|Peak:||Mt. Bierstadt (14er)|
|Date of Information:||06/28/2011|
A group of 4 of us decided to hike Bierstadt as our warm-up hike for the summer. We went up on Monday, June 13th and ran into quite a few other groups hiking the West Slopes side of the mountain. Overall, it was a lovely hike on the way up.
CDOT has strange closure hours for the road up to Guanella Pass coming from the Georgetown side, so we chose to come in from the Grant side and had no problems getting up to the parking lot. We started out around 8ish and there was still a lot of snow near the base, but once you get up to the higher elevations, it was pretty much clear. The early morning freeze was great since there was snow all across the willow fields and it made it possible to walk across the top of the snow instead of postholing, but beware of some of the snow and ice going up. We had a seasoned hiker who slipped and fell and almost broke her arm. After bandaging her up, we continued to climb and made it to the summit around 11-11:30. (We climbed with people from WA & KS so they were a little slower going.)
After summiting, we were thinking about doing the Sawtooth, but it looked way too scary for the time being and we are glad we chose not to attempt it. We headed back down and all of the snow fields we walked across earlier were turning soft, giving us problems on the way out. Additionally, the mud was outta control too as all of the melt turned to mud down lower.
Overall, everything was clear and it was a great hike to start out our season!