| Bierstadt, Evans, Spalding, Grey Wolf Mountain Loop
Ziemannh and I met at the Morrison Park and ride at 4:30am to begin the journey to the trailhead. The plan this morning was to do Beirdstadt, Evans, and on the way back down hit Spalding. Most everything went as planned...
The day started at the Trailhead at 6:00 with only two groups ahead of us. I was quite suprised thinking that this was going to be a very "busy" trip.
We quickly caught up to a group planning only Bierstadt and passed them about at Sunrise over top of the Sawtooth. It was a very pleasant sunrise.
We summitted Bierstadt no problems and had 15 minutes of the summit to ourselves (rare in the front range). Next on the list was the Sawtooth. In my opinion the worst part was the descent off of Beirstadt, once down it was easier to pick our way across the exposed ridge.
About half way to the ledge we passed another group. Once we were on the traverse of the Sawtooth we met up with "Billy". Billy happened to be about a 200 lb. goat that was right in the middle of the trail. For those of you on this route, the trail isn't very wide here with a cliff on one side, shear rock on the other, and right in front of us was Billy.
Not knowing what to do....we waited. Luckily there was a boulder that it started to climb. As soon as it wasn't looking at us ZiemmanH and I ran (and I do mean ran) past it (not so smart on a small ledge, but it got the job done). Here's the shot looking back at it.
Once on top the route was pretty uneventful. We met up with a lot of people coming from Summitt Lake. As far as routes go, this was one of the most anti-climatic summits that I have experienced. The only positive was that we actually had 20 minutes sitting on top of Evans to ourselves (what a rare treat!).
Coming back down we walked over to Spalding, once on top of Spalding this was where our "plan" diverged. This was really my fault, since I had left the map in the car. This just didn't seem to be Spalding so looking along the ridge I guessed the more impressive looking Grey Wolf Mtn. to be Spalding and so we hiked on over to it (found out later my mistake).
Anyway, no trail coming off of Grey Wolf so we wound our way down to try and meet up with the Spalding trail going back to the trail head (only found it at the bottom). We ended up becoming stuck about 500 feet above the "willows" and having to take a game trail down (through the willows, this was the least favorite thing I've done all year). It took us a long time, added probably an hour to our hike and left us in a pretty bad mood.
We ended getting through the willows and meeting up with the trail and all was good. All in all a good day (a rather long one) and we were definately stiff sitting in the car for the ride back.
Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):