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.”
Edwin James finally summit-ed in 1820.