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Peak(s):  Mt. Bierstadt  -  14,060 feet
Mt. Evans  -  14,264 feet
Post Date:  08/18/2009
Modified:  08/19/2009
Date Climbed:   07/25/2009
Posted By:  bandofbrothersomaha


 Peak Challenge 2009 - Bierstadt/Sawtooth/Evans   

For the past four years, Band of Brothers Omaha has been tackling 14,000 foot peaks as part of a weekend expedition for men that come from the Omaha area. You can check out more about this ministry to men at

This year, we took 90 men with us on Peak Challenge 2009 - Reclaim the Adventure. We stay at Windy Point Campground on Lake Dillon and use it as our basecamp as we hike, whitewater raft, jeep and mountainbike Summit County and beyond. The "hard cores" of the group of 90 men wanted to hike Bierstadt/Sawtooth/Evans on Saturday, July 25th, before our conquering of Democrat/Cameron/Lincoln/Bross the next day on July 26th.... tackling six 14,000 foot peaks in two days.

Amazingly enough, we started with 12 men at the foot of the Guanella Pass trailhead - we shall call them the "12 disciples"

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What a glorious day for hiking as we hit the trail at about 6:45 am - a bit later than we wanted, but it worked out well. The parking lots (both upper and lower) were filled by 6:45 am and the trip up through Georgetown was uneventful - we managed to hit both lights and did not have to wait.

Lots of folks moving on the trail going up to Mt Bierstadt. Took a while for us "flatlanders" to get our rhythm down. We were all experienced hikers and started to pick up the pace. The views back towards Grays and Torreys were spectacular!

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Made it to the top of Bierstadt in a bit under 2 hours. Here are some shots of a few of the guys with the Band of Brothers Omaha sign on the summit. Cool thing is that many folks did not have a sign and wanted to use our laminated sign. We actually left it there that day for others to use.... it may still be there for all we know!

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That is me in the black shirt and iPod earbuds.....

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We had studied the trip reports and photos from 14ers.com for several months, trying to envision what the Sawtooth looked like and was it as narly as it looked in the photos... On top of Bierstadt, we got our first glimpse. I said to several other "disciples" What a blast that is going to be!!

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As you can see from the group shot, there are men that range from their early 30's to a guy that was over 60! Make no mistake though... the 60+ year old is former Marine and kicked a lot of rear ends that day. Hiking down the boulders to get to the saddle and gerdarme before the Sawtooth was a highlight for him and others.

For me, doing some moderate Class 3 on the saddle and gerdarme portion of the Sawtooth was fun. We had some good times doing some yodeling down into Abyss Lake.... and got some incredible echos!

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Going across the Sawtooth was not near as difficult as I had thought. I had hiked Long's Peak twice and think that the Class 3 there is a bit more challenging. We took a pretty direct route up and did not make the wide swing around. The skree was not too bad and we all eventually go to the landing before you head on over the ridge to Mr Evans. I think some of these guys were looking at me at this point and saying "Why did I let this guy talk me into this?"

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The rest of the route to Mt Evans was pretty uneventful. We arrived to a scene that was a bit surreal..... Moms with flip flops, carrying babies to the "summit" and flatlander Dads all busting out at the seams, telling their young sons how high they were. Contrast that with some pretty stinky dudes that had just come up the Sawtooth and were a little long in the tooth.

Again, we had our summit sign shots and again, people asked for and used our laminated sign for Mt Evans. I hope that it got used well after our stay there.

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Rain began to roll in, so we gathered up our strength to make the final push back down Mt Evans and down the gully that would take us back through the dreaded willows along Scott Gomer Creek.

It rained, sleeted and hailed on us as we decended the gully, which with some rain was rather treacherous... but that paled in comparison to the willows. You read trip reports about it and think it cannot be that annoying.

It is. The willows were at their best (or worst) that day, as it rained constantly as we sloshed our way through the never ending maze of willows. What would a Peak Challenge be without a bit of challenge.... even it were plants? A couple of lighting strikes got us all moving much quicker through the willows and eventually back to the parking lot around 3pm or so.

What a great warm up for the next day's hike of Democrat/Cameron/Lincoln/Bross!

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Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
 


  • Comments or Questions
EricB

14,060     2009-08-19 07:02:49
It was nice of you to leave the sign on Mt. Bierstadt. It would have been even nicer had you gotten the elevation correct.


KirkT


I too..     2009-08-19 10:12:51
was noticing that the sign on Bierstadt was incorrect. Looks like you had a great hike.

Kirk


bandofbrothersomaha


14,060 or 14,260....     2009-08-19 10:29:17
What‘s a couple hundred feet?

Good catch....should have checked that before the church printed it out....



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