The start of the hike goes downhill and crosses numerous marshy areas. The trail was maintained very well with numerous wood bridges over the wetlands. After about a mile the trail starts its climb. It was a steady slope all the way to the top with boulders at the last 200 vertical feet or so. At the summit it was somewhat windy and was also quite cold. After about 15 minutes on the summit I was on my way back down. It started to get hot lower down on the trail and the clouds were starting to look pretty threatening by the time I got back to the car.
Well I did it. Not really fast or efficient but that was ok. The views from the top of Bierstadt were well worth the hike. I would recommend this hike for anyone who wants to do a fourteener for the first time. Its short and the vertical wasn’t that drastic.
This was my second ascent of Bierstadt. It was my second 14er many years ago. This second trip my ultimate destination was actually Evans over the Sawtooth ridge. I summitted Bierstadt around 11 am after getting a late start from the Guanella Pass trailhead. I knew I was cutting time very close if I was to make it across the ridge and up Evans. The ridge was a lot of fun - class 3 scrambling and climbing. A few sections might even be considered class 4. I nearly reached the summit of Evans but was forced to turn back due to weather. The return trip was a nightmare due to confronation with the willows. Some poor family from Minnesota was following me and we all got up to our mid-thighs in mud. I was just happy to have worn my pants that zip off into shorts so when I finally returned to the car, I could get rid of the mud!
On my first trip up Bierstadt back in early 1990s, it was before the walkways were built. My friends dog got stuck in the mud and we had quite a time getting her out (she had short legs).! Quite funny to watch 3 people trying to extricate this poor little dog who didn't know what had happened except her legs wouldn't move anymore!
A beautiful day for this nice, short climb. Trail was well worn so I didn't need my snowshoes. Great views of Evans, Grays, Torreys, and even Longs and Pikes from the top. Spent about an hour at the summit, and since I had extra time I walked along the south ridge to see what I could see.
The most painful part of the trip was the traffic on I-70... ;-)
Perfect Winter Day! The snow looked sparse, so I left my snowshoes in my car. I had to break a lot of trail, which left me pretty tired.
It was one of those perfect Colorado blue-sky days! Just a light breeze at the peak.
Did Evans and LONG loop down into the valley and back up to Evans.
My first Fourteener. We shared the summit with one other person. The first time I did this it took me almost five hours. Two and a half months later, plus two other fourteeners, it took me two and a half hours. A nice hike.
I loved this climb. Did Gray/Torreys in the AM, and hit this one in the PM. The trail is clearly upgraded and beautifully done.
Generally a good day with no weather, hot, and not overly crowded. I climbed with my dad (60) and my son (10). We had little time to acclimatize and did 2 day hikes out of Loveland Pass to adjust. We left the trailhead at 0730 and summitted around 1130. My son decided he couldn't carry his pack up the last pitch to the ridgeline so I clipped his pack to mine. By the time we reached the summit I was blasted and was sick from the altitude: headache, nausea, and couldn't eat at all. It was very warm on the summit so we took some pictures and headed down. The descent was pleasant until we reached the willows and I ran out of water (from being a fish on the way up carrying 2 packs). Luckily my dad and son had water to share. We reached the car around 1330 and headed out for a well deserved rest.
This was my 1st 14er. An overnight boy scout trip when I was 12 years old. A passion ignited.
It is a very different climb in the winter - the willows don't come into effect. Basically just a long snowshoe to the top. Can't beat the solitude, though!
You'll have to read the trip report once it is posted. Quite an adventure via the Sawtooth to Mt. Evans.
My wife Mary Jane, six friends, and I climbed Bierstadt from Guanella Pass. Fortunately it had stopped raining by the time we started. However, there was light fog and fresh snow above 13,000 feet; because of the snow we lost the trail in places, but several cairns helped show us the way. Saw two mountain goats. My fourth Fourteener, at age 70; my wife's third, but she has done several difficult Thirteeners this summer that I did not attempt.
Great hike, good weather, suprisingly few people on the summit at 9:30 on a Saturday. To make it more interesting we descended via The Sawtooth and the gully north of The Sawtooth. Check out my trip report for more details. Check out my website for a complete set of the photos I took during the trip: www.leachfam.com.
Fun trip, my first 14er, hiked with my friend Andy. The boardwalks through the willows and swamplands (very wet even during this year's drought!) were a most welcome alternative to the horror stories we've heard about the trudging through the mud before they were built. Past the willows the trail gets fairly steep; nothing at all difficult but it was strenuous. Once we got to the top of the ridge, we were rewarded with a fun boulder climb to the peak. We signed the registry and talked with some folks at the top; met a 72 year old man whom I found most inspirational. His being at the top means I could have more than 40 more years of hiking/climbing ahead of me! Yep, I'm hooked. We spent 2 hours at the top and even got some time on the peak all to ourselves. Ventured out towards the sawtooth just to check it out. Looks challenging and fun; might have to try it sometime. Hike down was uneventful, but very fast. Can't wait to do Quandary next week!
Traversed the Sawtooth from the Evans summit and back with David, Cyndie, and Joseph. David and Cyndie were moving slowly, so they descended to Guanilla Pass while Joseph and I returned to the car on Evans (2 hours) and drove 50 miles to Guanilla (1:30) just in time to meet them. I wore sandals, which worked fine even though it rained for the return traverse.
"One of the easiest fourteeners," my book says. Just goes to show you that you shouldn't believe everything you read. Of course I take a little credit for making this hike a lot harder than it should have been. My ascent started normally from Guanella Pass at 7 am. The hike to Bierstadt summit was easy and uneventful, especially with the new boardwalks strategically placed in the infamous Willows. One note is that smoke from the Hayman fire made the sky hazy and the air taste burnt. Made summit at 9:30 am.
Then, things started to go down hill -- literally. I traversed the Sawtooth ridge toward Evans. The class 3 ridge takes quite a bit out of you, but I have to believe that going this direction is a lot easier than the other way around since you are climbing up the steepest parts of the ridge. There were a couple of scary spots, but nothing to worry too much about. The long trek from just past the Sawtooth toward Evans is a killer though. Long and demoralizing. On top of that, the weather started to turn windy and cold.
Made summit of Evans by 13:20. By then, the wind is really howling, and I had to put on all my cold weather gear. It was disheartening to see all those energetic tourists driving around the peak in their shiny SUVs, and even more tempting to hitch a ride down with one of them! Had I not come from Bierstadt, I probably would have tried.
Hiking back, I decided not to tackle the Sawtooth again. Instead, I went straight after the saddle and took an alternate route down and across the Willows. Mistake! The Willows sucks all energy out of you. In places, the plants were taller than me and so thick, I had to raise my arms and force my way through using my body. Millions of aphids flying around, I probably inhaled at least 20. The marsh beneath my feet was soggy and soaked my shoes, not to mention made me weary of quicksand. I had to use the branches of the willows that I displaced as "stepping stones" to keep from sinking. Took me about 2 hours to get out of the Willows. Fortunately, I can see the top of Guanella Pass most of the time. Otherwise I would have gotten lost for sure.
So take my advice, if you decide to do what I did, go back on the Sawtooth. It may be steep, but it'll save you a lot of time and trouble in the long run!
#3 of 6 fourteeners in 4 days of hiking.
Started from Summit Lake and ascended to Mt. Spaulding. From there, we traversed to the Sawtooth Ridge starting point. Traversed the Sawtooth and summitted Bierstadt for the second time.
Troy, Patrick and I climbed this peak together. It's my second time climbing Biersadt. We were glad to see the bridges over the willows, that sure makes crossing the "willows" easer with less erosion. Thanks. Also the realingment of the trail is great. The old route wasn't good, too steep which allowed for lots of erosion. The new route adds distance but is much better for the environment. We counted over 100 people who passed us (I'm very slow). Most of these were great. A few had dogs which were mostly well behaved but there was only one on a leash. That's against the law. Patrick got a $50 fine when he got a ticket from a Game Warden who was at the top of Mt. Massive when we got up there. Also, there were two climbers, a guy in a yellow t-shire and his girl friend who were trying to catch friends coming down the mountain. The problem was they were off trail on the tundra all the way. The girl got back on the trail but the guy didn't. That's poor trail etiquette. Saw a herd of goats but they were far away. Troy summited at 11:15, Patrick at 11:45, and I summited at 12:10. I said I was slow.
My beautiful wife Carol climbed with me. We got a late start and the willows were their normal quagmire. There were many people on the trail as usual and the normal number of mountain goats. We could have petted a kid but thought better of it. Even with our late start we summited before noon. The weather was great. It's a much easer climb now that they have bridged the muckie willows. They did a great job.
Lots of mud and willows. Touched the top and ran - lightining and hail before noon.