When: July 7, 2010
Who: Mark and Todd Rottmann
Time: 4:15 to the Summit. 40 minutes on top. 2:20 decent to Trailhead.
Distance: 7.5 miles round trip.
We met up at the Denver airport early on July 6. I came in from Atlanta and Todd from Indy. The idea was to get in early (7:30 am) and have basically a full day to acclimate.
Decided to take in one tourist attraction. For us it was Buffalo Bill's grave in Golden. Nice piece of Americana. Great views from Lookout Mountain. We enjoyed it.
Next onto our accomodations. The Historic Glen-Isle Lodge and Resort in Bailey, CO (US 285). The Glen-Isle is a unique place. Built in 1900. The owner - Barbara was very nice. She's been there for 62 years. We shared the Rainbow's End cabin. Worked well for us. Clean and gives one a sense of nostalgia (1970's decore). Here is a picture of the Lodge.
Glen-Isle Lodge and Resort The lodge gave us easy access to Guanella Pass at Grant.
We hit the trail at 6:25 am. Only a couple of other cars there. Weather looked promising even though there were some low clouds moving in and out.
Start of the hike
Hike through the willows was uneventful. Crossing Scott Gomer Creek was no big deal.
Scott Gomer Creek and me.
Started gaining elevation. Trail was easy to follow and not too difficult. We took our time and enjoyed the views. Saw some Marmots and what appeared to be the Mysterious Wild Siamese Cats of Mt. Bierstadt. They were much bigger than Marmots and had long some what bushy tails. They were checking us out form a distance. Ran around some and then were gone. Couldn't get a picture.
As we climbed higher the clear skies turned to fog. Visability dropped dramatically. The low clouds we now hiked in were streaming over ridge we were trying to gain.
Todd in the Fog.
He finally got to the last pitch to the summit. Small snow field to cross.
View of Snow field and course to top. From there is was more of a scramble than I expected. Not necessarily a well defined trail to the top. Amazingly the skies cleared. Right on time.
Made it the rest of the way without incident. 2nd 14er.
Mt. Bierstadt Seal
Mt. Bierstadt Summit - Mark and Todd
Grays and Torreys
Others joined us on the summit. Including a 6 1/2 year old. Great views of Grays and Torreys. Mt. Evans. Frozen Lake.
And of course the Sawtooth. We had thought about trying the traverse. Once we saw it from the summit, we decided against it. This was a wise decision as you'll see. Some other time for the Sawtooth.
After eating our sandwiches and snacks we started down. Once past the the snow field, the weather changed quickly and not for the better. Storms came up quickly through the valley, and then when we thought we were safe, more intense storms came over the ridge. It started hailing. We decended as fast as we could. We were hit by pea /dippin dot sized hail for the next 1.5 hours. At some points the hail got up to marble sized. Thunder and lightning were all around us, but luckily we made it out without incedent.
Todd in hail storm
Mt. Bierstadt - Now hail covered.
It was an amazing adventure for the both of us. I now have 2 14ers under my belt and Todd has 4.
Other pictures from the trip.
Mark - Serious Mountaineering Picture
Todd - Serious Mountaineering Picture
Hail on the Trail
Sawtooth at Sunrise
Sawtooth from Mt. Bierstadt summit
Clouds streaming through the valley
Image #18 (not yet uploaded)