A visual ode to the mountain that dominates the landscape in the area around where I live. Different angles and different seasons, but the Peak changes a lot slower than I do.
Don’t ask me which one it is, I’ll slap you.
I heard recently that the old summit house on Pike’s Peak has been closed “indefinitely,” though I think they mean permanently because they’ve been working on tearing it down. The new summit house has is supposed to be finished by the end of Spring. I knew this was coming so I was taking as many pictures of the old place whenever I got the chance.
Part I is here; you didn’t miss Part II, it is all black & white and has yet to be developed; chronologically though I shot all that stuff before this, which was in part to retest my F Apollo’s shutter after leaving it cocked overnight, plus putting nearly a whole roll through the chrome F2 that I picked up around the same time.
I hope that the pictures are useful someday and I already miss what the place used to be. As more and more people come to the 2nd most-visited mountain in the world the more sanitized and Disneyfied it’s become, to be more palatable to the lowest common denominator of consumers. Now I’m seeing a lot of railings and walkways, pavement, fences, guardrails: things demanded by poor drivers and idiots to make them feel safer. By the time the construction is finished I fear there will be nothing left of the natural mountain.
Pike’s Peak is working on a new donut shop that was supposed to be finished around the same time as the new Cog Railway. It looks that the new summit house will be finished first, though who knows. Here are a selection of shots that I took Summer 2019 as a documentation of the ongoing work. (And yes I know I have some shutter problems)
Here are a few shots taken Spring/Summer 2019, some of the last of the old Pike’s Peak Cog Railway built 1890-1891. (And yes I know I have shutter problems)
Some of the construction once they tore up the rails, etc.
The metal refuse pile as it was the day after they tore out the rails. If I’d been up there earlier I could have brought back my weight in railroad spikes but I did come away with a few plates and bolts.
This is the cog railway that goes from Manitou Springs to the summit of Pike’s Peak. 2018 was the first year since 1891 that it didn’t run, which was a big bummer for a heck of a lot of people: if you read any brochure or article on the best things to do in Colorado Springs, the cog railway was always #1. It’s owned by the Broadmoor Hotel, they had about a century of deferred maintenance to address, and what they’re saying is that it’s going to cost $95 Million to fix, and all the parts have to be machined from scratch from a company in Switzerland.
Thankfully, the Broadmoor has plenty of money and the last I heard, they’re saying that the railway will be up and running in 2021. Never having ridden the train before (I thought I had plenty of time), it was a gigantic bummer, so I’ll be one of the first in line to get tickets once it comes back. I took those pictures while we were waiting to hear of the assessment’s findings. This train pictured was evidently their maintenance engine, probably the last time I saw any train on top of the mountain.
Here’s a picture of Ridgerunner pointing out the wear in the track: