Mount Bierstadt via the Guernilla TH

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Trip Report
Colorado, United States, North America
Date Climbed/Hiked:
Aug 15, 2002
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Created On: May 27, 2003
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It took me 3 days (after the climb) before I could pronounce "Bierstadt" correctly. After climbing Greys and Torreys in the morning I decided to finish the day with a Bierstadt climb. The road to the Guernilla Trailhead was straight out of downtown Georgetown The drive took longer than I had expected(~11 miles), but the road was not too rough. Despite the distance, I felt the drive itself was well worth he trip. It was a beautiful drive. The Guerilla trailhead was also beautiful. Unlike at Stevens Gulch (the Grays Trailhead), the Guerilla Trailhead presented a wide open view of it's fourteeners - Bierstadt and Evans. The trailhead started right from the parking lot.
One of the first things that I noticed was the wood decking that was installed on the path; through the willows. I had not read any mention of this upgrade in any of my trail books. This must be a new upgrade, and well appreciated. Thanks to the Colorado Fourteeners Initiative, I'm sure! I could tell that the bog below the decking was still muddy, even though the weather was very dry. I had not really prepared to deal with muddy shoes, so I was glad for this upgrade. The trail initially drops about 300 feet, then it quickly begins to climb. The base of the trail is mostly dirt, and navigates through the infamous Willows. Another notable upgrade was the clear path through the Willows. Most trail books had joked about finding a way through the Willows. There is definitely a clear path now. As the path climbs, you eventually leave the willows, for a grassy terrain with dirt trail. About this time, I had to deal with my first blister(s); one on each heal back. I stopped to apply bandaids, which proved to be quite ineffective. I was cursing myself for switching from 'blister-free' socks to regular cotton socks for the afternoon climb.
As you approach the top it turns into a light boulder scramble. It almost looks like a dirt mountain with a huge pile of rocks (boulders) stacked at the top. The view from the top was beautiful. The weather and temperature was perfect. It was 80 degrees at the summit and nobad clouds in site! I could see the parking lot at the trailhead. It seemed so far away. As part of the outstanding view from the top, I could see the peaks the I had climbed in the morning - Grays and Torreys. That was neat. I chose wisely not to finish the day by traversing the sawtooth over to Evans. I felt like this might be pushing my limit for the first day, plus is was getting late.
While climbing down from Bierstadt, I became even more convinced that the trail maps I had were not of the current trail. I later checked around the Internet and found that significant work had been done to upgrade the trail. From my understanding, such worthy upgrades included: decking through the bog, clear path through the willows and a more switchbacked (vs. straight) path up the mountain. I would definitely rank this trail as one of the nicest, and with the drive to the trailhead, one of he overall prettest climbs.


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