Bierstadt

Colorado 14er peak questions, condition requests and other info.
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dmccool
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Bierstadt

Postby dmccool » Wed May 27, 2009 10:45 am

anyone know how much new snow is above treeline (if any)? also, is anyone planning on hiking this one soon?
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Re: Bierstadt

Postby JakeK » Wed May 27, 2009 12:11 pm

Did this one about a week and a half ago... still a bunch of snow in the willows... maybe it melted with the warmer weather we've had? There will still be snow on the hike up... I wore snowshoes, but a lot of people we're just wearing boots and doing just fine.

http://www.14ers.com/php14ers/tripreport.php?trip=5937
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Re: Bierstadt

Postby LAW » Wed May 27, 2009 1:09 pm

From the G. Pass T.H. you are pretty much above treeline. As of Monday (25th), trail across the valley/willows was mainly mud, running water, some frozen snow. Above the first shoulder the hiking is on consolidated snow.
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Re: Bierstadt

Postby dmccool » Wed May 27, 2009 2:55 pm

anyone know what the route looks like across the Sawtooth to Mt.Evans? i'd like to bag both peaks if i can. thanks
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Re: Bierstadt

Postby dmccool » Wed May 27, 2009 7:12 pm

also...what is the road like to the trailhead?? Do i need 4WD? can i make it there in a smaller 2WD car? thanks

DM
Save a place for me up in the high country.
There's still space to breathe.

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Re: Bierstadt

Postby sm5280 » Wed May 27, 2009 7:18 pm

eagle06
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Re: Bierstadt

Postby eagle06 » Wed May 27, 2009 7:19 pm

dmccool wrote:also...what is the road like to the trailhead?? Do i need 4WD? can i make it there in a smaller 2WD car? thanks

DM


My Corolla loves that road... There may be construction issues though.
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LAW
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Re: Bierstadt

Postby LAW » Thu May 28, 2009 12:51 pm

The road from the 285 (south side) is fine (any vehicle), although I hear there might be some closure issues due to road grading going on.

I made the Sawtooth Traverse on Monday (May 25th) in trail runners (gaitors a must) and using a mountaineering axe. Based on your climbing skills and fitness level the Sawtooth Traverse could currently prove to be fairly demanding.

There was continuous snow from the Summit to the Saddle, which was in great shape for the down climb and glissading the descent. There was snow and ice in the first tooth (but didn't make climbing it too difficult, with all the bomber handholds). There was continuous snow on the standard ledge on the west side but about half way to the corner (where you ascend to the exit) the snow becomes fairly vertical, narrows and thins above vertical cliffs. This exposure can be avoided by backtracking a bit and ascending about 30-40 feet up (on the 2nd tooth) and traversing a broader band of snow to the corner. On Monday there was plenty of snow to ascend on up to the exit. This could be thinning making the top of the climb a little dicey. There was a lot of snow left on the route between the exit and Evans west ridge, also down to the gulley and back to the Pass. Expect to post hole on some areas.

Snow shoes might help some beyond the Sawtooth but (if you go for Evans) although much of the traverse to Evans is through rocky areas so I'm not sure how much you could use them there.

On Monday there was enough snow to glissade down the gulley returning to the valley below.
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Re: Bierstadt

Postby ClimbandMine » Thu May 28, 2009 1:05 pm

I'd definitely take the 285 side up Guanella Pass. The construction & lights were annoying, and there wasn't even anything going on. This is what Bierstadt and the traverse looked like on Monday. There was 3-8 inches of snow on squaretop from 13,000 on up.

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Re: Bierstadt

Postby Wilderness_hike » Thu May 28, 2009 2:29 pm

I just got back from Bierstadt about an hour and a half ago. Snowpack was still pretty heavy, but it was very packed and I walked across it. I went from Guanella pass side and had slight delays, but no more then 15 minutes total (coming up and going down combined). I posted a report in the TR section
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Re: Bierstadt

Postby dmccool » Sun May 31, 2009 8:45 am

I made from Bierstadt to Evans via the Sawtooth. you're right - it was a bear. I had a little difficulty on the last part of the Sawtooth, but managed. it just took some careful route finding. I felt a little over my head out there, but i think it was good experience for me. I summited Bierstadt at 7:45am, but didn't get up to Evans until around 11:30am. I glissaded down the gulley in no time at all, but had a messy time through the beaver ponds and willows. the trail disappears most of the time due to snow melt and snow pack - which i post-holed through for a couple hours. Overall, it was a great day.
Save a place for me up in the high country.
There's still space to breathe.

- Gregory Alan Isakov

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