“Ski off the summit of "America's mountain" and descend almost 3,000 vertical feet to treeline.”
— Chris Dickson
Type: Backcountry or Sidecountry
Need to Know
Ditch a car at the bottom by parking at or near the Manitou Incline parking, then get a ride to the summit. After getting dropped off, just make it back to your car! Alternatively, this could be a great overnight trip by staying at the Barr Camp.
If you've ever looked at Pikes Peak from Colorado Springs, you've seen this line. This slanting gully that slashes the east face of Pikes begins just to the south of the summit and drops you off near treeline. The corniced convexity at the top has slid in the past and killed people, so BEWARE.
Once you drop off the summit, the angle gets less and less steep as you descend the face, picking your way down the gully. On a good snow day, this would afford some excellent skiing. However, due its aspect, this line gets baked by the sun and rots out early in the spring.
History & Background
Legend has it that, back in the 70's, it was common practice for Manitou locals to skin up the backside of Pikes from the Crag's trailhead, tag the summit, and then ski the East Face right into the nearest Manitou bar.