The Party May Be Over at Piker's Peak

Vote on Tuesday may put an end to free rides down the mountain

Pikes Peak, the nation's most popular mountain, attracts some 15,000 people every year. Unfortunately, too few realize that going up the mountain ultimately involves coming down. Soon these clowns may have to pay dearly for a ride.

"Some of the people just say 'I want to get to the top of this mountain,' and they don't realize they have to get back down," highway manager Jack Glavan told The Colorado Springs Gazette.

The hike to the 14,115-foot peak covers 12 miles. The hike down, strangely enough, is another 12 miles. Under a new proposal, hikers who call for a ride before highway workers have gone home would pay $100. But the fee could go up to $500 when hikers call 911 after hours, and it could increase even more if the road has to be plowed to fetch the caller.

The Colorado Springs city council is expected to vote Tuesday.

"It got to be kind of onerous, because it basically is a two-and-a-half-hour effort to pick up a vehicle, drive to the summit, pick up someone who didn't do any planning and drive them back down," said Reg Francklyn, spokesman for the volunteer El Paso County Search and Rescue.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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