Mt. Bierstadt by itself is not the most scenic or challenging of the 14ers. However, this climb was memorable for more important reasons.
Originally I had set out to do the Bierstadt, Sawtooth, Evans route solo, but Friday night before the hike I mentioned my plans to my brother and he said “I'll go with you!”
Now my brother has a big heart but he hadn't done a 14er in ~30 years. So, I said OK, with a little trepidation, be ready by 5 tomorrow and I'll pick you up. His response, 5am?
The morning was perfect, cool, a couple of clouds to the west but nothing ominous and we found a parking spot and started off from the trailhead by 6:40am.
Morning thru the marsh
Not a lot of bugs thru the marshy area and thank god for the bridge. My sister did Bierstadt before the bridge was built and said it was horrible.
Willows everywhere but not buggy!
My brother -- didn't quite know what he was getting in to.
In any case we made it up about a ¼ of the way up the trail and my brother was hanging in there. We stopped for some classic pictures of Sawtooth in the background.
My brother Mike -- raring to go!
The trail was super busy, frankly more like a parade then a true outdoor experience but I was with my brother sharing a real life moment that we'll always remember.
Saturday parade up the mountain
We stopped by one of the carins about ½ way up and got someone to take a picture of the two of us in fine form!
Little iPhoto effort here
As we made the ridge my brother is still hanging in there with no complaints despite the altitude and the increasing wind and cold. But he's enthusiastic and a real trooper!
Wind kicking up and the scramble begins.
We make the summit! I don't even care how long it took. We're at the top together enjoying the view, mandatory summit pics, PBJ sandwiches and God's handiwork.
Panoramic view mostly to the west
Best summit pic yet!
We were smart and decided the the Bierstadt, Sawtooth, Evans combo was not in the cards so we descended.
Oh boy -- that's the way to Sawtooth??
In summary, the crowd was bad, the hike was ok, the weather was good, the view was great, my brother is awesome.