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Mt. Bierstadt  
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Route  Conditions Information  Posted By   Posted On    Photos  Comments Likes Dislikes    
2013-06-25  Bierstadt, Sawtooth, Evans  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. Lizard_Elizabeth   2013-06-25  0     Edit Delete 
2013-06-16  West Slopes  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. wcropp   2013-06-16  0  1    Edit Delete 
2013-06-14  West Slopes  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. Cruiser   2013-06-14  0     Edit Delete 
2013-06-12  West Slopes  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.... BigfootUSAF   2013-06-12  0     Edit Delete 
2013-06-08  Bierstadt, Sawtooth, Evans  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. Mike Cormier   2013-06-08 4     Edit Delete 
2013-05-25  West Slopes  *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. DoWork   2013-05-25  0     Edit Delete 
2013-05-21  West Slopes  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. Jay521   2013-05-21  0  7    Edit Delete 
2013-05-18  Northwest Gully  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. MissH   2013-05-19 1     Edit Delete 
2013-05-12  West Slopes  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. DaveSwink   2013-05-13  0  1    Edit Delete 
2013-05-05  West Slopes  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. esagas   2013-05-05  0     Edit Delete 
2013-04-27  West Slopes  Skinned up Bierstadt today from the Guanella pass side and the summit ski is still in! As long as you do not mind a little Davenporting/billygoating. The snow will go quick though so get after it soon! Here is a link to the CAIC report I filed this afternoon on today‘s snow/avalanche conditions if anyone is interested in more detailed condition information; . Will try to post some pics later, we shall see if I actually get to it. taylorzs   2013-04-27  0  1    Edit Delete 
2013-04-26  West Slopes  Access is still from winter closure TH on Guanella side. There is a superhighway access to about 12k in a form of snowshoe/skin track. Before the last switchback on the road, aim left (there is a track), it will save you about 200 vertical and 0.5+ mile of hiking/skinning. The track will merge with the "standard" summer route later in the basin. Summit ski is in, but there is a rocky section for about 200 ft below before it opens up. Snowshoes are still needed, but probably less effective in the PM, as the snow in the willows got soggy by 12pm. No avy danger on the route. There is ony one spot that looked steeper than 15 degrees, but benign bypass options exist. Photo 1: Last switchback before getting to summer TH. Keep going through the trees. Photo 2: Overview of the route Photo 3: Rocky section approaching the summit Photo 4: Summit cornice. Don‘t stray too far east. nkan02   2013-04-26 4     Edit Delete 
2013-04-20  West Slopes  It‘s about as wintry as I‘ve ever seen Bierstadt, including previous trips in November, February and March. The road is paved and plowed to the standard winter closure from the Georgetown side, about 1.5 miles short of the Guanella Pass summit. From the closure, the road is buried under a significant amount of snow. It eclipses the guardrail in places. We had to break easy trail in the morning, but by the time we were headed down the Saturday traffic had a firm trench in place. Snowshoes are mandatory beyond the summer TH. One member of our party summited without them, but let‘s just say he‘s unlikely to leave them behind ever again. The snow stays continuous all the way to the top. A summit ski is IN, but sharks are lurking in many areas on the face. We roped up from about 12,000‘ to the summit. The slope angle reaches AT LEAST 20-25 degrees. A fall there might be very bad for the skin on your knees. You can never be too safe. To conclude, a PSA: don‘t be stingy with your sunglasses/goggles. It was very cloudy and snowing most of the day, except for one hour of direct sunlight from 2-3 p.m. I kept waiting for it to get cloudy again and put off pulling out my goggles until it was too late. Three of our four team members have spent most of today nursing snowblindness. Now if you‘ll excuse me, a cold washcloth and a dark room are calling. (sorry for the crappy iPhone pics, forgot my camera at home) PHOTO 1 - Initial trail PHOTO 2 - On the face PHOTO 3 - Summit PHOTO 4 - I‘d rather have a kidney stone P.S. if you lost a snowboard on Bierstadt recently, PM me. SurfNTurf   2013-04-21 4  3  Edit Delete 
2013-02-16  West Slopes  Started at the Georgetown side closure of Guanella Pass. Did not need snowshoes on the road. Through the willows there‘s a nice bootpacked trench. Above treeline the snow was wind scoured. Stayed in boots all day but traction devices may have been handy at times. dpage   2013-02-17 2     Edit Delete 
2013-01-21  West Slopes  Just wanted to clarify some confusion I ran into. Last Friday I was planning on Bierstadt. Got to Georgetown and saw the signs at the end of town...Guanella Pass 11 miles...Road Closed 8.2 miles. I backed off and went to plan B (Sniktau and Cupid) as I didn‘t want to add 5.6 (RT) miles to a late, 10:30 start. Went back Monday and I feel the signs are inaccurate. It only took an extra 40 minutes to get to the summer trailhead. Turned out to be no big deal. I am guessing it‘s closer to an additional 1.5 miles (3 RT). I did two obvious shortcuts of hairpin turns so that helped a little. As in some other recent reports, had microspikes, but never used them. With the mild temps it seemed more like a fall hike than winter...only with a heavier pack and a softer trail underfoot. Very pleasant...only one on the mountain...on a holiday too. Who says the 14ers are getting crowded? The hardest thing was pacing myself as to not break a full on sweat... and the frozen creek clossing, where it would be easy to do a "banana peel" fall if not careful. Also, for anyone considering the Sawtooth Ridge, here are a few photos to go with taylorzs recent report. powhound   2013-01-23 4     Edit Delete 
2013-01-17  Bierstadt, Sawtooth, Evans  Did the Sawtooth yesterday. Lots of snow on the east side of the ridge. Not enough snow to ski anywhere but plenty of waist deep postholing on the traverse. It was fun, but a very long day and not easy going at all. Third time to do the Sawtooth, first time in winter. Past scrambles on the Sawtooth, I found easy. Yesterday was very challending. Ice, postholey snow, and increased exposure due to current conditions, made it quite the day. taylorzs   2013-01-18  0  3    Edit Delete 
2013-01-06  Bierstadt, Sawtooth, Evans  Paul (CaptainP) and I hiked Biersadt and Evans on Sunday the 6th. Paul used the Grant side approach, and got stuck in his truck, needing chains to get out. He parked at the gate. I took the Georgetown approach and enjoyed a well groomed road to the gate closure. We each left the car at 730am and met at the TH at 8am. The roads are well groomed and go by quickly. The trail to Bierstadt is boot packed and the upper slopes are not holding much snow. The Sawtooth is a different story. The east side was completely covered. An ice axe is 100% necessary. The west side ledges are holding enough snow to catch your attention. I have done the Sawtooth in summer, and fall, and found this trip to be a much more difficult and committing. The trail to Evans has snow, but snowshoes are not needed. We descended the dreaded willows route and were ecstatic to find a well packed trench leading all the way back to the main trail. We did not use snowshoes (or bring them). I used microspikes. Paul did not. Sorry, I don’t have any good photos of the ‘Tooth. I Man   2013-01-07  0  2    Edit Delete 
2013-01-01  West Slopes  Went up today. New snow did not change need for snowshoes; they are unnecessary and we booted the entire way up. A little bit of postholing up top but too rocky for snowshoes to be useful up there anyway. Most of the trail was packed but a bit loose, except for the finish. Agree that spikes could be useful! Weather was cold, calm and clear - a perfect combination! Surprised we only saw a few people on it. robbieflick   2013-01-01  0     Edit Delete 
2012-12-30  West Slopes  To reiterate MountainHiker‘s post - there was no need for snowshoes on the entire route. Took spikes but never put them on. Certainly this could change with the snowfall predicted for today. If conditions remain as they were on Sunday, Bierstadt would make for a nice, easy New Year‘s Day climb. Image 1 shows the boot pack trail through the willows. Image 2 shows the conditions above 13K Jay521   2012-12-31 2  2    Edit Delete 
2012-12-29  West Slopes  From Naylor Lake winter TH. Well packed trail on road to Guanella Pass and through the willows. Above the willows the packed trail braids away from the real trail in several places. We left the snowshoes in the Jeep. MountainHikerette wore MicroSpikes but I was fine without them. Used poles. Some did wear snowshoes. MountainHiker   2012-12-29  0     Edit Delete 

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