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 Peak(s):  Mt. Bierstadt  -  14,060 feet
 Post Date:  08/15/2008
 Date Climbed:   08/05/2008
 Posted By:  TylerStorm

 Mount Bierstadt - Standard Route   

My Ford Ranger had a fuel pump put into it on the 4th at the dealership in Bloomsfield. Shortly after it was finished, I resupplied at a local Walmart and was on I-70 headed west shortly there after. On the outskirts of Denver, I drove past a wild fire that had grown far beyond what the fire fighters could control.

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The fire from I-70.

I drove into Georgetown about 6 o'clock and had my tent set up by seven at a campground along the Guanella Pass road. I had a couple of hours to burn so I drove up the road and pulled over close to the bierstadt trail and climbed a random foothill. On the way down, I noticed some fresh bear tracks, well, at least what looked like them, so I picked up my pace a little and was glad to be back to the safety of my vehicle. I got comfortable inside my tent right at about sundown and quickly fell asleep. I assumed I would naturally wake up around seven or eight, however, I must have been more tired then I previously had anticipated. I finally opened my eyes at about nine o'clock. When I was getting my pack ready, I couldn't find my camera anywhere. I thought for second and figured it must have fallen out of my camera bag the night before on the foothill when it was only buckled and not zipped. I retraced my steps and found it laying in the grass where it had spent the night! Fortunately for me, it still worked and I was making my way down the trail a short while later.

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The trailhead sign.

I could definitely notice the acclimitization because I was almost running up the mountain and gained summit in about an hour and a half. It started to sprinkle while I was on the summit. There were maybe fifteen other people up there with me when suddenly there was a large flash followed by crashing thunder with hardly any delay. Everyone scattered like a bunch of chickens. lol My hair, along with everyone else's around me, was sticking staight up! This was a little scary! lol At this point, I started running down Bierstadt as fast as I could manage safely without falling. My camera decided it didn't want to work so I only got just a couple pictures. I did get some video, but I really haven't put much effort into trying to figure out how to get it uploaded. I was a little dissapointed because I really wanted to traverse the Sawtooth, but that would have been a death wish if I would have attempted it during that storm! If I had started earlier, it would have most definitely been possible! Perhaps, in the future I‘ll have to bring an alarm clock!

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I ran half of the way down and then spent the remainder with a fellow hiker of whom made my return trip more enjoyable and slower, however, the company was worth it! I arrived back at the parking lot in about the same amount of time it took me to get to the summit. I then proceeded to Leadville. At this time, I had no idea what mountain I would climb next. I find trips to be more adventurous without an itinerary! I ended up climbing Mount Elbert and followed it with a second ascent of Longs Peak. Those trip reports will be up relatively soon!



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