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 Peak(s):  Mt. Bierstadt  -  14,060 feet
 Post Date:  05/19/2009
 Date Climbed:   05/16/2009
 Posted By:  JakeK

 First 14er ski descent - beautiful day on Bierstadt   

I figured a good way to cap off my first season of skiing and a great way to kick off hiking season would be a 14er ski descent. I saw the report posted a week earlier on here, so I figured I'd give it a shot.

Woke up early in Vail and went for a sunrise run, then headed down to Georgetown. The weather was totally clear until I drove through the tunnel... dense fog on the other side. As I drove up Guanella Pass, the fog and clouds started to break up. An hour or so into my hike, they were gone.

Ended up parking a little ways down from the top of the pass (road was closed). It was no big deal... just added a little bit of roundtrip mileage... and Bierstadt is a short hike, anyways.

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I snowshoed up the mountain... it took about 2 hrs 50 min from my car to the summit. Even with the snowshoes, I was sinking into the snow in the willows, if I wasn't watching exactly where I was stepping.

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Hung out at the top for about 15 minutes, grabbed chex mix and got my ski gear ready to go. My descent route was basically the same way I came up (West Ridge). The very top is rocky, and I didn't want to destroy my skis, so I traversed a bit (skier's left) before I dropped down. The coverage was surprisingly good. Had a blast making some turns on the way down.

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I was able to keep my skis on all the way to the creek. By that point in the afternoon, a lot of snow had melted, and it was quicker to take my skis off and hike the rest of the way.

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Overall roundtrip time was just over 5 hours. I started from my car at 8:45am, and was back on the road before 2:00pm.

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It was a beautiful day and a great hike. The perfect culmination to my ski season.

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Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
 


  • Comments or Questions
benners


Nice!     2009-05-19 11:34:08
Great pictures, I love when the weather inverts like that and wraps the peaks in clouds. Way to cap off your ski season!


JakeK


Thanks!     2009-05-19 11:38:56
I have some more pictures, in higher-quality, on this page... http://picasaweb.google.com/Jake.Krong/MtBierstadtWeekend



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