cloudhiking - maps and adventure guides

Site Links


Contact Us









Friends' Links

Appalachia & Beyond

Family Wilds


Marking My Territory

Outcast Hikers


Scree - December 19, 2010

Pikes from Barr Trail

Pikes Missing Climber, Part 2

Yesterday, I talked a bit about the missing hiker on Pikes... today, we know more. It is great to know that he is safe; but the details raised some concerns.

Here's just a few...

  • Climbing any 14,000 foot peak is a challenge. Pike's Barr Trail is an excellent outing; but the trail is 13 miles long, one way, and climbs 8,000 feet.
  • Climbing any mountain in the winter is serious. These feats are reserved for good weather days and experienced climbers.
  • If the weather is bad in Colorado Springs, it is going to be worse (ten fold) on the mountain. The weather was bad on Friday when he started the climb. The weather does not care if the climber is experienced.
  • Gear for the winter should have included a stove and simple bivy gear.
  • It is dangerous to attempt winter hikes (the recent Mount Baldy death, for example), even if you are experienced. Experience comes from putting in the miles. There are no shortcuts.
  • If you set a pickup time... be there. By the time the hiker reached the A-Frame, it should have been apparent that he was not going to reach the top before the last train at 2, if he was indeed planning on riding the train down. He should have turned around and returned to the trailhead.
  • Once on top of the mountain he tried calling, but was inside a building left open by mistake. He did not get reception.
  • Inexperience risks the life's of others... while our hiker was inside the cold building waiting for morning, search and rescue was activated that evening. The caretaker of Barr Camp even hiked to the top in the nasty weather following the hiker's footprints.
  • The hiker was fortunate that he did not have altitude problems while trying to sleep at 14,000 feet. I would not have been able to do that!

Our hiker was a lucky fellow. He might have used up more than a couple of his "get out of jail free" cards on that adventure.

If you are inclined to attempt fool hearted adventures, just make sure you are the only one effected by the consequences of the adventure - or pay your dues and patiently gain the needed experience and wisdom to accomplish the feat.


Rescue Google Map

While researching the Pike's story I did a Google search for "Pikes Peak Rescue." In the search results was a Google Map with the familiar pin points. The map was titled "places for rescue near Pikes Peak, CO." I immediately laughed at just the thought of having Google telling me the best spots for rescues; but then saw the map showed the locations of Rescue Missions and Rescue Animal Shelters.

Lunar Eclipse

Remember the lunar eclipse and winter solace are tomorrow night.