ROUTE: Standard Guanella Pass
ROUTE LENGTH: 6.9 Miles
HIKE TIME: 3.5 hours (2 on the ascent, 1.5 on the descent)
TRAIL: Just about all dry with the exception of 1 snow field near the summit. I did the snow field in standard boots and Brandon did it with tennis shoes. Not an issue
WEATHER: Clear, 40 degrees, with a 20MPH wind at the summit
The Colorado School of Mines has graciously given the Mining Engineers 2 weeks off from Summer classes, so 14ers are what I plan on filling my time with until I have to go back.
One of my buddies from Mines was saying we should do a summit at night one of these days, and I told him I would be down as long as we could catch the sunrise.
So me and my 3 fellow mountaineers decided to head out for Bierstadt at 1 AM to catch a sunrise. We left at 1 and reached the trailhead by 2:15
Brandon, Ben, and Nick at 2:22
It was gorgeous outside when we got there. No cars in the parking lot, a half-moon was lighting out way, and it was a brisk 40 degrees out. Great conditions for hiking!
My friend Brandon and I have done 3 14ers in the last 3 weeks, which isn't bad for 2 nerds that have to study all the time. So we are in OK shape, and wanted to see how well we could perform on the hike.
We put our headphones in, turned out headlamps off, and followed the trail by the light of the moon. It was a great experience. Much different than the standard Saturday afternoon hikes.
Brandon walking through the snow field
Brandon and I made it to the summit in 1 hour and 54 minutes, which we didn't think was too shabby. I've never done a 2MPH pace for an ascent, and I think this was the closest I've come.
The problem with doing the hike so fast was that we had to wait for the sun to come over Evans! On Bierstadt it was cold, windy, but GORGEOUSSSS. We could see all the colors of the sun just behind Evans. We had to do some jumping jacks and bust out my sleeping bag to keep us warm while we were doing our best Doors impression and "Waiting For the Sun."
It was amazing to see the colors around Evans, but we wanted to see that warm sun on us!
They all made it!
Looking out to the north towards Grays and Torreys
Finally it came! It was so worth it. I have never seen a sunrise from a summit, so this was just amazing for me. After watching it rise over Evans at about 5, we decided to call it a day and head back. One of our hikers still had a class at 9
Guanella Pass area is greeeeen! I love it