natalie aka "The Badass") to give me a ride down to Pikes with her. Quite a large group of us stayed the night at the Crags Campground on Saturday night and the goal was to hit the summit via the Heroes Traverse to the Y couloir the next morning.

nkan02 and rest of group at the Devil's Playground

As we reached one of the switchbacks in the road around 13,200 I believe, we scoped a place to enter into the Heroes Traverse. Jason, who from here on out will affectionately be referred to as Mr. Insaneo, decided that he wanted to tie off to a rock and rappel into the traverse. That was basically the face I made and proceeded to comment how crazy of an idea that was. Mercifully, Mr. Insaneo gave in and we decided on a more sensible way to get into the traverse.

Me waiting on top as Mr. Insaneo descends (Photo by Natalie)

Picture taken by Natalie

I was told by Leonard (ljmadrid) and Natalie that below us was basically sheer cliff and that if one us were to fall it would not be a good day. I just remember not looking down that much and being quite focused on all my moves. Thankfully, the snow was quite good with some icy areas but overall good. Also, the weather gods were cooperating with us because of all the cloud coverage that was keeping the snow pretty hard.

Path we took down

View of whats ahead


Mr. Insaneo

Some wicked downclimbing

Me on a little tricky spot

After downclimbing at least 600', we finally made it to the climber's right portion of the Y Couloir. Ok Cool, time to go home. haha not . Now the summit!

View looking up

Casey Jones, drivin that train, high on cocaine

Weather moving in but we made it!

On the way down we started to hear thunder and were looking up into some pretty ominous-looking clouds. Naturally, we got a little off the path (2 drainage gulches off to be precise) while it was thundering and rain/snowing, you know, typical 14er descents. Thankfully, Leonard, the big cheese, waited for us the whole time and we met him back down at the Crags campground for our ride back up to Denver.

Overall, it was definitely an amazing day! I am certain it was the most gnarly snow climb I have done and thank Mr. Insaneo so much for being a great lead during the traverse (this was a very normal climb for a very normal insane person like Jason). I learned quite a bit about myself as a “mountaineer” from this climb and I recommend it to anyone else who is pretty experienced and also willing to be safe and assess the situation appropriately like Jason and I were.

It's fun to stay at the Y-M-C-A.

You can get yourself clean, you can have a good meal
You can do whatever you feel ...

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):

 Comments or Questions

06/01/2011 22:18
Fun climb! Thanks for sharing, I know I'm glad you took the time to do it.


06/02/2011 00:58
Abe, you're killin' it man. Keep it up.


04/02/2015 19:45
I am guessing, after this little adventure Hourglass on Little Bear was nothing for you
oh, and the Sunday winds did not stop you from summitting both Blanca and Ellingwood. That's madness, man.

p.s. Leonard and I did not follow two Insaneos down that little ditch called the Bottomless pit and as a result made the standard treck up Pikes that day.


06/02/2011 13:47
Sonufa... I was literally on the mountain 2 days before planning damn near the same route, but didn't want to chance it with the weather. We were planning on going up crags, then down Rumdoodle, bivy in the pit, then climb out the Y. Nice work! Glad I can tick another vicarious summit off my list! hahaha


Glad you guys enjoyed it!
06/03/2011 16:14
Jeff - I saw you did Yale on the 29th because you signed the book, I did it the day after! There was no one when I did it but seemed like it was kinda crowded the day you did it. I want to go back in the dead of winter and board that mountain.

Natalie - I'm not sure which one was more sketchy, the hourglass or this climb. I think this climb was, the only thing skecthy about the hourglass was the fact that the mountain was falling apart under us. Worth noting that Natalie summitted Pikes in Feb. under some real nasty conditions, told you she was a badass!

Theodore - Vicarious climbs are as good as the real thing!


Check, check.
06/06/2011 03:22
Yeahhh dude nice report. This would be Mr. Insaneo btw.

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