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First time to Pikes Peek


Hiking Couple
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Hiking Couple

Hello Hikers.... My wife and I are planning a trip to Pikes Peek in late September and was wondering if there would be snow at the summit?

We would also take any advice anyone could share as this will be our first big hike. (not a lot of mountains in Indiana).

 

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There is an extremely high likelihood that there will be snow. It is important to remember that the air will be thinner as well. A nice warm wool sweater and a good wind breaker are essential. Storms tend to roll in during the afternoon, so it is best to start very early. Are you planning to start at the bottom or to drive part way? Likes peak is not an easy hike. Let me know if I can help anymore!

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Hiking Couple

Thanks.... Yes we plan hiking from the bottom to Barr camp. We will make a decision at that point to spend the night or hike on.

How hard of a hike is it? We have been training for a few weeks and still have 10 weeks left. Looking at  getting an altitude mask to help, So any pointers will be greatly appreciated.

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Hiking to Barr Camp & summitting the next day is really doable for most people in decent shape. Some people have issues with the altitude but most don't. If you get a bunk & a meal at Barr Camp you probably won't even notice. Take it easy and don't go charging up there like you are in a triathlon.

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Hiking Couple

Toejam thank you... We are getting some miles in so I hope we are in better shape than the average hiker.... With that said do people hike to the summit in (1) day? If so how long does it take?

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Yes, it is frequently hiked/run in one day by those who live here, myself included. Both the weather and your reaction to altitude are the unknowns. I have seen altitude really affect some people and others not at all. Keeping tabs on your hydration is the best defense.

If you make a reservation at Barr Camp, you can have a tent site or a bunk plus a warm meal waiting you. There are also places to camp near there that don't require reservations. It is a national forest, so dispersed camping is allowed. Just across the trail from Barr Camp, in fact, has some nice little spots. The fine folks at Barr Camp will also have the latest on the summit weather.

Get used to walking uphill a long time, strengthen your calves, glutes and hamstrings. Those take the brunt of all that uphill work. It is not a particularly hard hike in that the trail is quite nice with only short sections of rocky stuff. It is the length and diminishing oxygen that make it hard. For a blow by blow on the trail, check out Matt Carpenter's description of the entire trail: http://skyrunner.com/ppcourse.htm It is written from the perspective of someone running one of the Pikes Peak races, but the course description and pics are very comprehensive.

Bring layers and have a blast. I love this mountain!

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  • 7 months later...

There is really no way to get used to 14,000 feet except by spending time at elevation.  It is likely to kick your ass.  Just keep that in mind.  Mountain weather in the Rockiesat high elevations  tends to be pretty bad with a lot of lightning and thunder storms and wind that can come up quickly in the afternoons.

Edited by ppine
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