Teller County High Point Trip Report

Devils Playground (13,060 ft)

Date: January 1, 2004
Author: Layne Bracy

route from Crags Campground Trailhead (10,100 ft)

The road was open and passable for 2WD all the way to the trailhead, though there is some hard-packed snow. (On the return I skidded on one portion into a snow bank and was very fortunate to extricate my vehicle!) I threw $20 in my fleece pocket just in case, as I had vowed never to be short on cash at Pikes summit again!

Started up the trail at 9 AM. It is well-packed and easy to follow all the way to tree line (11,800 feet). By this point, my enthusiasm for the summit of Pikes Peak itself was waning. My main goal was the Teller HP, but I figured Pikes would give me a 2nd winter 14er and increase my January high, edging out last January's Bierstadt summit by 50 feet. Somewhat flimsy motivation.

After tree line the snow is more shallow, making the trail difficult to follow, but the route is straightforward enough and there often were footprints. I knew I was on track when I hit the spur road at 12,700 feet. Thick clouds spread across the sky at about this altitude, so I never saw Pikes summit.

The spur road leads to the main Pikes Peak road at the Devils Playground at 13,000 feet. From here the Teller HP is a several minute walk up a hill to the west of the playground, which I reached at 11:25 AM.

I stayed on the "summit" of the hill for ten minutes. It was very windy and cold - my thermometer, which had read 36 degrees F when I pulled it from my pocket, now read 18 degrees F and was still falling as I beat my retreat. Descended out of the clouds into relative warmth to reach the trailhead at 1 PM.