Defn: a human male displaying evidence of devolution - exhibits distinctive "caveman-like" tendencies. This man often dribbles in public places; cannot drink a beverage without spilling it on himself, the floor or someone else; may also run into objects like lampposts & bushes; has a definite "sloopish & short legged" running style that is slow and low to the ground, often resulting in the dragging of knuckles.

These throwback neanderthals, along with their questionable diet, should clearly be avoided.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Conquering Pikes Peak Summit

With the Barr Trail Mountain Race being cancelled due to the recent Waldo Canyon fire, the knuckledragging boys went to Plan "B".  We were going to do it last Summer - but due to the knee injury - couldn't.  It was time to conquer Pikes Peak.

So, Saturday morning we set off, parking about 1/2 mile after the start of the Pikes Peak Marathon start line - our goal was to hike the whole way up and then walk / maybe jog a little on the way down.

We carried with us plenty of food and fluids and set out at 6:15am.  It was cloudy and quite humid.  Quite a few people on the trail already, some were going up, while some others were already coming back down "the W's" after going up "The Incline".

We really didn't know how long it would take us to get up to the Summit.  Several times we were even tempted to run - fortunately that feeling went away quickly, mostly because we knew we were in for a long day of hiking and getting up to the Summit at 14,115 feet.

As we got going the clouds were settling in - so we really didn't get to see the Summit for the first few hours.
Somewhere way up there is the Summit covered in clouds
We made good progress up to Barr camp, where we stopped the clock for 5 minutes for a quick break.  The caretakers told us of a 60% chance of a storm on the Summit - we wanted to keep going though to get up there.  We did decide that if we heard the thunder and lightning - we would turn around.

So, we hiked on and eventually made it to the A-Frame Shelter.  By this time we not only were at treeline, but we were at "cloud line"
A Frame shelter just below treeline

Looking up - we can see the Summit (just to the right of center)
With the slight break in the clouds - we were thinking now that we should be okay to attempt the Summit.  1 1/2 hours later we made it - stopping only briefly at the bottom of the "16 Golden Stairs".  We hiked the whole way, but with a 1/2 mile or so to go - the journey and now the altitude was giving us a bit of the wobblies.

We pressed on, the clouds were now rolling in and it was getting cooler.  Finally we made it up, crossing the train tracks in 4 hours, 50 minutes.  Not bad for hiking the whole way.  We treated ourselves to a reward.
We had 4, took 2 home.
We also enjoyed a big sandwich each and gatorade.  We had plenty of food and fluids for the whole trip.  After resting and refueling for 20 minutes, we wandered around outside for a few minutes for photos before heading back down.
We did not share any donuts with this guy

Tempting to catch a ride on the Cog for the ride down - but we didn't

Proof we made it

Somewhere way out there is our house, many miles away
As you can see by the last photo, we were surrounded by clouds, it was about 40 degrees - didn't feel like raining, but we didn't want to wait around for long so we started our way down.  The plan was to walk some, maybe jog a little.
The clouds were really thick
Walking in the clouds, we could hear our voices echo because it was so thick and quiet.  We couldn't see much of anything, so we just walked and eventually got lower down the trail back towards treeline.  We jogged a mile or so every now and then - nothing fast at all, just trying to make the time go by a bit quicker.

By the time we got back to Barr Camp we finally heard our first rumbles of thunder.  So, we stopped only briefly to empty our shoes, grab a quick snack and kept heading down the trail.  We jogged again on and off for the next few miles, hearing the occasional rumble of thunder, amazingly all day we never got rained on.

The last 4 miles or so was tough.  Our feet, knees and hips were by now aching and sore - we were looking forward to finishing.  Finally, we made it back to where Dad had parked the car. 

Within 5 minutes of getting back to the car and taking off our shoes - this was me.....
What a long day
Thanks to my son (13 years old) - that was one of my best days and experiences on Pikes Peak.  25 total miles.  8:05 for the round trip.  7867 feet of climbing and 2 very tired dudes.



    (and now I got a pretty bead on whatcha look like when I see you out there).

  2. Thanks GZ - was a memorable time for us both. Punk kid is recovered already. Me - not even close. Crikey, less than 40 days to go till race day. Starting to really feel like it is almost here.

  3. Sweet day on the mountain for the boys - glad you guys had a great trip. And of course, the donuts "forced" their way in front of you, right??? I was very glad you made it storm-free ;-)

  4. We were happy we didn't get stormed on. Even more happy for the donuts - no forcing needed w/ those little fat pills. They went down quick and easy :)