Twenty-one members and ten guest climbers endured icy trails and perilous wind chills to complete this year’s Pikes Peak AdAmAn Club climb to the summit of 14,110 foot Pikes Peak to welcome the New Year. Several veteran AdAmAn Club members recalled this as one of the toughest climbs on record. After spending the night at Barr Camp on December 30th, the climbers reached the summit around 4 PM on the 31st and made all necessary preparations for the traditional midnight fireworks display.
Our new member, Chuck Fogleman, led the climbers up the 13 mile route to the summit. Day one was relatively calm, with temperatures reaching into the 60’s and light breezes. However, the second day’s climb proved much more challenging. After reaching timberline at 12,000 feet, the climbing party encountered high winds gusting to 60 miles an hour, along with difficult ice conditions along Barr Trail. Conditions on the summit were extreme, with wind chills measured at minus 55 degrees much of the afternoon and evening. The summit weather station measured a wind gust at 81 miles per hour.
After arriving safely at the summit and make necessary preparations, members and guests of the Pikes Peak AdAmAn Club lit up the summit of 14,110 foot Pikes Peak with a brilliant fireworks display at midnight on December 31, 2008.
Under clear skies and high winds, our climbing party braved wind chills of –55 degrees to ignite 60 shells and 40 flares. The east face of Pikes Peak was brightly illuminated and we had reports that our show was seen from Denver to Pueblo.
Our newest AdAmAn Club member, Chuck Fogleman, is the 91st member inducted into the AdAmAn Club, a Pikes Peak area tradition since 1922. He has made the trek up Barr Trail eight previous times as a guest, so the climbing party this year was in experienced hands.
Our thanks to the residents of the Pikes Peak Region for your continued support of the Pikes Peak AdAmAn Club. It was again a pleasure to help welcome the New Year from the summit of America’s Mountain, an AdAmAn tradition since 1922!
Background photo courtesy of The Gazette/Mark Reis.