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|Conditions Information||Posted By||Posted On|
|2014-10-25||Route: West Slopes
Info: The conditions have not changed much since the last report. There was minimal snow until around 12,000 feet. There were some snow drifts that were ankle deep as we got closer to the summit, but nothing deeper than that. It was not particularly icy, either. We had no spikes or hiking poles and felt 100% fine. I was in running shoes, my partner in simple hiking boots. It was a bit windy at the summit but still quite warm.
|2014-10-18||Route: West Slopes
Info: Similar to the previous post. No snow until roughly 12,000 feet and then mostly patchy, hard-packed snow in several places along the trail. Snow covers the route in several places making route finding a little more difficult. Not a big deal on the weekend though. Very warm conditions. Several hikers in tank tops. Used micro-spikes on the way down, but not entirely necessary.
|2014-10-15||Route: West Slopes
Info: Did Mt. Bierstadt today. Trail was snow-free until about 12,000 feet. About 12,000 to the summit the trail is hard snow-packed. Micro-spikes would be great!
|2014-10-05||Route: West Slopes
Info: Dry under 12k ft, used micro spikes above 12,500, not must have but made it so much easier and were the envy of many hikers. Super windy day... Bring layers, protect head and hands.
|2014-10-04||Route: West Slopes
Info: Perfect day for my first 14er. Started at 8:10. Parking lot was nearly full. Once we were in the snow above the willows, the wind was pretty consistent and frigid. Skies were completely clear and views spectacular. On the descent, some areas in the willows had thawed and gotten a bit muddy. That was around noon.
|2014-10-03||Route: Bierstadt, Sawtooth, Evans
Info: We attempted Sawtooth, but had to turn back early. Plenty of snow along the route, especially on the approach to Sawtooth from Bierstadt. The conditions along Sawtooth are probably quite dicey.
|2014-09-28||Route: West Slopes
Info: No delays getting to the parking lot, still lots of open spaces around 6:30AM. Morning started off very nice, if a little chilly. Trail was muddy in a couple of spots in the willows, but nothing too bad. Reached the summit around 10:30AM and the weather was starting to turn shortly before then. During the last mile (around 12:45PM), or so, of the decent it started to rain and hail (just a little bit of lentil size hail for a very short time).
|2014-09-28||Route: West Slopes
Info: Trail is clear and muddy in a tiny few spots in the marsh area. No problems up or down, but supposed to snow tonight, so might be different this week.
|2014-09-21||Route: West Slopes
Info: Lots of fog, but basically perfect conditions on the ground. The rocky section of the top might have been just a teensy bit slick because of all the moisture in the air.
|2014-09-11||Route: West Slopes
Info: Biggest thing to report about is there is road work being done on Guenella Pass between 285 and Duck Lake. The road is completely SHUT DOWN and will prevent you from getting to the trailhead between the hours of 8am-11am and 1pm-3pm with 30 minute delays to be expected. We unfortunately learned this the hard way, and had to back track and get over to I-70 side through Evergreen. Save yourself the hassle and go the I-70 side. Project is slated to go through October of 2015 according to the Forest Service website . The nice ladies at where they make you wait for a pace truck made it seem like it was only for a couple weeks and come Aspen viewing time it wouldn‘t be shutting down during the day. That aside it ended up being a nice clear day for climbing to the top of my FIRST 14er even though it was a foggy day in Denver when we left. The benefits of our delay starting were there was no frost on any of the boardwalks, and saw a Moose near the parking lot. The mud between boardwalk section that others have mention was still there, but none of it was big enough that it is not possible to step on the sides. Other then that the crew working on the trail have done an AMAZING job with all the work they have done moving rocks around to help define the trail and create steps in areas. They said this was the last week for them working on the trail this season, and were going to be working 6 days to try and complete the section they were working on, instead of the 4 they have been doing. We were the last to summit for the day, and did so about 3:30pm.
|2014-09-01||Route: West Slopes
Info: I did a quick trail run on the standard route Monday morning. Got kind of a late start leaving the TH at 7:15. The boardwalks were tinged with frost through they weren‘t particularly slick. There was some mud in between the boardwalk sections as well. The creek crossing was slick with a thin veneer of ice covering several of the rocks and logs. I slipped and stuck both feet into the creek which was less than awesome since I was wearing non-waterproof trail runners. Higher up on the trail there was quite a bit more ice where water had been running along during the day and then had frozen over night. Though the areas were avoidable, the ice meant that I really had to to pay attention to where I put my feet in order to avoid slipping. No traction aids were needed, just a little extra care in a few spots. CFI trail crews were doing some work on the upper trail so be aware of them when you‘re heading up. Things seem to be coming along very well for them with what appears to be a much more sustainable trail through the talus being built. The trail sections on final push to the summit were free of ice and snow (though there were some patches of snow in shaded areas between rocks) so no issues there.
|2014-09-01||Route: West Slopes
Info: First time climbing Mt. Bierstadt today. Arrived at 6:30am, and began climbing by 7am. Very crowded today, Labor Day holiday -- parking lot was packed and cars were parked along the road. Temperature was 41 degrees at the trailhead. When we were down in the willows, it was deceptive because we were protected from the wind, and the sun was hitting us, we thought it would have been warmer. But once we got out of the willows and we were completely exposed, the cold wind (gale force winds) was constantly blowing, we‘re guessing upwards of 35MPH. There was also frost on the wood planks through the marsh making them a little slippery and there was a lot of ice and mud on the trail before you got to the scree near the top. The conditions were so brutal, we almost turned around several times, but stayed the course and made it to the summit.
|2014-08-25||Route: West Slopes
Info: Got to east parking lot at 10am... it was full, but west parking lot was not even half full. Still some mud puddles at beginning of trail, but no ice or snow anywhere on trail. It started to sleet slightly at about 12,700‘ but only lasted 20 mins. Workers (volunteers?) were continuing to create stone steps near 13,500‘. The steps make the trail so much easier. About 2 dozen people were descending as we ascended. Only 6 other people at summit when we arrived. On a sad note... found 2 beer cans near summit. Shame on you.
|2014-08-23||Route: West Slopes
Info: The trail was a bit muddy with puddles in places from rain the previous day. At the higher elevations, the recent rain was in ice form. Once we got above ~13,000 feet there was ice on the rocks and traces of snow from the day before. It was very cold and windy up there! I left at 6:00 am and was on the summit around 8:30.
|2014-08-21||Route: Bierstadt, Sawtooth, Evans
Info: Bierstadt trail dry and smooth. Still a good area of ice on the Sawtooth. Gully to go down is loose and fairly steep, but the mud is the real horror getting back to the main trail.
|2014-08-12||Route: West Slopes
Info: All clear and busy as usual. Main info is trail crew was working on new steps near 13,300‘ (they put the warning that they are there at trailhead, which is a long ways before where they work). There was still some hail hanging out in protected nooks from storm on 8/11.
|2014-07-28||Route: West Slopes
Info: The first parking lot was full at 7:30am (on a Monday morning), but the second lot was mostly empty (some of it blocked by construction equipment) and the roadside parking was light. Trail all in fine condition, just a little a little muddy and slippery after the rain. Some cold rain, small sleet or hail, and light thunder started up about 12:30pm (which was in the forecast and common in late July, but seemed an hour earlier than I had expected).
|2014-07-27||Route: West Slopes
Info: Trail was dry. No clouds in the early morning, though clouds started to form around 8am. Didn‘t hear any thunder until around 1:30pm when we were leaving the parking lot. I‘ve included a photo of the sawtooth for those of you wanting to see its condition.
|2014-07-19||Route: Bierstadt, Sawtooth, Evans
Info: The Sawtooth definitely still has snow on the descent from Bierstadt. It was crossable/avoidable, but a bit hairier than I would have liked (and more so than I remembered from a few years ago). I didn‘t have any traction devices or an ice axe. Avoiding the snow will take you off route a few times, and added some time. Contrary to a recent condition report, it seemed that the people that descended from Bierstadt and stayed to the southeast side of the snow (with the snow to your left) almost all the way until the snow ended were able to traverse much more quickly. This puts you below the route, and you‘ll have to climb back up a bit.
|2014-07-14||Route: West Slopes
Info: Trail is in great condition. No snow or rain runoff but plenty of people.