Pikes Peak A-Frame repair project
In summer 2022, a group of volunteers with Colorado Mountain Club set out to repair the A-Frame shelter on Barr Trail, the 12.5 mile trail that winds from Manitou Springs to the summit of Pikes Peak (also known as Tava or “mountain of the sun”, according to the Ute People of the Front Range). This is my document of their work.
The A-Frame shelter is a special place. Marking the tree line on Barr Trail, this spot has a scenic view of downtown Colorado Springs, and is a safe resting point before the final climb to the summit of Pikes Peak. Whenever I hike here, I almost always take a stop here to refill water at the creek, and to reflect on the hike ahead. Along with Barr Camp, this refuge for camping and picnicking makes Barr Trail one of the most hospitable and friendly fourteener trails in Colorado.
I took on this project as a part of my interest in documenting Barr Trail and its rich social life. It was impressive to see these volunteers from Colorado Springs and beyond come together to maintain and repair the A-Frame. Since 1964, the shelter has been maintained by the US Forest Service, and since 1999, Colorado Mountain Club has taken on the responsibility, including rebuilding the roof and repainting the shelter in 2008. In summer 2022, 37 volunteers returned for this multi-weekend project.
Bringing construction materials down by foot from the Pikes Peak summit is a massive amount of work. There is no way to bring a vehicle to this point on the trail so these volunteers carried half a ton of materials down the mountain – three and a half miles down over 2000 feet of elevation. Volunteers worked together to repaint the interior, remove the existing roof, install the new roof, and replace the wooden supports.