pikes peak colorado

There was never a time I didn’t know this mountain.

From the house I grew up in, you could walk down the driveway to the street, turn left, walk less than 30 yards and look right – and there is was. And still is.

Pikes Peak Colorado is 14,115 ft (4,302 m) high and the eastern-most “Fourteener” in North America.  I shot this from a point directly south of the peak near Westcliff, Colorado.

As the story we grew up with goes, Lt. Zebulon Pike and his group of spies probing the Spanish-American border in 1806, were the first Euro-Americans to see the mountain – from somewhere close by to where my mother’s house stands. They made a stab at the summit about this time of that year, and failed. Afterwards Pike wrote:

“…here we found the snow middle deep; no sign of beast or bird inhabiting this region. The thermometer which stood at 9° above 0 at the foot of the mountain, here fell to 4° below 0. The summit of the Grand Peak, which was entirely bare of vegetation and covered with snow, now appeared at the distance of 15 or 16 miles from us, and as high again as what we had ascended, and would have taken a whole day’s march to have arrived at its base, when I believed no human being could have ascended to its pinical. This with the condition of my soldiers who had only light overalls on, and no stockings, and every way ill provided to endure the inclemency of the region; the bad prospect of killing any thing to subsist on, with the further detention of two or three days, which it must occasion, determined us to return.”

~ from: The expeditions of Zebulon Montgomery Pike to headwaters of the Mississippi River through Louisiana Territory, and in New Spain, during the years 1805-6-7

Edwin James finally summit-ed in 1820.



  1. Comment by Eric Hatch

    Eric Hatch Reply November 2, 2012 at 6:01 am

    Nicely composed panorama, nice lighting too. Good one.

    • Comment by Jim O'Donnell

      Jim O'Donnell Reply November 2, 2012 at 6:55 am

      Thank you Eric!

  2. Comment by John Mata

    John Mata Reply November 2, 2012 at 2:16 pm

    Nice photo, Jim-O'! You know, it's funny, I was raised in Pueblo too, and I had never noticed this "Pikes Peak".

    • Comment by Jim O'Donnell

      Jim O'Donnell Reply November 3, 2012 at 2:42 am

      Really? How is that possible!?

    • Comment by John Mata

      John Mata Reply November 5, 2012 at 5:39 am

      I think it's highly probable actually! You're a great photographer Jim-O'!

    • Comment by Jim O'Donnell

      Jim O'Donnell Reply November 3, 2012 at 2:43 am

      It really is. Even if you can drive to the top.

  3. Comment by Kobi Klaf

    Kobi Klaf Reply November 3, 2012 at 1:08 am

    WE love Colorado. We have been there when we started this journey 20 months ago. Besides the great vast snow we love Glenwood Springs. a must see place.

    • Comment by Jim O'Donnell

      Jim O'Donnell Reply November 5, 2012 at 11:30 am

      Kobi – I wish I had known you guys then so I could have toured you around! I used to raft-guide in Glenwood. I love that area. Let me know when you come back!

  4. Comment by Kathy Gottberg

    Kathy Gottberg Reply November 3, 2012 at 6:56 pm

    Thanks for the shot Jim. My husband and I used to live in ColoSprings years ago and were married near Woodland Park. This mountain is definitely part of my history…found you on Linkin group…interesting where connections lead!

    • Comment by Jim O'Donnell

      Jim O'Donnell Reply November 5, 2012 at 6:26 pm

      Thanks for coming by Kathy and welcome anytime. I grew up in Pueblo, just south of Co Springs so Pike's Peak was always a part of our lives. Drop me a connection request on Linkedin.

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