| Mt. Bierstadt - Great day for a first 14er
First 14er and first trip report. My wife and I moved to Colorado (Monument) in April. Our kids are grown and we wanted something different, so we sold our house in the Southeast, loaded the trucks and here we are. From reading the forum, Mt. Bierstadt seemed to be highly recommended as a first 14er.
I left Monument at 5:10 and reached the Guanella Pass trailhead around 7:30, including a stop for gas (I-25 to 470 to I-70, Georgetown exit). The Guanella Pass Scenic Byway from Georgetown was smooth and a beautiful drive.
There were 10-12 autos in the parking lot and several groups preparing to start the climb. I started at 8:00.
It was warm starting out and didn't take long to shed my outer layer. Most of the other climbers I saw were doing the same. The trail was solid and dry until around halfway point where it became muddy but not a problem. I saw only a few places nearing the summit with snow.
When I reached the summit, I congratulated the first guy I saw by the summit marker. We spoke for a few minutes about the climb up and that he had traveled from Michigan to climb that particular mountain with a family member. Then he paused and I could tell he wanted to say something else. I asked what was up, and he replied, "I have Parkinson's and I just summited my first 14er." The guy just emanated victory. He was shocked when I told him the same thing (diagnosed in 2003). It was a real victory for both of us. Of all the mountains, of all the days, two guys facing the same battle reached the same point at the same time.
It was almost sunbathing weather at the summit. I spent an hour there, speaking with my new friend and several others. It was an incredible time. Total trip time, including the hour at the summit, was appx 7.5 hours.
Since moving to Colorado, we've been awed by the friendliness of the people whom we've met, and it was no different while climbing/descending Mt. Bierstadt. Awesome views combined with the wonderful people I met there made for an unforgettable day and start to climbing 14ers. Thanks to all those who befriended me along the way.
Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):