Pikes Peak Is My Mountain: "It's Woven Into The Thread Of My Life And My Heritage"

Oct 10, 2019

The City of Colorado Springs is gathering reflections from community members on their personal connections to Pikes Peak. It’s part of a campaign called “My Mountain,” leading up to completion of the new Pikes Peak Summit Complex next year. The city has shared audio versions of several stories with 91.5 KRCC, which we are editing for broadcast. 

In this audio postcard, we hear from Don Sanborn:

I'm a native of the area. I grew up in Cascade and both my parents are native born and raised here. My great grandparents homesteaded on the west side of Pikes Peak between Divide and Cripple Creek. My grandfather on my mom's side of the family was the first superintendent of the Pikes Peak Highway. He also started the Pikes Peak Ski Club in 1935.

Don Sanborn's grandfather, Don Lawrie, stands at the gate of the Pikes Peak Highway circa 1923.
Credit Photo Courtesy Don Sanborn

A young Don Sanborn and his Uncle Nick look at a roast and potatoes in foil, ready to wrap them up and cook them on the manifold of their race car. Sanborn says the meal was a project for the cooking section of the Gazette.
Credit Photo Courtesy Don Sanborn

I kind of grew up [on Pikes Peak] as a kid with my parents. My dad and uncle raced in the Pikes Peak Hill Climb, so I spent time on the Peak with them doing their thing. But then as an adult I got, let's say, "sucked into the mountain more."

I've done the Pikes Peak Ascent 10 times; the Marathon twice. I've raced the Peak. I've been on the Board of Directors of the Hill Climb.

"Pikes Peak is my mountain because it's woven into the thread of my life and my heritage."

I became an AdAmAn member and so I've climbed 20 times with the club and was the president of the AdAmAn club for eight years. We climb Pikes Peak on New Year's Eve and shoot fireworks off at midnight to bring in the New Year. That's pretty much our thing. We only add one member a year, hence the name AdAmAn.

We have a special built fireworks trailer and the year I became the new member the AdAmAn Club, I was standing on the tongue of the trailer looking at the fireworks and thinking... 'I must be stupid!. I've signed up now to climb Pikes Peak for who knows how long and put myself in danger with fireworks!"

Don climbs Pikes Peak.
Credit Photo Courtesy Don Sanborn

It's funny because there are many people I talk to who think of it as "their mountain." Of course it's a pretty iconic piece of our life that we see every day. There are a lot of people who spend a lot of time up there, as well.

Pikes Peak is my mountain because it's woven into the thread of my life and my heritage.

An archival photo of the AdAmAn Club from January 1942. Don Sanborn's grandfather Don Lawrie was a participating member.

We’ll have more reflections as part of the “My Mountain” campaign over the next few months. Learn more about the campaign and ways to support the new Summit Complex here.