The AdAmAn Club began it's yearly climb to the summit of Pikes Peak on Friday. And for only the third time in the organization's 89-year history, a woman was on point.
Ann Nichols, 64, was named the 94th member of the organization earlier this month. Club tradition dictates that the newest member takes the lead. As the climbers made their final preparations at the Barr Trail trailhead, club president Don Sanborn called Nichols to the front.
"It's a big honor," Nichols said. "I've made nine hikes as a guest, and it's a real special feeling to finally be a member," she said.
Nichols, a Colorado College graduate and Manitou Springs resident, has spent many days exploring the slopes of Pikes Peak and the surrounding foothills.
"I've spent years and years hiking on the peak and I generally hike alone," she said. "I was never really interested in joining a big group."
She was encouraged to apply to hike with the AdAmAn Club and was invited to climb as a guest about 10 years ago. It's common for guests to make several climbs before they're chosen to become permanent member of the club.
There were 32 AdAmAn climbers in this year's group. They'll camp at Barr Camp the first night, then ascent to the peak's 14,115-foot summit on New Year's Eve before lighting the annual fireworks show at the stroke of midnight.