Steve Bremner from Manitou Springs likely set the speed record for the winter ascent of Pikes Peak on January 12, running up the 14,115-foot peak in 3:21:55, from the Barr Trailhead to the summit. Bremner ran down the cog railway to Mountain View, traversed to Barr Camp, and then continued down the Barr Trail, for a round-trip time of 5:35:25, also likely a winter record.
Above the A-Frame on the Barr Trail, near treeline, Bremner followed “winter rules” for his route to the summit, taking the most direct and ice-free line he could find. His distance for the ascent was 9.9 miles (about 7,850 vertical feet), and 21.8 miles for the round trip. The previous fastest known time for a winter ascent was 4:02.
“I have had the attempt in mind since last winter,” Bremner, 54, said in an email. “I went up in 4:18 last March, then afterwards found out the record for winter was only 4:02, [which] I knew I could beat. My fastest summer ascent was in the Pikes Peak Ascent race of 1999, [starting at] Memorial Park in Manitou Springs: 2:49.”
After scouting the trail to the A-Frame on January 10, Bremner ran during a sunny, warm, and wind-free window two days later. He carried a CamelBak, two bars, two gels, a cell phone, and a few extra clothes (but didn’t need them), and he wore Yaktrax above the A-Frame.