PIKES PEAK – “Nature wins all the time,” said Pikes Peak America’s Mountain, Manger, Jack Glavan. He is referring to the challenge of trying to keep the road to the top of Pikes Peak open through the winter.
Winter trips up the highway account for close to 30% of yearly visitors. So many people, it is worth the cost of keeping roads clear.
Whether a little or a lot of snow, wind piles it up at known spots like the switchbacks. “Because what we find is, even a couple of inches of snow up here can turn into five to seven-foot drifts,” said Glavan.
It takes some very powerful equipment to deal with the snow. “Occasionally you have to plow vertically just to bring it down, either with the motor grader going on vertical or sometimes we have to bring the front loader or the backhoe and actually peel it down,” said Glavan.
Keeping the route to the top open is the goal, but it is never a guarantee in the winter. An evaluation is done every day to determine how far up is safe.