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Mt. Bierstadt  
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Conditions Information  Posted By   Posted On    Photos  Comments  Likes, Dislikes      
2015-07-26  Route: West Slopes
Info: My first 14er, the recent condition reports are accurate, I just wanted to add that at the stream if you walk up a little further past where the trail cuts through, someone has laid down a plank to cross and connects you back to the trail on the other side. We had a member without waterproof boots, so we found this extremely helpful. Most difficult part for me was coming back down. A lot of loose gravel that made it difficult for me to go very fast. Took it nice and easy and was fine. It was a great first time 14er, took us about 6 hours (we moved pretty slow and took frequent breaks) and started at 5:25 am and the first parking lot was almost full. Definitely recommend starting early as possible! 
nickithehippie  2015-07-29   0             Delete
2015-07-26  Route: West Slopes
Info: Route was clear all the way to the top. The trail was dry, except for a couple small muddy sections which are easy to walk around and prevent further trail erosion. Crossing the creek wasn‘t a big deal but many of stepping stone rocks are/were under a little water so prepare to get your shoes a little wet if you‘re not wearing boots. CFI was performing trail work at the bottom of the first switchback section installing water bars. We knew there would be afternoon storms so we got an early start (5:20). The summit was clear at 9:30, with some wispy clouds forming up from a few different directions. By 10:30, the high clouds started forming up, with larger clouds over the summit and a small amount of rain at the trailhead by noon. Lots of people, enough to merit mention in a condition report. Many inexperienced folks were bottling up on the rocky sections near the top, causing a little delay or need to work around them, and at the stream crossing at the bottom. I‘ve never been on a summit with ~100 other people before (this is my 7th 14er), that was a bit weird. Lots of unleashed dogs (a no-no in a Wilderness Area), my party of 2 had no issues with them beyond occasionally almost stepping on one or two coming from behind on the steep section of the final push. Goats were hanging out just below the summit. Mostly mellow except for one (couldn‘t tell if it was a billy or a nanny) which was being very territorial while being photographed. The attached photo shows most of the route. The hikers in the picture made for great trail buddies at the end of the day and their pup was leashed, under control, and very well-behaved. 
sonofthegriz  2015-07-27   1   2      Rotate Image(s)  Edit  Delete
2015-07-24  Route: West Slopes
Info: This is my first conditions report so bear with me. This is also my first 14er (many more to come....I‘m addicted). The western slopes trail is in pretty good condition for the most part. There is still a lot of water in the willows, but only really in the area with the boardwalks. There is a stream crossing among the willows that was flowing pretty good, but with careful foot placement your toes would only be in for a split second. Other than that, there are a few muddy spots on the trail, but all can be avoided. Above the willows area, there is runoff (springs?) that seem to be flowing along down the trail in spots...makes things a little slick, so you just have to pay attention. Other than that, not much to report on. 
Curtis Stoll  2015-07-24   1         Rotate Image(s)  Edit  Delete
2015-07-17  Route: Bierstadt, Sawtooth, Evans
Info: There is a snow field between Bierstadt and the Sawtooth. Not too difficult to cross. I chose to drop down and cross at an area that was less steep than the the higher crossing. I didn‘t have Micro-Spikes with me. Other than that, any snow in other places can easily be avoided. 
david1  2015-07-17   0             Delete
2015-07-17  Route: West Slopes
Info: Hiked Bierstadt with friends who summited their first 14er today. Made more friends on the way up and down as I would estimate there were at least 200 people on the trail. Weather and trail conditions were excellent. Only hiccup for us was that we had to wait for about 30 minutes at US 285/FR 118 because of the ongoing construction. If you intend to head up Guanella from the south, be aware that the road is closed periodically during the day and you may have to wait. 
762x51NATO  2015-07-17   1         Rotate Image(s)  Edit  Delete
2015-07-15  Route: Bierstadt, Sawtooth, Evans
Info: Tackled the Sawtooth Ridge (and subsequently Mt. Evans) from the Bierstadt side this Wednesday. On the way up Bierstadt, if you‘re there early in the morning, be careful of the boards that act as a pseudo-bridge across the stream as they will be covered in ice crystals and very slippery. There is a bit of snow blocking a portion of the route on the initial part of the East side of the Sawtooth, but with careful negotiation, it can be easily worked around, and then crossed. Past that, the route is completely summer conditions. The ledges at the end were a bit more compacted thanks to a bit of moisture so nothing was all that loose. The way to Evans is also summer conditions. Saw tons of Marmots (more than on any other 14er I‘ve done so far) along the way to Evans so keep your eye out! The stream/run-off down they gulley has occasionally taken parts of the trail over, and there are some slippery bits. Towards the bottom, wildflowers are super abundant and beautiful. At the bottom of the gulley, negotiating your way back to the main Bierstadt trail is a very "swampy" marsh. There were a few times when my foot sank in mud that went all the way up to my knee. Make sure your shoes are on tight. Also, if you do this section early in the morning (like if you do Evans -> Sawtooth -> Bierstadt), the marshy shrubs around you will have dew on them so prepare to be wet from that as well. My climbing buddy and I washed our feet and legs in the stream when we caught up to the Bierstadt trail. 
wildsidesky  2015-07-15   8   4      Rotate Image(s)  Edit  Delete
2015-07-05  Route: West Slopes
Info: I went for a quick trip up the standard route on Sunday morning. Surprisingly, when I arrived at 6:15 the lower parking area wasn‘t full. Usually on Sunday mornings at that time it‘s already jammed. Maybe people were up late the night before for the 4th. Either way, the trail through the willows is in great condition with only one sort of muddy spot before reaching the creek crossing. Scott Gomer Creek appears to be running at pretty normal summertime levels now. So getting across it is easy. Someone has tossed a few logs into the far side of the crossing to make things easier so there really is no reason to worry about getting wet when you cross right now. The trail up to treeline is also in very good shape with no real patches of mud to contend with. The upper trail is still a little bit of a work in progress but the effort that the CFI put in last summer is really noticeable. Now there are steps through the steeper sections which really makes things easier to navigate and keeps the trail climbing efficiently. There is a little bit of water running along the upper trail but it‘s not enough to get your shoes wet, it just makes the rocks a little slick in places. The last pitch to the summit is almost completely snow free and the patches that remain are very easy to avoid. The sawtooth also appeared to be completely snow free though I did not descend down from the peak to get a closer look because I was pressed for time. All in all I‘d say that the trail is in better condition than it has been in quite a long time. Hopefully everyone will make an effort to stay on the new trail as it makes its way from treeline to the final summit pitch. It‘s a fantastic trail to jog if you‘re into that sort of thing. 
Cruiser  2015-07-06   0      1       Delete
2015-07-04  Route: Bierstadt, Sawtooth, Evans
Info: Route from trailhead to Bierstadt in excellent condition. I stepped in snow maybe once on the way up. Some typical runoff streams but not much mud you need to avoid (ie, runners are fine). Took about 2 hours to get to the top. Route across Sawtooth has several patches of snow but none are treacherous and no postholing. I would expect all snow to be gone within the week. From top of Sawtooth to Evans is summer conditions. No issues. The willow trail from Evans to the parking lot is still very wet. If you are wearing runners expect to take on water multiple times or more. Waterproof shoes are still needed for this part if you want to stay dry. That being said, I wore runners and besides needing to clean up some mud when I got home I was fun. Just go slow and make sure you take time planning your next step in the mucky areas. 
mehus  2015-07-06   0             Delete
2015-07-03  Route: West Slopes
Info: It is a bit cold on the mountain, I suggest wearing trek pants, t-shirt and a light jacket. You may also want to wear monkey cap or baseball cap, sunscreen, sunglasses, trek boots, trekking poles are required. Light gloves may help to climb boulders near the summit. 2-3 liter water, Gatorade, bananas, oranges, light snacks. Cell phone signal is weak at the summit otherwise there is reasonable signal on Verizon. I strongly suggest checking out weather conditions on google (hourly weather condition) to prepare better to complete the trek safely. Allow 5-6 hours to complete the trek for novice trekkers. Last week tragic incident should be a wake-up call for all of us. Always respect weather, be safe and enjoy mountains!!! There were hundreds of trekkers on the mountain when we were there so it can get crowded, respect fellow hikers! 
chittaluru  2015-07-04   0             Delete
2015-07-03  Route: West Slopes
Info: We reached parking lot on Guanella Pass by 6 A.M, one of the parking lot was already full so we parked at the other lot with rest rooms. Beautiful Friday morning, forecast was to expect thunderstorms in the afternoon so we wanted to complete the trek by 11 A.M. It is our first 14er, three of us started at 6 A.M and completed within 5-6 hours depending on number of breaks and amount of time to enjoy beautiful weather and serenity on mountains. At the beginning of the trail, there is a creek, trust logs to cross the creek. There were no bugs in the morning but I noticed lot of bugs later in the morning so I suggest carrying bug spray! I divide trek into three levels, first 2 miles pretty much well marked easy trail on the dirt (sometimes a bit of muddy) then next mile is the most challenging part of the trail then final ascend is very much unmarked and full of boulders. Although final ascend appears to be a tall order, but it is not as bad as it appears from a distant. You just need to use hands occasionally on boulders to maintain balance and keep moving forward. It only takes about 30 min reach the summit on these boulders. Once you reach summit, you forget everything and enjoy mother nature! As you can see in the photos, both parking lots of full and plenty of cars parked on both sides of Guanella Pass road. There were hundreds of folks on the trail, we met a few folks who had started around 2:30 A.M. I say that is a bit extreme unless you are trying for experience with night trek. I strongly suggest that you start trekking no later than 6:30 A.M to complete within 5-6 hours and avoid afternoon showers/thunderstorms!!! 
chittaluru  2015-07-04   5         Rotate Image(s)  Edit  Delete
2015-07-02  Route: West Slopes
Info: Its all summer conditions. No snow on the trail at all. A little muddy in some spots but nothing you cant avoid. 
Andymcp1  2015-07-02   0             Delete
2015-06-28  Route: West Slopes
Info: Re: the lightning strikes on Sunday 6/28... There was well over an hour of time between when the weather was obviously turning for the worst and when the lightning struck. If you have any inkling of weather turning, go back down. Do not pay attention to other novice hikers that continue to go up the trail. Make your own decisions. The mountain will be there next weekend. The trail was in good condition for all of the runoff from snow. Wear boots as you‘ll definitely get a little wet otherwise. Start around 6am, and with a good pace you‘ll get the weather out of the way as much as possible. If you‘re doing the sawtooth, start at 4am. 
pgjensen  2015-06-30   0             Delete
2015-06-28  Route: West Slopes
Info: Storm rapidly developed with no warning at about 11 am. Life threatening lightning was present 15 people were struck and a dog was directly hit and died. A not so subtle reminder to pay attention to your cloud cover and not outrun the storm just to get to the summit. The ascent was great though! 
sbs110  2015-06-30   0             Delete
2015-06-28  Route: West Slopes
Info: Clear ascent, trail had some mud from snow melt, storms came in quicker than expected, get out early and it is a beautiful hike. Overall snow free, could do the trail in runners but would recommend boots for muddy areas. Trail restoration in progress. 
Wandering31  2015-06-29   0             Delete
2015-06-28  Route: West Slopes
Info: Lazy start 8:45. Trail mostly dry on the way up. You can avoid the one short snowfield near the summit by skirting left but it‘s also easy to go straight up, even in sneakers. At summit by 10:30. Decided against Sawtooth due to darkening clouds. Left summit at 11:10. Ran down first two miles, scary lightning. News is still developing, but many people behind us were hit at roughly 11:30. Trail was muddy most of the way down due to hail/rain. Amazing how many people were still heading up in threatening conditions! Clouds didn‘t move in, they just built in place. 
jadwin79  2015-06-28   0   2          Delete
2015-06-28  Route: West Slopes
Info: Started: 6:30AM Car: 11:10AM Conditions were fantastic today. 99.9% dry all the way up. There were a couple 50 foot snow fields approaching the summit, as well as some mud in the willows. TONS of bugs in the willows coming back around 11AM. - maybe consider a cloth over the mouth so you don‘t swallow a bunch of these things lol. Clouds rolled in @10:50AM, so make sure to get an early start! Trust the logs over the river - they are sturdy. Mountain was a zoo per sunday usual. Start early! 
Krullin_14ers  2015-06-28   7   3      Rotate Image(s)  Edit  Delete
2015-06-27  Route: Bierstadt, Sawtooth, Evans
Info: Climb up Bierstadt (standard route) is completely dry for the most part - maybe 10 ft of snow on the route up and a little more on the summit. Watch out for deep postholing on the snow at the summit, especially above the south face. Sawtooth is in great shape - no snow on the route at all. Crossing over the rockslide gully to the top of the rock face on the ramp around sawtooth has snow above it which makes it wet and loose though. Ridge from Sawtooth to Evans has no snow until right at the Evans summit and you can get around it with a 20 ft detour. Plateau between West (fakeout) Evans and the gully has 2 big snow patches but the deepest I postholed on them was about 18". 
letitbeirie  2015-06-28   0             Delete
2015-06-27  Route: Bierstadt, Sawtooth, Evans
Info: 1st time doing a class 3 fourteener for me and very doable (and fun!), but probably not going to attempt anything harder until gain more experience. Did entire hike in gortex boots and gaiters which kept me fairly dry going through the muddy and very wet willows at end of hike. Minimal snow during entire hike. Sawtooth is almost completely clear of snow and several other groups were out with us doing the class 3 traverse. Beware of false summit when approaching Evans. Watch for well laid out cairins and stay to the right of the false peak. Coming down the long gully at the end of the hike was beautiful from the top, looking back towards the TH, but a slow steep decent. There is a trail along the stream coming down the gully but easy to slide on with loose dirt and loose rocks. I fell once! Great weather! Was brisk in AM but once sun was on us was going between T shirt and windbreaker. 
madadraw1  2015-06-27   0             Delete
2015-06-25  Route: West Slopes
Info: The creek was running high and presented a major hurdle for those who chose to cross at the main point, per advice from this forum walk 50 yards upstream and cross using the two logs and drier ground. The trail was in good condition (Thanks to volunteers who were present that day, repairing the wet ground in the willows!). At ˜13,200 snow and runoff made it difficult to discern the trail, didn‘t need spikes, but did need to use hands to cross slippery areas. The trail at the final pitch was difficult to discern, meandered off to the North side to avoid snow, but then had to scramble South to get back on track to reach the summit safely. Be prepared for lots of wet ground and a moderately challenging rock scramble to achieve success. We arrived to Bierstadt from the North, I-70, side of Guanella Pass and departed South, US285, side. BIG MISTAKE, paving construction on the South side of Guanella Pass resulted in a 12 mile drive taking 90+ minutes  
jwkriss  2015-06-27   1      1   Rotate Image(s)  Edit  Delete
2015-06-25  Route: West Slopes
Info: Summited around 930am. A few small snow patches to cross but nothing big enough to pull out my micro spikes. Great day to be on the mountain. 
ceimbert  2015-06-25   0   3   2       Delete

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