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|Conditions Information||Posted By||Posted On|
|2013-10-26||Route: West Slopes
Info: Several icy spots in the willows. Packed trail above willows. Mud in the willows on the return. Recommend MicroSpikes & pole. The rocks at the stream crossing were icy in the morning. There is a log bridge upstream about 100 yds.
|2013-10-20||Route: West Slopes
Info: Snowshoes were not needed but I would highly recommend microspikes because the trail is very icy, primarily in the willows. The trail was well packed in the lower section but disappeared around 13,000‘ in 6" snow drifts. Cairns are still visible and the route was generally discernible.
|2013-10-13||Route: West Slopes
Info: Very muddy at the start until you start climbing. After that, the trail is mostly dry until you get closer to the top, and there‘s packed snow from there. I hiked the mud in boots and the rest of the trail in new balance sneakers.
|2013-10-09||Route: West Slopes
Info: Only a little snow left over from Friday‘s storm. Mostly bare. Took MicroSpikes but didn‘t use them. image
|2013-09-28||Route: West Slopes
Info: The river is running steady, but your feet will stay dry if your shoes are at least water resistant. Dusting of snow along the west ridge, but you can avoid any patches by choosing one of the half dozen trails up the west slope. Very little snow on the summit pitch, beautiful scenery with all the leaves changing!
|2013-09-16||Route: West Slopes
Info: The trail up to timberline is in pretty good shape, but the small creek that you must cross is currently running very high. The only way to continue towards the summit is to remove shoes and wade through knee deep rapids. It‘s completely doable, but be prepared to get wet...many people took a tumble. Past the creek the trail is great until about 13,500, where it became very snowy and whiteout conditions prevailed until the actual summit where it actually cleared up a bit. Bring spikes, dress warm and you‘ll be fine.
|2013-09-08||Route: Bierstadt, Sawtooth, Evans
Info: Nice and dry conditions along the entire route. Packed on the way up Bierstadt (as expected because it was a Sunday), but only encountered about 7 other people on the sawtooth (but we encountered nobody on the trail from the sawtooth to Evans). When crossing the sawtooth, take the high path up above the large rock. This way you avoid all the loose dirt below it. Gully was in good shape, but lots of areas with loose dirt. Once you descended into the willows, it was miserably muddy. Staying above the lakes tended to help some. Expect your shoes to be covered in mud by the end. And watch out for the deeper mud pits; occasionally we‘d step into mud deeper than shoe height.
|2013-08-17||Route: Bierstadt, Sawtooth, Evans
Info: Everything was dry over the Sawtooth and up to Evans. The route through the gully during the return to Guanella Pass was sufficiently worn and cairned that we had no trouble following the route. The willows, on the other hand, were a dreadful, muddy mess and there were many places where people had tried to route around the mud, creating a number of confusing side trails.
|2013-07-09||Route: East Ridge
Info: From Evans, though East Ridge, down Abyss lake, back up the Evans - Epaulet gully. The only snow that was encountered was in a few small spots of the Bierstadt - Sawtooth traverse, very easy to avoid. In the Abyss basin, all creeks are flowing pretty good, but crossing them is no problem, and can be done fairly easy. Tons of wildflowers! No issues on the ridge itself.
|2013-07-04||Route: West Slopes
Info: Trail is completely clear except a very small patch of snow on the final summit pitch, other than that it was clear. Early in the morning the bridges near the trailhead had some frost and were slippery.
|2013-06-25||Route: Bierstadt, Sawtooth, Evans
Info: Almost no snow up to Bierstadt, occasional ice patch where water melts across route in afternoon. Final summit ascent is covered with snow, this morning was nice packed, like styrofoam. Snow on path leading to Sawtooth, was soft this morning and slight post holing. Small snow patches along Sawtooth but avoidable. No snow on technical scramble if following lower route and no snow on ledge. Some ice where snow is melting on Evans route. Willow maze at bottom of gully is unavoidably muddy. That whole last segment is a maze, staying left let me avoid water depths higher than my soles. Aim route toward Bierstadt parking lots to keep from going too close to lakes and too far back up Bierstadt slope. Will add pictures tomorrow.
|2013-06-16||Route: West Slopes
Info: Standard route information as of 6.16.2013 - the route starts out pretty muddy but the foot bridges help, if you‘re careful you can avoid most of it. The mud starts to dissipate with the gains - the route does have some snow melt but nothing too crazy. As previously reported, around the 12,500 mark there is some good packed snow, but very sparse and only in 2 main areas on the West slopes, I had my spikes but did not need them. The summit ridge also has some snow, hard and packed, you can veer left and avoid or go that route but I would suggest traction.
|2013-06-14||Route: West Slopes
Info: Went for a quick trip up and down the standard route on Bierstadt this morning. The lower trail is muddy in between the footbridges. Higher up had some water running down the trail but nothing too significant. The creek crossing is manageable though I was glad to have waterproof boots since a couple of the stepping stones were still submerged. The upper trail is still holding a few small snowfields. When I passed through everything was still thoroughly frozen but later in the day they will surely soften up. I didn‘t use or want for any traction aids, boots had enough purchase on their own. The snow should be able to be mostly avoided with a little creative route finding on the slope leading up to the final summit ridge. The sawtooth was mostly snow free although there were a couple of snowfields hanging around on the east side just past the low point of the ridge. The ledges appeared to be pretty much snow free. CFI had multiple crews out doing maintenance this morning. Be sure to thank them for their hard work if you happen to run across them.
|2013-06-12||Route: West Slopes
Info: The route was snow-free up until 12,500 or so, but most of that is avoidable nor is it really deep at all. My microspikes were helpful, however, on the final summit pitch. I kept to the right on the final pitch and walked up some good, packed snow. It wasa great day and the trail was in good shape! There were muddy spots on the first part of the trail, but with careful hiking most of that can be avoided....
|2013-06-08||Route: Bierstadt, Sawtooth, Evans
Info: It took me 8.5 hrs. to do about 11.25 miles. Gear: microspikes and poles. The hike to Bierstadt was straightforward - the creek running pretty strong, without poles I‘d have gotten wet (but I‘m also pretty short). Microspikes very helpful (and required for the Sawtooth). #1 is a look at the Sawtooth from the summit of Bierstadt. #2 is a climber (great to meet you, Anthony) descending the snow slope. The snow was not too deep, but a slip would be punished (should have taken the axe). #3 is a look at the ledge. There are sporadic cairns, but ok if you take your time. Some snow coverage, though, in awkward places. #4 shows the the willow country ahead. This shot was taken west of where you would drop down the gully into the drainage (Bill‘s route on this site). I did not take this route. I kept going northwest, gradually dropping down to Scott Gomer Cr. There, I met Joseph (thanks for the great conversation) and together we went west and got back on the main Bierstadt trail. Pretty wet....a bit over my ankles. A great day.
|2013-05-25||Route: West Slopes
Info: *was off summit by 8:30am. Carried snowshoes entire way but did not use them (could have up and down above the willows, but really was not needed). Was a great hike with firm snow. Would not want to be out there past 11am.
|2013-05-21||Route: West Slopes
Info: Good packed trail all the way up that held up well until noon. I did not take, nor did I need snowshoes, but spikes were helpful. The real crux is the stream crossing. After noon, the snow started getting pretty soft so anyone going up late probably would be wise to carry some sort of flotation.
|2013-05-18||Route: Northwest Gully
Info: Road to TH still closed although free of ice/snow. Still lots of snow as soon as you hit the trail, mostly compact. Made for easy "attack" up the summit - just head for the summit! Sun hid away most of day allowing me to get by with just the spikes. Postholing I did in the willows was tolerable so I didn‘t bother wearing the snowshoes I carried. Creek was easier to jump over in the morning. On the descent I and two other ladies had trouble crossing due to the melting "creek bank" and we all three took an afternoon dip. Fortunately it was only 1 hour of wet feet for me and at least I stayed warm most of the time. Snow showers in the afternoon made me glad I was already on my descent. Great day! Photo looking towards Grays and Torreys and route up to summit.
|2013-05-12||Route: West Slopes
Info: Skinned up from the winter gate on the Georgetown side. When we came down the snow on the road was melting very fast and will be gone from the road in a few days. The road will probably not be skiable Monday afternoon. There is still lots of snow from the trailhead, and a few trails are broken through the willows. Floatation is necessary to avoid lots of postholing.
|2013-05-05||Route: West Slopes
Info: Still plenty of snow up there. Snowshoes were very helpful, particularly around the willows and on the way down as the snow started to soften up. It was snowing when we left.