Moonstruck

, , | UltraRob | Friday, February 22nd, 2008 at 7:43 pm

Moon from Trail Near Mount Manitou

Full moon is this week. Last night was a full lunar eclipse but unfortunately we mostly had clouds. When the moon should have been partially eclipsed, I could see bits of it through the clouds. When it was coming out of the eclipse, there were just thin clouds so I could see it faintly but it wasn’t very impressive.

Sunday I hiked up to Barr Camp and got up there just after dark. It had snowed off and on during the day but it was clearing while I was hiking. On the way back down, I had great moonlight sparkling off the fresh snow.

Last full moon I had mentioned that in the past I’ve hiked to the top of Pikes Peak by moonlight in the winter. Chris asked in a comment whether I was interested in having someone along. We ended up making plans to do it tonight.

Pikes Peak, February 22, 2008Hopefully it’ll be a clear night but there’s a slight chance of snow in tomorrow morning. Last night it snowed a little during the evening but by 11 PM there was bright moonlight. It’s a beautiful morning and there’s bright blue sky.

The round-trip on Barr Trail is about 26 miles with 7,500 vertical feet. Going up the Manitou Incline would cut about 2 miles off but not make it any easier. Above timberline this time of year, I generally just go up the face because the trail is burried.

Depending on snow conditions and weather above timberline, it’ll probably take somewhere around 12 hours to do the hike. I talked to some guys on Sunday that had been to the summit. They said Barr Trail was pretty packed all the way to the A-Frame which will help. Above timberline they didn’t feel their snowshoes were grabbing enough so they switched to crampons. With crampons they were breaking through the crust and struggling.

There’s new snow so we may be alright with snowshoes. We’ll have YakTrax, snowshoes, crampons and ice axes so we should the gear for any conditions. We may end up using all of them.

Below are a few more pictures from my hike last Sunday.

Base of Cameron's Cone

Barr Trail

Barr Trail

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