Pikes Peak hike with great company: N, Neff, and Stu…
After N and Neff drove from St. Louis to Denver (14:00 CST to 02:00 MST), we had just enough time to grab some breakfast before driving down to Manitou Springs. We joined cowboy Stu and hopped on the Barr trailhead (6700 ft) about 05:00 and began hiking by headlamp and flashlight. The first few hours provided gorgeous weather and spectacular views.
We encountered some light hail and light heads around 13,000 feet, but pressed onward and upward. Light hail became thunder-hail about 1/2 mile of trail from the summit. We took the best shelter ~13,500 feet could offer to avoid increased exposure and held for about 30 minutes - first time I’ve used the lightning crouch - hopefully never again. We scrambled for the summit house when the storm moved on - we would’ve turned around at the first sign of a storm had we been on any other 14er - shelter is one of the perks of hiking Pikes…and hot food/drink. We hopped on the cog rail due to more storm activity to the west - certainly not atypical for Pikes in August.
N and Neff drove from just above sea level and hiked Pikes Peak (14,110 ft) in rough conditions with virtually no sleep. They summited almost exactly 24 hours after beginning their road trip! I am impressed to say the least. Great hike.