I've been away off and on for the past week due to some intense preparation I was going through before climbing/hiking the 14,100 ft tall Pike's Peak. I went about 5 miles up and down the lower part of the mountain every other day for 6 days, running 3 miles a day on flat ground on the off days. After one day of rest I hiked the 12.5 mile Barr Trail all the way to the top. It took me exactly 7 hours from base to summit with a 6:25 am starting time. This included a 30 minute break for all of the people in our party to fill up their water bottles halfway up at a stream with a hand pumped water filter. Once we were a good deal past tree line the skies started to get somewhat questionable. It became somewhat dangerous because there was some lightning in the distance and being past tree line, we were pretty much easy targets for any lightling. It actually started hailing and lightning-ing pretty bad towards the very top. We were within 100 yards of the top and there really wasn't any turning back at this point. A few of us ended up hiding underneath rocks where we could in order to stay away from lightning. We all had rain ponchos luckily so we were able to stay warm in the freezing cold rain and hail. Once the storm let up a bit we all pretty much rushed as fast as we could to get to the top. It was a great feeling to have just conquered the mountain. The journey to the top was awesome. The scenery was breathtaking and honestly can not be captured in photographs. We did take some pictures but for the most part we were trying to make good time so we only have a few. I will probably go up it again in a month or so and maybe I will take some better pictures then. This time around we only had time to go up so we got a ride down. There is a tourist road for people who want to go to the top in cars. Next time I want to go up and down. I also want to improve my time for next time to about 5 hours up and 3 hours down. We will see though.