Support 14ers.com
Buying gear? Please use these links to help 14ers.com:

More info...

Other ways to help...
 Peak(s):  Mt. Bierstadt  -  14,060 feet
Mt. Evans  -  14,264 feet
 Post Date:  06/27/2013
 Date Climbed:   06/24/2013
 Posted By:  James Scott

 Tour De Abyss   

This is my third Tour De Abyss, and if you’ve done this route, you can probably understand why. There isn’t much simple walking, it’s got a couple of downclimbs that can be tedious, but the rest of the day is highly enjoyable. Mostly, it drops you into a charming basin, and you climb up the other side and do a full “U” around it, left to right, gaining, in order, Bierstadt’s south ridge, Bierstadt’s summit, the Sawtooth, Evans’ north ridge, and Evans’ summit. If you ‘re lucky, you can get a ride from Evans’ summit back to your car, making this about the only summit that marks the end of the climb.

A couple friends asked about doing Longs Peak later in the summer, and I suggested this route as a warm up- the technical climbing is similar, the exposure is similar, and it would be a great work out to get ready for Longs. Ashley and Holly both came through like Champs, handling their first class three scrambling with confidence and without incident. This was the first time I went up and over all the teeth on the Sawtooth without dropping down.

The most frightening part of the climb was looking back at the snow apron coming down off Bierstadt. While on it, the snow was soft but secure, and even though we went slow, it wasn’t too jarring. From the Sawtooth, that snow looked extremely steep and dangerous, and we all had a hard time believing we had just traversed it. The climbing on the Sawtooth was energizing, and the ledges are wide enough that the extreme drop off didn’t get into our head, and the beer at Tommyknockers was excellent as always.

Am I the only one who is bothered that people are leaving Which Wich sandwich wrappers on summits under rocks? It’s an amusing promotion, but I wonder how many of the Colorado summits are now graced with wrappers so everyone can get their free sandwiches. It’s also ironic how the people driving to the top of Evans and walking the last 200 feet are also snapping their summit Which Wich pictures for the free sandwich for summiting a 14er. I wonder how long this promotion will last.

Image
Epulet saddle under layer of fog

Image
Bierstadt south ridge from Evans/ Epulet saddle

Image
Holly and Ashley in the coulior

Image
mountain goat in coulior

Image
Image
into the Abyss basin

Image
Abyss Lake, Sawtooth in background

Image
Holly making her way up to the ridge

Image
Ashley getting to ridge with Sawtooth in background

Image
along the south ridge of Bierstadt

Image
farther along

Image
Bierstadt summit

Image
Ashley's first summit, Holly's third!

Image
Sawtooth- easier than it looks

Image
making our way down Bierstadt to Sawtooth

Image
coming down off the second tooth

Image
third tooth- crux of the climbing

Image
Ashley on the third tooth

Image
Holly topping out on the third tooth

Image
Ashley in the chimney

Image
nearing the saddle turnoff

Image
along the ledges

Image
Image
Image
Ashley ignoring the extreme drop off below her

Image
beyond the Sawtooth

Image
Holly and Ashley relaxing - "We climbed that!"

Image
Evans summit- James

Image
Evans summit- Holly

Image
Evans summit- Ashley



Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
 


  • Comments or Questions (2)
zinj


I hadn't seen that view of Sawtooth     2013-06-28 08:09:07
from Abyss Lake...this might be my new favorite!

Congrats to Ashley for taking down Bierstadt the ”hard way”.

Just to clarify - which culoir were you climbing -- kind of SW direction from Abyss or did you continue around Bierstadt (from Epaulet Saddle) to climb above Frozen Lake?


James Scott


zinj-     2013-06-28 08:47:15
If I understand your question, we just climbed the rocky face to the west of Abyss Lake. Specifically, we parked off the Mt Evans road and walked to the saddle of Evans/ Epulet, dropped down a pretty obvious couloir there, walked to Abyss Lake, and crossed just on the south (lower) side of the lake where it drains out, then headed directly up the rocky face from there. It isn't really a couloir. Once we gained the ridge, it's a direct shot up to Bierstadt.



   Using your forum id/password. Not registered? Click Here


Caution: The information contained in this report may not be accurate and should not be the only resource used in preparation for your climb. Failure to have the necessary experience, physical conditioning, supplies or equipment can result in injury or death. 14ers.com and the author(s) of this report provide no warranties, either express or implied, that the information provided is accurate or reliable. By using the information provided, you agree to indemnify and hold harmless 14ers.com and the report author(s) with respect to any claims and demands against them, including any attorney fees and expenses. Please read the 14ers.com Safety and Disclaimer pages for more information.

© 2014 14ers.com®, 14ers Inc.