Climbing Pikes Peak, Colorado, USA about 1892


WINDY POINT, PIKES PEAK, COLORADO — One by one the great mountains, whose snow-white summits once seemed destined to remain ever virgin to the foot of man, have yielded to their conqueror. Mt. Blanc, the Jungfrau, and even the Matterhorn have now been climbed so frequently that half the charm and mystery which once surrounded them like sun-lit clouds has been dispelled. On some of these great ice-clad sentinels actual fetters have been placed, and cog-wheel railways scale their jagged rocks, and make them as accessible to tourists as a caged lion of the desert is to visitors to a menagerie. One of these vanquished mountains thus enchained is Pikes Peak in Colorado. It was no easy task to subjugate it. It has a height of 14,300 feet. Its cliffs are wild and savage in appearance. Its summit is perpetually white with snow. Yet now a railway transports travelers to its crest from Manitou in an hour and a half, and the “Great Snow Mountain,” as Major Pike called it in 1806, can now be ascended and descended in a few hours! Across this “Windy Point” the wind sweeps often with tremendous violence, for Pikes Peak stands in a peculiarly exposed position on the edge of the vast Colorado mountain chain. Yet on the summit of this mountain is a station of the Weather-Signal Bureau, which is occupied winter and summer. Eight thousand feet below this is the pretty little city of Colorado Springs, so justly famous for its wonderfully pure air and delightful climate. The drive from this city to Manitou, five miles nearer to Pikes Peak, is one of great beauty, and commands magnificent views of the Mountains, Glen Eyrie, and the “Garden of the Gods.” (from John L. Stoddard, Glimpses of the world; a portfolio of photographs of the marvelous works of God and man – 1892)


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