My big run this week was a near six hour run on Pikes Peak, here in Colorado Springs. I was out with Bill, who is running Leadville with me. We started out on what is known as "the Incline". This is an old Cograil line up Manitou Mountain in Manitou Springs, CO. They used to run a cog train up for tourists to get a view from the top. They have long since removed the rail lines, and now you just have the railroad ties going up the mountain, essentially a giant staircase. The total distance is 1.2 miles, in which you climb 2000 feet. If you do this math you will realize the severity of the climb. We thought this would be a good way to start our run, just to make sure we were tired by the end.
At the top of the Incline, you can access the Barr trail, which is the 13 mile trail to the summit of Pikes Peak. We ran the Barr trail the the "2 miles to summit" sign, which is at 12,700 feet above sea level, and about 500 feet above the treeline. Since we started our run at 6:45 pm, it was well past dark with no moon when we hit our turn around point. We ran with headlamps to see where we were going, which is still challenging to not trip or roll an ankle.
It was a great experience to be above treeline at night, so peaceful, you would have to be there to understand it.
The run down went well. This was a real training exercise, as it can be treacherous to run downhill by headlamp. So many rocks and roots, you cannot take your eye off the trail for a second or you will be down. Fortunately, we did not have any major accidents, just a few "near misses".
Here are a few pictures.
Mt Rosa (or Almagre) just South of Pikes Peak.
Colorado Springs from about 9500 feet above Sea Level.
Hard to see, but this is Colorado Springs at night from about 12,500 feet.
This is Bill as we start our descent, 12,700 feet and heading down!!
If you look close you will notice the moths, they were everywhere.