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Begins: Aug 10, 2017
Date: Tue, Jul 18th, 2017
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Barr Trail to Pikes Peak
7000 ft of gain and 25.2 miles round trip
My wife was kind enough to drop me off at the Trailhead at 4:45am. It was a clear morning as the stars gave way to the sunrise over Colorado Springs.
The first 6 miles went quickly as I was feeling good and anxious to get to the summit. At around 10,000 ft my limited acclimation started to slow me down. At this slower pace I reached tree line at about 11,500 ft where the real work began. I could see some clouds over the summit, but they weren't bad. I bummed some water from a trail runner named Molly who was training for the Pikes Peak marathon in August. I subsequently filled by bottle at a snow melt source, and with a new hydration level finished the climb to the summit.
I went into the coffee shop to get some Gatorade and watched the throngs of tourists buy souvenirs and take their picture with Sasquatch!
After a 15 minute break, I went outside to head back down. The sky was murky and rain was eminent. I was hoping I could reach tree line before it started because of lightning. That didn't happen. I put my rain gear on and hiked to tree line in a steady rain with some thunder and lightning that wasn't close enough to be a problem. I passed a group of trail runners under the cover of a rock formation. I was glad I had my rain gear!
When the rain stopped, I was well below tree line and it warmed up as I descended. I passed a few mountain bikers that were riding down the trail and were totally soaked. I passed the Barr Camp where several people were setting up camp for the night. The last few miles were long as I was tired and ready to be done. I texted my wife to pick me up 3 hours after I anticipated originally.
The Barr Trail is a good and well maintained trail. It just needs to be a little shorter!
Jim's Sobo CT Journey
The Colorado Trail is a 486-mile long-distance trail running from the mouth of Waterton Canyon southwest of Denver to Durango in Colorado, United States. Its highest point is 13,271-foot above sea level, and most of the trail is above 10,000-foot. Learn more: www.coloradotrail.org
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