Winter Solitude on Bierstadt.

Winter Solitude on Bierstadt.

Page Type Page Type: Trip Report
Date Date Climbed/Hiked: Jan 14, 2003
Activities Activities: Mountaineering
Seasons Season: Winter

Denver to Guanella Pass

Mount Bierstadt, Colorado.Bierstadt - Sawtooth ridge as seen from GP.

Mount Bierstadt, Colorado.Mount Bierstadt, Colorado's 38th highest fourteener.
Because it is generally considered an easy climb along with its accessibility from nearby Denver, Mount Bierstadt is one of the most popular mountains to climb in Colorado.

I drove on a weekend towards the Front Range Mountains. I took I-70 West, passed a few towns before getting to Georgetown, an old nice town from where Guanella Pass Scenic Byway climbs up above the Clear Creek valley.

An hour later I got to Guanella Pass (3,557 m./11,669 ft) which was the location of Geneva Basin Ski Area (originally Indianhead Mountain) from 1963-1984.


Mount Bierstadt, Colorado.Approaching to the top.
I began the ascent from Guanella Pass Trail head, located at Bierstadt's western slopes.

I hiked approximately half mile until the trail passes descended slightly into the fairly level marshlands surrounding Scott Gomer Creek before reaching Bierstadt's western slopes. On the rocky upper regions of the mountain (totally snow-covered) the route of the trail was marked by a series of cairns. I traversed but a series of short switchbacks until I reached a saddle point leveled 200 feet below the summit.

I took a short break once up there and looked at the surroundings. Minutes later I started the final ascent to the summit.


Mount Bierstadt, Colorado.Summit (4,286 m/14,060 ft)
I got to Mount Bierstadt's summit (4,286 m/14,060 ft) few minutes later, after climbing up a short steep section fully covered by hard snow. It was pretty windy up there. Clouds were rolling in at the distance annunciating the next snow storm approaching from the east probably for the evening hours. I took a couple of shots and headed down to Guanella Pass where my truck was parked at.

I climbed Mount Bierstadt in 4 hours RT, I used a pair of snowshoes and trekking poles which made my climb very enjoyable.


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