Ascent of Pikes Peak on 2017-10-03

Climber: Mike Wright

Other People:Solo Ascent
Date:Tuesday, October 3, 2017
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Pikes Peak
    Elevation:14110 ft / 4300 m

Ascent Trip Report

Drove up and parked at Crags Trailhead. Started at 6:45am. The trail is obvious and there are signs at the major turns to keep you on track. The hiking through the forest was nice and gradually steepens until you emerge from tree line. Then the angle gets deceptively steeper as you climb to the saddle which for me felt like it took forever. At this point the wind was not very bad but as I approached the saddle it really started to blow. For the remainder of the hike the wind would blow steady at 25-35 mph with gusts to 45. The only respite from the wind was behind the rock tower just prior to the devils playground. I would seek shelter here both times I passed it. No snow until this area but avoidable until the area below the last bump traversed to climbers left. Here the snow became unavailable though was not more than 6" deep. Some of it broken out by 2 previous hikers that morning out ahead of me. The trail was easy to follow and where it became steep for the final class 2 section there are plenty of well placed cairns to lead the way. There didn't seem to be any false cairns, which is good. The final climb is pretty standard class2 14er. I think the snow actually made it a little bit easier though I did put on micro spikes for this part. I wished that I'd also brought my gators as snow was blowing up my pant legs. Rounding the top I sought out the highest point which appears to be a jumble of rocks in the center of a road circle but I'm sure the true summit is just anywhere on top. I then went into the cafe for a bowl of chili. After about an hour and exploring the summit area, I descended the route again fighting the wind all the way back. The route back felt a lot longer. I returned to the van at 430pm.
Summary Total Data
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Snow on Ground
    Gear Used:
Ski Poles
    Weather:Cold, Extremely Windy, Partly Cloudy
Very windy just above freezing.

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