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 Peak(s):  Mt. Bierstadt  -  14,060 feet
Mt. Evans  -  14,264 feet
 Post Date:  10/04/2010
 Date Climbed:   08/30/2010
 Posted By:  CinciKid

 Adventure on Bierstadt-Sawtooth-Evans   

I got on the trailhead by 0512 and started off on the obviously marked trail to Mt. Bierstadt. About 3/4 of the way up the sun started to rise and I noticed that it was very cloudy, but I continued on. The hike up Bierstadt was not very challenging, carins guide you pretty much the whole way up. At the top of Bierdstadt, since it was so cloudy, I took shelter in a circle of large rocks to hide me from the wind to provide me an opportunity to warm up and hydrate.
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I had not dressed appropriately for the weather, which I would regret later. After I had waited for about 30 minutes for the clouds to pass, the sun came out just at that moment I had decided to continue on through the weather. I found out that I had been about 20 feet from the peak the whole 30 minutes, so that was a relief.
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Somehow through all the clouds I found the little coin thats on top of Bierstadt that shows where the summit is.
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As the sun came out more, I thought the day was turning into a beautiful day. The clouds rolled away and the view from Bierstadt was great. The temperature rose and at this point I was excited to continue on to Evans.
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Next was the Sawtooth. The temperature rose and I took off some of my heavier clothing and made my way through the sawtooth. Along the way I wandered off the path to create some of my own fun. There is a main path but you can also climb over/around stuff to have a little more fun with the hike.
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As i got to the other side of the sawtooth I noticed clouds starting to roll back in. I thought that since I had already survived one set of cloud cover, another one wouldnt do me in, so I continued on towards Evans. The image below is bierstadt from the sawtooth
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As I started up the ridge to Evans it got cold, windy, and cloudy once again. I put back on my heavy clothing and continued on. After many false summits I again took cover in a circle of rocks for about 30 minutes. The clouds were so dense that they did not let me see along the ridge. At this time I was starting to get very cold and the sweat I had worked up was beginning to feel like ice. The clouds once again broke and I was able to see that Evans was the next peak down and I hiked for about 15 minutes to gain the summit of Mt. Evans.
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I knew at this time that bad weather was coming so I asked a guy if I could get a ride, but I realized that the Guanella pass was closed from georgetown, so that wasn't gonna work. This nice guy drove me down evans which gave me a chance to warm up. He dropped me off at the foot of Stanley and as soon as I started to summit it in order to get back to the right side of the ridge it started snowing heavily. At times I could not see more than 10 feet in front of me. I was not dressed for snow and at this time I became severly dehydrated because I knew that if I stopped and took off my gloves to get water from my pack (since I had already used all the water from my camelback) that I would not want to start hiking again. I finally got to the peak and saw bierstadt to my left. I also have no pictures of this snow because I wasn't really in the mood for remembering the moment, I was more focused on getting back to my car. I finally got off toward the parking lot and it suddenly became sunny and hot as I came down the mountain.
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I could not find a trail towards my car so I stomped through a couple miles of marshes and got my shoes all soaked and muddy. I hiked the last couple of miles back to my car tired, dehydrated, stinky, and dirty. Looking back at bierstadt and sawtooth it looked like it had been beautiful all day.
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I finally got back to my car 204p, 9 hours after I had debarked from the trailhead. It was definitely an adventure to say the least.



Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
 


  • Comments or Questions (2)
djkest


Glad it turned out OK     2010-10-05 08:30:30
Nice pictures. Sounds like this trip was a reminder that things can and will go wrong when you hike 14ers, and you can't take the weather for granted. I am glad this story has a happy ending. Personally, if I have water in my pack, I'm stopping to dig it out and drink it. You are lucky you didn't have more problems in that respect. Interesting way back of hitching a ride down Evans and then traversing around the the Beirstadt trailhead. Glad you were able to make it w/o a trail. We found the marshy area around Beirstadt to be miserable to bushwhack through, averaging a little over 1 mph through that area.


greenhorn1


Interesting trip report     2010-12-26 20:38:37
Thanks for posting your story, a good warning about taking the proper attire even if it's warm down below.



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