Pikes Peak 14,110'
31 August 2015
Stayed with a friend in Denver last night, figuring the drive is plenty short enough to just get up early and head down to the Springs. Of course, I missed my alarm and got up about 30 minutes late, then the drive took a little longer than I expected, then I wasn’t sure exactly which trailhead (everything is harder in the dark!). Long story, short: I hit the trail at about a quarter to six. Not my best start. And with an 80% chance of thunderstorms by noon. Even at a below-typical pace, I was still sure I could do it in 6 hours. It’s only 14 miles and a total walk-up. It sprinkled here and there, and it was cold and windy, but nothing too crazy.
To be honest, I wasn’t really looking forward to this one. It was more a box that needed to be checked than a climb that I was stoked on. I mean, you can drive right to the top on a paved road. (And indeed, I have.) To be fair, that accessibility has its perks. I was able to use the bathroom in the gift shop (yes, gift shop) at the summit. Mine would’ve been an unfortunate predicament on most other 14ers, so today was the day to have an emergency, if I was gonna have one at all. Instead, I made it back to the car a little before noon. I’m surprised that my legs were sore during the descent; it was a pretty easy climb.
At any rate, heading to San Luis tomorrow for a sunrise summit. It being a Tuesday, I imagine I’ll have the remote peak – and maybe even the whole trail – all to myself. Soaking up the solitude after an overwhelming couple days.