On Saturday, December 31, 2011 the AdAmAn Club completed its annual trek up Pikes Peak to ring in the New Year with a fireworks show for the Pikes Peak region. Twenty five members and seven guests made this year's climb. New member Ann Nichols, the 3rd woman member of the club and its 94th member led the climbing party in what was a notable climb.
The club was happy to put two new members on the summit this year. Because the club was turned around last year due to severe weather, the 2010 new member, Bill Lahman made it to the summit for the first time as a member along with this year's new member. But this climb will be remembered for extremely high winds and the injury of Carl Lindeman.
AdAmAn member Mark Szabo captured a picture of the output from the summit weather station shortly after we arrived at the summit. The max wind gust of the day clocked in at 110.6 mph! The last half mile of the climb was brutal. Members often found themselves on all fours crawling into the wind towards the summit or blown completely off their feet by a sudden wind gust. Carl Lindeman was injured when a wind gust sent him cartwheeling in the boulders south east of the summit. He injured his knee and couldn't stand at all.
With thirty plus climbers expecting adverse conditions the AdAmAn club is safety conscious and prepared to deal with injured or sick comrades. The Trailmaster, Bill Lahman sent word ahead that Carl was injured and the general extent of his injury. He then took precautions to keep both himself and Carl as warm as possible in the approximately -30 wind chill until help could arrive. Almost immediately Dr. Sean O'Donnell went to Carl's aid and stayed with him through his evacuation.
The club thought it best to call on El Paso County Search and Rescue to help get Carl off the mountain since the highway had been closed even to Pikes Peak Highway Personnel due to the extreme winds. Not knowing what condition the road might be in, EPSCAR could potentially use their CAT to drive over snow drifts. Fortunately, the wind was abating by the time they arrived and the Pikes Peak Highway was able to clear a path through snow drifts and get them to the summit.
With any outside help two plus hours out, the club determined it would be best to transport Carl to the summit rather than a closer point lower down on the Pikes Peak Highway. Rev. David Hunting a Manitou Springs volunteer firefighter, assumed internal incident command and tracked who was where on the mountain, as well as organizing groups of climbers to take turns going back out into the elements to help carry Carl to the summit. Dr. Chuck Fogleman prepared an area in the summit house for Carl and worked with Dr. O'Donnell once the rescue group arrived at the summit.
After Carl was brought into the summit house, EPSCAR arrived and attended to transporting him to a waiting ambulance at Glen Cove. The club is thankful to EPSCAR for their quick and professional response.
Once Carl was safely taken care of, the club turned its attention to preparing to ring in the New Year with their usual fireworks show. Due to the extremely high winds, the club held off loading the fireworks trailer and opted to launch five flares at 9:00 pm in honor of the original five members of the club, the "Frozen Five". When the winds had died to a dull roar, the fireworks were set up and at the stroke of midnight the Club greeted the New Year with a spectacular fireworks display from the 14,115-foot summit. The local four wheel drive group gave the club a ride off the summit after the fireworks show.
Based on comments on the club's Facebook page, the fireworks show was well received by the local community.