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 Peak(s):  Mt. Bierstadt  -  14,060 feet
 Post Date:  06/01/2012
 Date Climbed:   05/27/2012
 Posted By:  MNHiker

 Bierstadt - West Slopes   

I'm 21 and just moved out to Parker from Minnesota a week ago. I used to live in Colorado as a kid and did Torrey's, Lincoln, Democrat, Bross, and Cameron back in the late 90's early 2000's while back here on vacations with my family. I've been using this site for awhile but just created my own account today. I would have had this report up sooner, but accounts can only be made on Friday's right now so here we are.

I left Parker at 5:20 and reached the trailhead parking right around 7:20. I came from the south off of 285 and veered off at Grant onto Guanella Pass Rd which was paved for the most part. A section of the road was gravel but nothing serious. I made it no problem with a pretty low clearance, 2WD car. There were only about a dozen other cars in the lot when I got there.

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Starting down into the willows, the boardwalk was quite the luxury. The lower 1/2 to 2/3 of the trail was open from snow and the mud in the bottom portion was still frozen when I was going up. On the way back down, things were a little bit muddier but nothing too bad. There was one stream crossing as well towards the trailhead. It's not too bad jumping the rocks but having something to stabilize yourself might help. I slipped off one rock but was saved by gor-tex hiking boots.

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It was pretty open and dry going up. There was some ice on the trail starting at about 2/3 of the way up but just follow the cairs and it's pretty easy to tell which direction the trail is heading. There were a couple snow fields before I got to the ridge but nothing was too difficult. They were pretty well packed and I made it through good without traction devices. Here's the biggest one I came across.

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The terrain got a little bit steeper before gaining the ridge as well

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Here was how the final pitch to the summit looked like. A bit steep but the snow made it easier than scrambling up rock the entire way

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I hit the top at 10:20. I had the summit to myself for about 2 minutes before a couple groups of people behind me made it up as well.

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From the top, there were 14ers in just about every direction. West towards Gray's and Torrey's

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North towards Longs Peak

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Mt. Evans right next door

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And south towards Quandary

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I went down in a little under 2 and a half hours without any difficulties except for being a little chilly from the wind that day, and that was it. Overall, it was a good hike, and a good first hike for my summer. Hopefully I did ok for a first TR, and good luck to everyone in future hikes.



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