|Peak:||Mt. Bierstadt (14er)|
|Date of Information:||04/20/2013|
It‘s about as wintry as I‘ve ever seen Bierstadt, including previous trips in November, February and March. The road is paved and plowed to the standard winter closure from the Georgetown side, about 1.5 miles short of the Guanella Pass summit.
From the closure, the road is buried under a significant amount of snow. It eclipses the guardrail in places. We had to break easy trail in the morning, but by the time we were headed down the Saturday traffic had a firm trench in place. Snowshoes are mandatory beyond the summer TH. One member of our party summited without them, but let‘s just say he‘s unlikely to leave them behind ever again.
The snow stays continuous all the way to the top. A summit ski is IN, but sharks are lurking in many areas on the face.
We roped up from about 12,000‘ to the summit. The slope angle reaches AT LEAST 20-25 degrees. A fall there might be very bad for the skin on your knees. You can never be too safe.
To conclude, a PSA: don‘t be stingy with your sunglasses/goggles. It was very cloudy and snowing most of the day, except for one hour of direct sunlight from 2-3 p.m. I kept waiting for it to get cloudy again and put off pulling out my goggles until it was too late. Three of our four team members have spent most of today nursing snowblindness. Now if you‘ll excuse me, a cold washcloth and a dark room are calling.
(sorry for the crappy iPhone pics, forgot my camera at home)
PHOTO 1 - Initial trail
PHOTO 2 - On the face
PHOTO 3 - Summit
PHOTO 4 - I‘d rather have a kidney stone
P.S. if you lost a snowboard on Bierstadt recently, PM me.
Photos (click for slideshow):