Pikes Peak Summit Complex Newsletter 
November 2020

Be part of Pikes Peak forever. This #GivingTuesday, give your family and friends something priceless - their name on America's Mountain - when you support the new Pikes Peak Summit Complex.

How Your Gift Helps
The new Summit House is scheduled to open in summer of 2021, and your support is crucial to make the vision for this one-of-a-kind attraction a reality. Generous donors have contributed more than $12.3 million, launching us more than 80% to our fundraising goal. Now, you can help us cross the much-anticipated finish line.
Your gift will be used to help the Summit Complex reach "Living Building Challenge" certification, the world's most progressive environmental performance standard. Living Buildings safeguard the environment, preserve the surrounding habitat, and contribute to human health.
By naming a piece of Pikes Peak, you can celebrate a loved one. Honor a special memory you've made on the mountain. Or simply show your support for preserving Colorado's natural treasures.
Your gift, etched on a plaque located on the planks that make up the brand-new Summit Complex, will help to realize a bold vision. It will preserve the majesty of our mountain, support our economy, and create a world-class destination for all who reach the peak.

CLICK HERE to Sponsor a Plank

The Pikes Peak Summit Boardwalk

A PermaTrak® boardwalk system, an environmentally­ friendly precast concrete boardwalk and elevated greenway solution, will be used in three areas of the new 38,000 square ­foot Pikes Peak Summit Complex, set to replace the existing smaller 1960's era visitor center. The product will serve as a pedestrian boardwalk connecting visitors from the parking lot to the new visitor center and dining terrace, and most impressively will include a promenade and viewing platform wrapping along the edge of the mountain. 
First installed in Australia in 1996, PermaTrak systems are engineered for design flexibility, ease of installation and long­term durability. Requiring no maintenance, the PermaTrak system has a design life of 50 to 75 years, providing a cost­-competitive alternative to conventional wood or manufactured lumber construction; an excellent choice for the harsh conditions atop Pikes Peak. A custom texture surface selected by the DHM and RTA Architects design teams is planned for all walking surfaces, providing more grip for the harsh icy conditions.
My Mountain | Ambassador

Through it all, Pikes Peak remains steadfast on the western horizon, as does the Brain Injury Alliance of Colorado and it's commitment and service to individuals living with an injury to the brain.

"Pikes Peak is my mountain because it stands for strength and overcoming challenges." 
Tina Ziwak - Pikes Peak Challenge
CLICK HERE to find out more

Thank you, Tina Ziwak for being an Ambassador for Pikes Peak - America's Mountain! 
Opening Soon on the Summit of Pikes Peak: 
U.S. Army High-Altitude Research Laboratory (HARL)

The U.S. Army High-Altitude Research Laboratory (HARL) will be ready for occupancy in winter 2021. The 3,000 square foot facility on the summit of Pikes Peak will support research by the United States Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine (USARIEM). The primary function of the lab is to accommodate human subject research. The research at altitude is generally focused on medical and physiological problems encountered by military personnel during acute and chronic exposure to high terrestrial elevations. The project was executed under a US Forest Service Special Use Permit and has been built in conjunction with adjacent Pikes Peak Summit Complex. The facility replaces an existing facility used by USARIEM on the summit demolished as part of this project. Final work will be completed in the next two months. 

The U.S. Army has a long history of running a high-altitude laboratory on Pikes Peak.
  • 1870: Congress creates National Weather Bureau within the U.S. Army Signal Service
  • 1873: U.S. Army Signal Service opens Pikes Peak weather observation station and establishes Army Reservation on the summit. General William J. Palmer put up most of the money to construct the 17-mile telegraph line between Colorado Springs and the summit.
  • 1888: U.S. Army Signal Service closes Pikes Peak weather observation station  and transfers National Weather Bureau to U.S. Department of Agriculture
  • 1888-96: Intermittent use of Pikes Peak weather observation station by U.S. Army, Dept. of Agriculture, Dept. of Interior, and State of Colorado
  • 1896: Pikes Peak weather observation station abandoned by the Federal Government
  • 1963-67: U.S. Army conducts high altitude medical research on the summit using mobile laboratory
  • 1969: U.S. Army builds the Pikes Peak Laboratory Facility on the summit
U.S. Army Pikes Peak Laboratory Expansion 1980

USARIEM Mountain Medicine Research - 1973 to Present - 32 Studies - 
More than 22 Collaborators

In addition to the U.S. Army, researchers from all the U.S. military branches of service and numerous civilian academic researchers have participated or conducted medical research studies using the Pikes Peak laboratory. It is estimated that about 150 scientific publications have been produced from research conducted at the Pikes Peak Laboratory.

  • Limits to physical and cognitive performance at high altitudes
  • Pharmaceutical interventions to prevent or treat acute mountain sickness
  • Military women health & performance issues at high altitude
  • Nutritional & hydration guidelines for high altitude operations
  • Efficacy of different altitude acclimatization strategies
  • Predictive models of acute mountain sickness, acclimatization & performance
CLICK HERE to check out what's going on atop America's Mountain right this minute. View a LIVE camera feed from contractor GE Johnson and keep up with the amazing construction progress of the new Pikes Peak Summit Complex!

While construction is deemed a critical activity by the state, we are taking extra precautions to keep our Pikes Peak project team safe. Posters from the Center for Disease Control hang onsite to remind workers to stay home if they are sick, be diligent regarding handwashing, and practice social distancing. Practices for this site includes increased cleaning of site common areas and Personal Protective Equipment; staggered start times and mealtimes; and dispersed work groups of ten people or less. Project leadership continues to track and follow federal, state, and local healthcare guidance to help reduce the spread of coronavirus.
Working closely with the Pikes Peak Summit Complex Project team, content experts, and tribal representatives, Northern Light Productions was responsible for initial concepts, scriptwriting, graphic design, original video production, archival research, editing, and software programming for all videos and media pieces that will be shown in the new visitor center.

Some of the interactive exhibits visitors can expect to see next year include:

The Place
How much do you know about Pikes Peak? Did you know that Pikes Peak is made of granite that's over one billion years old or that White-tailed ptarmigan's grow warm, white feathers in the winter to camouflage itself in the snow? Visitors can learn this and more by testing their knowledge at this touchscreen interactive quiz game featuring videos, images, and fun facts about the geology, ecology, and climate of Pikes Peak.

A Sacred World
Native American tribes, primarily the Utes, occupied the land around Pikes Peak beginning more than 11,000 years ago. Today, the peak is still a revered place to hold ceremonies and celebrate important events. At this interactive exhibit, visitors can touch a portrait of a tribal representative to see a video where they describe in their own words what Pikes Peak means to them. The videos weave together on-camera interviews, archival imagery, and scenic video of Pikes Peak today.

An Empire for Liberty
Visitors can learn about Pikes Peak history by exploring an interactive timeline of 12 events that begins around the year 550 when the Ancestral Pueblo people settled in Mesa Verde, and ends with the 1891 Forest Reserve Act, which sets aside 3.1 million acres, including Pikes Peak, as Forest Reserves. Selecting an event from the timeline reveals historical images and short narrative videos about the event.

Becoming America's Mountain
Like "An Empire for Liberty," this interactive exhibit is a timeline of events but begins in 1891 when the Manitou and Pikes Peak Railway Company launched the first full trip by cog rail from Manitou Springs to the top of Pikes Peak, and ends in 1969 when the U.S. Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine opens a laboratory on the summit to study the effects of high altitude. Selecting an event from the timeline reveals historical images and short narrative videos about the event.

The Peak Today
These interactive exhibits (two identical stations) showcase videos of what's happening on the Peak today and how visitors can take advantage of all that it has to offer. This includes videos of Pikes Peak signature events like the Broadmoor Pikes Peak International Hill Climb and the New Year's Eve Fireworks by the AdAmAn Club, recreational opportunities like wildlife watching, hiking, biking and fishing, and videos of Pikes Peak Ambassadors who express what Pikes Peak means to them.

November construction updates:
  • All exterior building slabs placed
  • Structural metal gutter installed and metal seam roofing completed with flashing
  • Window system complete
  • Exterior stone façade and interior spray foam insulation complete and interior stone and floor tile work has begun
  • Lobby interior stringers and pan stairs to be installed
  • Colorado Springs Utilities/Federal antennas have been installed permanently onto the building. Tower by the old HARL removed
  • Mechanical connections completed in the mechanical room 
  • Interior drywall and painting to be completed at back of house / kitchen.
  • Site concrete swale install complete
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North Overlook

Stone work at plaza

Stair frame

In-floor heating pipe

Cold day on the summit

Construction observers

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