Sunday, March 7, 2010

Pike's Peak

Yesterday we did our fourth CMC trip (it's been a while...). We registered for the trip for a couple of reasons. First, we thought it would be fun. Second, we've never been on the east side of Pike's Peak, and third, we're hoping to run up this particular trail in the Pike's Peak Ascent Half Marathon in August.

So, we got up super early (5am!) and met the rest of the group just outside of Colorado Springs. It was a beautiful, warm, sunny day and by 8am we were stashing away layers at the trailhead. The Barr trail begins in historic Manitou Springs and climbs a total of 13 miles to the peak. Our objective today, though, was the infamous Barr Camp halfway up the mountain. We started at 6,800 and climbed to the camp at 10,200. There were beautiful views of Colorado Springs and the peak along the way. We were passed by dozens of trail runners on the bottom few miles of the icy/slushy trail.

At lunch time we made it to the camp. There are year-round caretakers, Teresa and Neal, who live in the main cabin and cook spaghetti dinners for their guests. There are also lean-to shelters and tent sites. Teresa and Neal were very hospitable and offered us hot drinks, a warm fire, and bird seed. The birds up there will actually eat out of your hands. It's something else!

We got back to the cars uneventfully, yet very tired after hiking 13 miles. We all went out to eat at Rosie's Diner in Monument afterward.

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