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|Conditions Information||Posted By||Posted On|
|2015-09-26||Route: Bierstadt, Sawtooth, Evans
Info: Awesome route. No snow. Didn‘t have to pay. Stayed in Idaho Springs but several car campers at the lake. Tons of people on the summits. No one did the East ridge route with us though. Colors are phenomenal.
|2015-08-22||Route: West Slopes
Info: Hope everyone is well. Arrived at trailhead by 6:00am and the lot was full, made it to the summit by 8:00am. Began descent around 8:30am to return back at the trailhead by 11:00am. A busy day on the trail mostly on the descent. Mountain haze was noticeable but did not effect hiking conditions but did effect views. Summit was very windy with low temperatures. Overall great hike.
|2015-08-21||Route: West Slopes
Info: Windy on the summit today. I had a 4 a.m. start. The air around Bierstadt and Evans held much smoke blown in from the fires out west. A tiny bit of ice on trail up high; easily passable.
|2015-08-18||Route: West Slopes
Info: Cooler temps have arrived, parts of the trail on the upper mountain had significant ice, especially the new parts that were just built. A bit of frost also covered elevated sections through the swamp. By noon, this ice was gone! So this applies to only the morning hours before direct sunlight.
|2015-08-15||Route: West Slopes
Info: The westslope is in good shape with no snow to report. There were crews out Saturday afternoon doing maintaince on the lower section of the trail. The crowds are starting to thin out. The creek crossing is still the same rock jumping as described by others, but if you are sure footed, its a breeze. There was some mud sections in the first mile that seems to be an issue for those in tennis shoes but it had rained a good amount Friday night so that was to be expected. Great day, with great weather.
|2015-08-15||Route: East Ridge
Info: I had yet to see a condition report for the Bierstadt East Ridge, so I decided to go for. The route description seemed pretty thorough with lots of pictures and I‘m confident hiking class 3 so why not. This route gets your attention right from the start. Parking at the recommended parking location there is a trail that leads you to the descent gulley but it quickly fades away as you descend. Do not try to descend under headlamp. You want to be able to see your line in advance and carefully pick your approaches. We encountered a couple short sections that required down climbing. Once you reach the bottom the hike across and climb back up the other side to ridge are pretty self explanatory. I recommend staying to the North side of the lake as the route description says. We saw a group cross on the South side and it looked like it added extra distance. Once you reach the top of the ridge the real fun starts and continues all the way to the summit. First two class 3 sections are pretty easy to pick lines through and there are multiple options to choose from. Just follow the pictures in the route description. The third section you reach requires some good route finding to keep it at class 3 scrambling. We added a few cairns to help identify the route, but again follow the route description. After that third section there is still more climbing and down climbing required as you traverse the ridge so don‘t think the worst is behind you. This route requires good route finding skills and being comfortable with exposure. Don‘t expect to walk a mindless trail here. You will have to pick your lines the entire time, which is a nice change. Since the day was so nice we decided to add the Sawtooth and Evans and do a clockwise loop. The descent off Bierstadt to the Sawtooth is not well trailed either so pick a line and just go for it. Try not to lose too much elevation though so you can contour around. There are several cairns marking the path after you descend and reach the class 3 sections. These were considerably easier than the class 3 we encountered on the East Ridge. Not much else I can about the Sawtooth or Evans. Both have good trails and are self explanatory from the route descriptions. From the summit of Evans we were able to easily descend back to the car without issue. Car to Bierstadt summit took around 3hrs, then other 1.5hrs to reach Sawtooth, and Mt Evans summit was reached at the 5hr 15min mark. Car to car took 6hrs. This is an awesome route if you want solitude and a challenge (at least until you pass the Sawtooth). Don‘t under estimate the East ridge. It does require good route finding skills and will challenge you. Highly recommended for anyone with experience and is comfortable with exposure.
|2015-08-05||Route: Bierstadt, Sawtooth, Evans
Info: Trail is clear and good to go. Willows are muddy and wet, but what‘s new? Mt. Evans road is now open, so we saw lots of people atop of Mt. Evans. More info and pics can be found here: https://everythingoutdoorscolorado.wordpress.com/2015/08/06/mt-bierstadt-sawtooth-west-evans-mt-evans/
|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!
|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.
|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.
|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.
|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.
|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.
|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.
|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.
|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!
|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!!!
|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.
|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.
|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!