You could see the Spanish Peaks from Colorado Springs yesterday…
But we’re still waiting on Pikes Peak to fully emerge from the clouds! Can’t wait to see it covered in the first real dumping of snow.
It’s America’s most famous mountain, but apparently no one knows how tall it really is!
For decades, Pikes Peak was said to be 14,110 feet tall, based on a national geographical survey that took place in 1929. In fact, the official Pikes Peak Highway website still touts it as 14,110 feet above sea level, and all the signs, t-shirts, and everything else still say 14,110. But in 1988, the National Geodetic Survey remeasured the Peak and found it to be 14,115 feet. And, the National Elevation Dataset claims America’s most famous mountain is 14,117 feet.
Still, the official sign on top of Pikes Peak claims just 14,110 feet, and it’s unlikely they’ll begin printing new t-shirts soon. And if you manage to climb all the way to the top of the mountain, whether it’s 14,110 feet or 14,117 feet, you’ve still accomplished quite a feat!
Of related interest is the National Geodatic Survey data sheet for Pikes Peak.
The annual “race to the clouds” is scheduled for this weekend – over 200 drivers of stock cars, motorcycles, semi trucks, and more will compete in time trials up Pikes Peak Highway. The event was started by Spencer Penrose, who held the first competition to promote the widening of Pikes Peak Highway in 1916. Here’s a historical photo of the first ever Hill Climb from the Pikes Peak Library District Special Collections:
The winners of the three classes that were contested in 1916 won with times of 23:04:6, 18:24:7, and 20:55:6. The record was set in 2007 by Nobuhiro Tajima, with a winning time of 10:01.41. They’re hoping this will be the year that the ten-minute mark is broken. You can watch the time trials live from the mountain – for more info on that go here – or you can also listen live on 105.5 FM.
If you’re wanting to drive up Pikes Peak as a tourist this weekend, it’s a good idea to call ahead – I believe the road is closed at least intermittently if not most of the day because of the race.
The snow is almost gone from Pikes Peak, so I thought I’d show it to you at various stages from the past couple of months. None of these are shining examples of amazing photography, but hopefully you get the idea!
March 14th – from the East Library parking lot
March 21st – from the top of the hill on Woodmen, just east of Union and west of Lexington
April 8th, 2009 – From somewhere (?) on Marksheffel Road south of Woodmen
April 13, 2009 – from the parking lot at the Discovery Canyon campus in Flying Horse (love fresh snow!)
May 6, 2009 – from the top of the hill on Woodmen, just east of Union and west of Lexington
May 18th, 2009 – from the parking lot at the Discovery Canyon campus in Flying Horse
May 27, 2009 – from the Hollywood Theatre parking lot at Interstate 25 and Interquest Parkway
June 16th, 2009 – from the parking lot at the Discovery Canyon campus in Flying Horse
June 24th, 2009 – from the master suite of our listing at 7612 Menagerie Lane in the Chaparral Point at Indigo Ranch neighborhood
June 29, 2009 – from the Discovery Canyon Campus in Flying Horse
It can snow on Pikes Peak all year long, but it does usually melt all the way during the summer. I found a chart of snow-free dates for Barr Trail, which kind of gives you an idea of when the mountain is usually snow-free. I don’t think the mountain is probably completely snow-free by the time Barr Trail is, but it’s probably pretty close.