| Noob and the Sawtooth
Peak: MT Bierstadt (14,060), The Sawtooth (13,780), MT Evans (14,264), MT Spalding (13,842)
Date: Saturday, July 7th 2007, (0545-1230)
Team: RockParkour & Ernie
Trailhead: Guanella Pass
Route: West Slopes, Bierstadt, the Sawtooth, West Ridge, Evans, West Ridge, Spalding, Damn Willows.
This route has been hiked a gazillion times! However, since this was my first class 3 'climb' (scramble), I will try to concentrate this report on a first timers look at the Sawtooth. When I hiked this; there was a hiker missing from the day before, on this same route, and the SAR effort found his body the day after. I don't believe the Sawtooth is that dangerous if you stay on the correct route, and that is where I hope this report can help…
First thing this morning: we saw two moose from the boardwalk trail through the willows, the mother got up first, followed by her calf. They saw all the traffic accumulating at the trailhead and wasted no time fleeing the area.
The trail to the summit of MT Bierstadt was one of two areas today where we crossed through the snow, but it was easy. However, my now 'wet' vibram soles were now slipping on the following boulders. (The other small snow field that we crossed was on the east slope of Bierstadt.)
This was our first look off the summit of MT Bierstadt at the task ahead.
There was a Pika on the descent from MT Bierstadt to the Sawtooth. Be nice to these little guys; they are an endangered species!
The Sawtooth trail stays on the Abyss Lake side of the ridge until reaching this massive rock face. There are plenty of cairns on the way there, and one at the top of this short steep climb. When you reach the top, you will be on the Guanella Pass side of the Sawtooth.
This is after turning the corner to the Guanella Pass side of the ridge. You will be home free beyond this picture.
This picture was looking back at the trail after switching to the Guanella Pass side, and just prior to leaving the Sawtooth.
One more look at the madness we just traversed from the top of Evans' west ridge. After this shot, we descended to connect with the west ridge trail to the MT Evans summit.
MT Evans summit!
After descending MT Spalding, we headed for this trail into the willows towards Guanella Pass.
If we could have done it all over again; we would have stayed above this waterfall to reach the MT Bierstadt West Slopes trail above the tree line. The route we took is in the red. The route I recommend is in the blue. (Damn Willows!)
Overall, the hike beat us up! I wouldn't want it any other way…
Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):