Ascent of Devils Playground on 2015-07-16

Climber: Gustav Sexauer

Other People:Solo Ascent
Date:Thursday, July 16, 2015
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Devils Playground
    Elevation:13060 ft / 3980 m

Ascent Trip Report

As always, we had a difficult time getting an early enough start, partly due to traveling the day before and throwing together a dinner in a friend's house before watching a movie and getting to bed late. Still, we hit the trailhead at about 7am at the Crags Campground. There were two groups of a dozen middle schoolers standing around and we feared that we would be hiking near them which might diminish the nature experience, at least on the part of the hike before we got up along the road. The first group left before us, but we got on the trail next. About ten minutes in to our walk in the woods we heard music that was popular when we were in middle school approaching us from behind. The kids passed us, oddly with no adults, playing that music. I wondered how they could hear birds or other forest sounds with the music. We also thought that era of music was extinct. We continued on, crossing a creek on a bridge in the fairly cold valley. We had a number of layers on, and we played the temperature game by beginning to remove them. We then passed two middle school girls going back down, maybe 40min in to the hike. They both looked upset, but amazingly, one of them was only wearing a sleeveless shirt on top. We continued on, and by the time we reached the tree line after some switchbacking, the sun was beginning to shine on us and warm us up. The trail takes a while to roll over this big sloped meadow and onto the plateau, just under 13,000'. Once we made it over we found the middle school group taking a break on the edge of the flat area. We also spotted a mine off to the SW. We had a great view of South Park and I thought that maybe we could see Grays Peak, which I had hiked a few days earlier, but I wasn't able to say for sure. There were other sight seers out here on the edge that had just walked from the parking area in Devil's Playground. We continued on and were quickly passed again by the middle schoolers. There was a neat cut in the rock where the path goes here that opened up to frame the summit of Pike's Peak. I decided that we should go off trail here and up to the Teller cohp. Katrina didn't want to waste energy on the side trip, so I went up solo as she looped around to the parking area. The peak is punctuated by smooth rock outcroppings among small patches of grass. Interestingly, this side trip made this the only "13er" I've ever hiked, despite being of such low prominence. Everything else has been 12 and down or 14 to 19 thousand. This trip report continues on the Pike's Peak TR.
Click on photo for original larger-size version.
Devil's Playground from across the Pikes Peak Road and the Teller County Line (2015-07-16). Photo by Gustav Sexauer.
Click here for larger-size photo.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:3340 ft / 1018 m
    Total Elevation Loss:260 ft / 79 m
    Grade/Class:Class 1
    Quality:4 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Open Country
    Gear Used:
Ski Poles
    Weather:Cool, Calm, Partly Cloudy
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:3340 ft / 1018 m
        Gain Breakdown:Net: 3080 ft / 939 m; Extra: 260 ft / 79m
    Loss on way in:260 ft / 79 m
    Distance:3.9 mi / 6.3 km
    Route:Devils Playground Trail
    Start Trailhead:Crags Campground  9980 ft / 3041 m
    Time:3 Hours 26 Minutes
Descent Statistics
Ascent Part of Trip: Pikes

Complete Trip Sequence:
1Devils Playground2015-07-16 #13340 ft / 1018 m
2Pikes Peak2015-07-16 #21810 ft / 552 m
Total Trip Gain: 5150 ft / 1570 m    Total Trip Loss: 5150 ft / 1569 m

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