Ascent of Pikes Peak on 2012-08-25

Climber: Brian Lubbert

Date:Saturday, August 25, 2012
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Pikes Peak
    Elevation:14110 ft / 4300 m

Ascent Trip Report

I started out from devils's playground at 1pm which is too late and i knew it....

The walk was very pleasant with partly cloudy skies and the 1200 ft gain ahead of me looked doable before any rain.  After an hour I was making the final ascent and a storm developed..  It began to sleet/hail  when I was 100 feet short of the summit.  Was starting to think about sheltering to avoid any lightning when I saw a fellow hiker hunkered down warning me of where he left his pack.  I tucked myself besides a carin and squatted on the balls of my feet stance as the hail pelted us.  I chatted with the other hiker about how crazy we were to be out.  As the storm started to let up a minute I thought about scrambling to the top for shelter but my companion said we still had 1/4 mile to a building so we stayed.  Minutes later we saw a lightning strike to ground and then another just 100 feet above us.  Then the hail hit us even harder. At least we did not get wet for lack of rain.  We had sheltered for 30 minutes to let the storm finally pass.  We made the final climb after the storm cleared like we had submitted hundreds of peaks together though we had just met.  Surviving a thunderstorm in the open at 13900 feet allows you to make friends quickly.. Stayed and ate three donuts while I walked around the gift shops letting the adrenaline levels lower a bit.  By then the skies cleared for views as the storm headed east over the plains.  found a few geocaches and then descended the way I had climbed.  Made it to devils playground within an hour and it started to pour as I drove away...but rain this time as I was below the melting elevation.  Definitely one my most memorable ascents....

Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:1430 ft / 435 m
    Extra Gain:120 ft / 36 m
    Round-Trip Distance:2 mi / 3.2 km
    Trailhead:Devils playground  12920 ft / 3938 m
    Quality:9 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail
    Weather:Thunderstorm, Cool, Calm, Partly Cloudy
Lightning and hail/sleet
Ascent Statistics
    Time:2 Hours 

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