The Pikes Peak International Hill Climb is a relevant, engineering-driven, lightly commercialized race endangered by uncorralled fans’ lack of common sense, the commoditization of the car, waning manufacturer support, and the paving of the roadway.
If you didn’t go this year, you need to be there in 2010 — before inevitable filters change the event forever.
In wild western Colorado, both vehicles and footwear are earth-toned and traction-centric. For outdoorsy natives that may very well burst into a 20-mile hike or interstate whitewater trip at any moment, camping on the Peak is akin to a passport stamp. Camping is permitted only once a year, on the day before the race. It’s feasible, then, that a sizeable portion of the yearly attendees are drawn primarily by the prospect of personally taming the mountain, and stay for the race out of both casual curiosity and convenience. Staking a spot on the mountain entails a steep $100 charge per car. Proceeds benefit the US Forest Service, which cedes control of the mountain during practice sessions and on race day.