Route: Mt. Bierstadt's East Ridge, Sawtooth, Evans
Start Time: 6:00 am
Finish: 12:30 pm
This is my first trip report ever, so hopefully it's a good one. A couple of friends, my sister and brother, and I, set out early on Saturday morning to climb a couple of routes on Bierstadt and Evans that I had wanted to do for a while. Although the weather forecast predicted thunderstorms starting before noon, it didn't rain the entire climb.
A beautiful sunrise while driving up the Mt. Evans road
The descent down the gully had some loose rock, but it wasn't as bad as I thought. We made it down in good time and got over to the base of the ~800' slope leading to the East Ridge of Bierstadt. I found this part the most physically difficult part of the climb.
Looking up the Northeast slope of Bierstadt
We got to the top and then the real fun began.
On the ridge crest, looking at Pt. 13,641 and the summit of Bierstadt beyond
We quickly made it to the base of Pt. 13,641', and then we encountered some more difficult Class 3 moves. We crossed the grassy ledges on the right side and scrambled up back to the ridge crest, avoiding the Class 5 area shown on the route description on this site. From there, it was just a brief scramble to the top.
Almost to the top of Pt. 13,641
After Pt. 13,641', it was pretty straight forward to the summit of Bierstadt.
Near the summit of Bierstadt, looking down on the East Ridge
On top of Bierstadt, looking at the Sawtooth Ridge
Once we were on the summit of Bierstadt, we noticed threatening storm clouds that caused us to question the wisdom of climbing our next objective, the Sawtooth ridge. However, the winds quickly blew the clouds away and we decided to go for it.
On the ridge crest
Because of snowfields on the right side of the ridge, we stayed on the crest for most of the ridge. The rock was solid, and we enjoyed plenty of Class 3 scrambling.
Looking up to the large gendarme on the Sawtooth ridge
Once we reached the large gendarme most of the way across the ridge, we left the crest and followed a trail around the right side of the gendarme. After a bit of traversing, we turned left and climbed up a gully for about 100' or so.
Some fun Class 3 scrambling
After this, we traversed the rest of the way around the gendarme and climbed up toward a large notch.
The notch before the ledges
We took a quick breather, and looked at the ledges below the top of the Sawtooth. I remembered about a climber who had recently fallen on the ledge and I immediately got more nervous. However, I found it to be less difficult than I had anticipated, although caution was definitely necessary.
On the Sawtooth ledges
Looking back down the ledges
With the Sawtooth behind us, we walked quickly toward the final part of our trip, Mt. Evans.
Past the Sawtooth, on our way to Evans
Stretching out on Mt. Evans' West Ridge
Looking up to the summit
On top, looking down at the parking lot
While we were hiking back to our car, we spotted a few mountain goats resting on the rocks. I'm always amazed at these fascinating creatures with the ability to survive in alpine conditions.
A mountain goat and her baby
We got back to our car at about 12:30. This was a great trip and I would love to do it again in the future!