New Year’s Eve fireworks on America’s Mountain and the history of people who make them happen

Courtesy Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum
An archival photo showing the conditions the AdAmAn Club faces on their journey up Pikes Peak.

The Pikes Peak AdAmAn Club is marking its 100th anniversary this year. Beloved by many locals, the group is best known for climbing the 14,115-foot landmark each New Year's Eve to set off fireworks.

The club is named for its tradition of adding one man or woman to the ranks each year. Members are chosen from a group of applicants who aren't afraid of hiking the mountain's icy, snow-swept slopes in the dead of winter. 

The group's first iteration braved the peak’s treacherous terrain in 1922. Referred to as the "Frozen Five,” their equipment that day consisted of hobnail boots, breeches, stocking caps, sheepskin coats and silk stockings for face masks, according to the club’s website. Their adventure led to the beginning of an annual holiday tradition including the fireworks seen by thousands of people each year.

Abigail Beckman
The back cover of “AdAmAn One Hundred Years of Ice, Wind, and Fire”.

To commemorate the 100th anniversary, several of the club's members have written a book highlighting the unusual and intrepid group of mountain climbers. It includes photos, maps, and stories as well as documentation of technical advances in pyrotechnics, climbing equipment, and cold weather gear.

“AdAmAn One Hundred Years of Ice, Wind, and Fire” can be found locally at Mountain Chalet, Hooked on Books, Poor Richards, the Manitou Springs Heritage Center, Old Colorado History Center or online through several sources. 

There's also an exhibit at the Manitou Springs Heritage Center that delves into the AdAmAn tradition.

The group is set to start their hike on Friday, Dec. 30 and reach the summit by the next evening.

They'll set off fireworks at 9 p.m. and midnight.

Follow the AdAmAn Club on their journey this year on Twitter and Facebook.