The climb started out bitterly cold with some overcast skies on the morning of December 30, 2014. By New Year's evening, the skies were clear and the AdAmAn club's annual fireworks show was reportedly viewed from as far as 70 miles away from Pikes Peak. Twenty members and nine guests made this year's climb. New member Mark Copelin, the Club's 97th member, led the climbing party in a classic climb.
It had snowed just prior to the start of the climb and temperatures were below 0 deg. F at the trailhead. It was the coldest start any of us could remember. The club broke trail in untracked snow from the top of Mount Manitou to the top of Pikes Peak. The snow was fairly light and shallow up to timberline. Above that, snow drifts hadn't consolidated into typical windblown, hard packed and fairly easy to walk on snow. Instead the snow was loose, meaning the group sank or "post holed" much more than usual. Strong young members of the climbing party took turns leading the group through the loose snow. Weather conditions on the second day were quite favorable. The sun kept the group warm and the winds were nearly non-existent. As soon as the sun dropped below the horizon to the west, the apparent temperature plummeted and the last mile was very cold. The club was able to flash mirrors at Colorado Springs during our lunch break at timberline and enjoyed all those who took time out of their day to flash back at them.
Upon reaching the summit, and with a bit of a rest after the grueling trudge through soft snow, the club turned its attention to preparing to ring in the New Year with their usual fireworks show. The evening ran smoothly and followed the customary traditions of the club. Five fireworks were launched at 9:00 pm in honor of the original "Frozen Five" members of the club. As mentioned, the skies were clear at midnight and the fireworks could be seen at great distances. 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.
Once again the fireworks show was well received and there have been some great photos of the fireworks posted on Facebook.
Background photo courtesy of The Gazette/Mark Reis.