COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) -- The final touches are now in place for the 99th annual climb to the top of Pikes Peak for the elite team that lights the traditional New Year's Eve fireworks seen from across Colorado Springs.
Since 1922, the AdAmAn Club has made its annual winter trek to the summit of Pikes Peak to fire a midnight blast of fireworks to help the region ring in the new year. The club started when Fred Barr and four of his adventurous friends made a New Year’s eve trek to the summit sponsored by the Gazette Telegraph. At 9 p.m., the group fired a signal rocket to let all know they had arrived safely and all was well.
The group, which was originally called the Frozen Five, changed their name to the AdAmAn Club after deciding to add one new member a year. This year, 20 members with the group will tackle the climb in the middle of a pandemic, but the question is how will they do it?
Dan Stuart, President of the AdAmAn Club said, “Well one significant change for us is instead of a two-day hike and staying at Barr Camp we are going to make it a one-day hike. That’s a significant difference because it means a lot of effort in one day with potentially bad weather and bad conditions.”
And that's not the only change being made. Stuart says they wanted to make sure everyone who is climbing gets tested before the hike and they will also be separating into two groups.
"This year we decided to reduce the numbers. We wanted to be safe obviously so we have two groups of 10 hikers going. One group is going up Barr trail leaving at probably five in the morning and the other group got permission to go up the highway,” said Stuart.
And, following the tradition, out of 25 applicants this year the club is proud to announce it has 'added a man' once again this year naming Thomas Lear as its 103rd member. Tom is a retired Air Force Lt. Col. and past instructor at the Air Force Academy.
Important to note, The AdAmAn Club will also be putting on two fireworks shows this year. The typical New Year's Eve show will fire off at Midnight, but an earlier show at 9 p.m. will launch 150 fireworks to celebrate 150 years of Colorado Springs.