Mount Bierstadt Climber's Log

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granddeity - Nov 2, 2002 10:52 pm

Route Climbed: Guanella pass Date Climbed: June 6, 2002  Sucess!

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.


rob_runkle - Nov 2, 2002 8:25 am

Route Climbed: Guanella Pass Date Climbed: August 15, 2002  Sucess!

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.


DukeJH - Nov 1, 2002 11:25 am

Route Climbed: Guanella PAss Date Climbed: July 2002  Sucess!

First 14er.

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.

Hayesred - Oct 30, 2002 12:52 pm

Route Climbed: West Slopes Date Climbed: Summer 1982  Sucess!

This was my 1st 14er. An overnight boy scout trip when I was 12 years old. A passion ignited.


climberkjp - Oct 22, 2002 10:48 am

Route Climbed: Guanella Pass/West Slope Date Climbed: January 29, 2000  Sucess!

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!


rmjwinters - Oct 6, 2002 2:25 pm

Route Climbed: Guenalla Pass Date Climbed: August 2 2001  Sucess!

You'll have to read the trip report once it is posted. Quite an adventure via the Sawtooth to Mt. Evans.

Peter Bridges - Sep 10, 2002 7:07 pm

Route Climbed: Guanella Pass Date Climbed: September 10, 2002  Sucess!

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.


Andy - Sep 9, 2002 10:50 am

Route Climbed: Guanella Pass, home via Sawtooth Date Climbed: September 7, 2002  Sucess!

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:


kcmule - Aug 13, 2002 2:28 pm

Route Climbed: Guanella Pass Date Climbed: August 12, 2002  Sucess!

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!

Matt Mahoney

Matt Mahoney - Aug 3, 2002 9:20 pm

Route Climbed: Evans/Sawtooth Date Climbed: Aug. 3 2002  Sucess!

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.


charles97 - Jul 15, 2002 4:10 pm

Route Climbed: Guanella Pass to Bierstadt to Evans Date Climbed: June 21, 2002  Sucess!

"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.


mr_g - Jun 24, 2002 12:49 pm

Route Climbed: Sawtooth Ridge Date Climbed: May 11, 2002  Sucess!

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.


wayneaflick - Jun 23, 2002 9:21 am

Route Climbed: Guanella Pass Date Climbed: June 22, 2002  Sucess!

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.


wayneaflick - Jun 18, 2002 10:59 am

Route Climbed: Guanella Pass Date Climbed: August 15, 1995  Sucess!

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.

ctruscot - May 31, 2002 3:47 pm

Route Climbed: trail from Guanella Pass Date Climbed: July 1998  Sucess!

Lots of mud and willows. Touched the top and ran - lightining and hail before noon.


phomchick - May 19, 2002 3:29 pm

Route Climbed: Guanilla Pass Date Climbed: April 14, 2002  Sucess!

As a climber from California I noticed things are different in Colorado. The first difference is: NO PERMITS REQUIRED. The second is that there are a lot of roads, and they go high. My climb from the pass started at 7:40 a.m., and took three hours to cover the three miles from the car and about 2,800' of elevation gain. A nice, civilized pace :-). The weather was clear, the winds were dead calm, the temperature was about 45 degrees, and the view was fantastic. I could see east over the plains and west across the broad valley of Rocky Mountain National Park to the mountain ranges beyond. To the north and south, there were mountains, mountains everywhere. We were the first to the summit that day, which since we started from the parking lot first, was gratifying. After about 20 minutes at the top we started down. We met about 15 other climbers below us as we descended, and three mountaineering dogs, which sort of put things in perspective. The uphill slog back through the now sloppy mud, slush and willows was dreadful and it was with a great deal of relief that I finally reached the car at 1:00 p.m.

Matt Mahoney

Matt Mahoney - May 19, 2002 3:17 pm

Route Climbed: Guanilla Pass Date Climbed: June 22 2000  Sucess!

I just arrived from Florida (17 ft) the day before, so I started getting an altitude headache on the summit and had to abandon the Sawtooth to Evans. Back at the car I felt a bit drunk (although I had no alcohol) which I recognized as the onset of cerebral edema, but I recovered quickly once I descended further.

I climbed Bierstadt once before from Evans when I was better acclimated, making a big circle around the Sawtooth, up the north ridge and down the south, past Abyss Lake and up class 3 boulders back to Evans. A hard but fun hike.


darinchadwick - Apr 2, 2002 6:36 am

Route Climbed: Sawtooth Ridge Date Climbed: August 1996  Sucess!

The sawtooth ridge was fun, and, I though exciting for 3rd class. This was before I did Kelso Ridge on Torreys peak, and the incredible ridge on Quandary peak. Still Bierstadt is a fun climb, and interesting enough that you need to pay attention.


Zeke - Jan 16, 2002 7:56 am

Route Climbed: Standard and Ridge Date Climbed: Several  Sucess!

Have done this peak many times from all directions.

Highly recomend the Sawtooth ridge climb while your up there and the S. Ridge climg too.

check out Roaches 14er book for a great round trip from Evans.


nader - Dec 26, 2001 4:03 pm

Route Climbed: Guanella Pass Date Climbed: August 1999  Sucess!

Nice Quiet Climb

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