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Bierstadt Trail Run

FAQ and threads for those just starting to hike the Colorado 14ers.
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Bierstadt Trail Run

Postby ergometer » Wed Jun 19, 2013 9:24 am

I've been living in Denver for three weeks now and I want to try and run the trail to the summit of Mt. Bierstadt. It is around 7 miles round trip and I have been running around 40 miles a week since I got to Denver. Every weekend I've done long runs of an hr+ on nearby small mountains (Green, Apex, Lookout) with about 1500-2000ft elevation gain that are about 7-10 miles in length. My plan is to get to the trailhead at 6:00am Friday morning and start running with trail running shoes, shorts, long sleeve tech shirt, hat, gps watch and phone. I'll also carry and water bottle and a clif bar in my shorts pocket. If I don't feel well from altitude I'll just turn around. I don't need to reach the summit, but I'd like to. Is it too ambitious to think I could go up and back near in around 1.5 hrs? Or under 2?

Re: Bierstadt Trail Run

Postby Dchild10 » Wed Jun 19, 2013 9:34 am

I power hiked / ran it last year in 2:15. The top is pretty rocky, so I wouldn't plan on running the entire thing.

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Re: Bierstadt Trail Run

Postby Tory Wells » Wed Jun 19, 2013 9:34 am

Not too ambitious. Do it. If it takes longer, then it takes longer.
"Tongue-tied and twisted, just an earthbound misfit, am I." -David Gilmour, Pink Floyd

"We knocked the bastard off." Hillary, 1953
"It is not the mountain we conquer but ourselves." Hillary, 2003
Couldn't we all use 50 years of humble growth?
-Steve Gladbach

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Re: Bierstadt Trail Run

Postby tlongpine » Wed Jun 19, 2013 10:24 am

I did it in a little over 2 hours. Probably due to the trail's popularity, traction near the summit is a very real problem for running. 2 hours should be doable if you have the right motivation. In my case it was the violent and sudden lightening storm that chased me off the summit.
I am unable to walk away from the mountain without climbing it. An unclimbed mountain tugs at my consciousness with the eternal weight of time itself. Until I've pressed my face into it's alpine winds, hugged it's ancient granite walls, and put it's weathered summit beneath my heal I'm unable to resist it's attraction.Knowing nature gives the mountain more time than she gives us adds urgency to the obsession. As has been said before; the mountain doesn't care.

It can wait forever. I cannot.

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Re: Bierstadt Trail Run

Postby jomagam » Wed Jun 19, 2013 11:20 am

Running from 11.5k to 14k is very different than your weekend runs from 5k to 7k, especially if you just moved to Denver from lower altitude. I'd run the first flat part, then just do it as a hike. Chances are you won't be able to run a 15-20% trail above 12k feet anyways.

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Re: Bierstadt Trail Run

Postby ergometer » Wed Jun 19, 2013 11:27 am

Is the temperature likely warm enough that I will be able to go with as little clothing as possible? I just don't have any type of bag to carry anything while attempting to run.

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Re: Bierstadt Trail Run

Postby ezabielski » Wed Jun 19, 2013 11:51 am

Have you hiked 14ers before? If not, don't be surprised, even if you're in great aerobic shape (at less than 10k), that you cannot run at that altitude.

Otherwise, if you feel fine hiking 14ers, go for it. At worst, you'll run the flat part and less steep parts, and power hike the rest, smuggly passing people on the way up and down.

Re: Bierstadt Trail Run

Postby Somewhat of a Prick » Wed Jun 19, 2013 12:44 pm

ergometer wrote:Is the temperature likely warm enough that I will be able to go with as little clothing as possible? I just don't have any type of bag to carry anything while attempting to run.


You're going to do it with no water? :shock:

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Re: Bierstadt Trail Run

Postby Lemmiwinks » Wed Jun 19, 2013 12:49 pm

Somewhat of a prick wrote:
ergometer wrote:Is the temperature likely warm enough that I will be able to go with as little clothing as possible? I just don't have any type of bag to carry anything while attempting to run.


You're going to do it with no water? :shock:


ergometer wrote:I'll also carry and water bottle and a clif bar in my shorts pocket.


OP
“If you're bumming out, you're not gonna get to the top, so as long as we're up here we might as well make a point of grooving." -Scott Fischer

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Re: Bierstadt Trail Run

Postby BAUMGARA » Wed Jun 19, 2013 12:55 pm


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Re: Bierstadt Trail Run

Postby tlongpine » Wed Jun 19, 2013 2:56 pm

ergometer wrote:Is the temperature likely warm enough that I will be able to go with as little clothing as possible? I just don't have any type of bag to carry anything while attempting to run.


If it's clear and sunny don't expect temperatures higher than 50 degrees at the trailhead early in the morning. The trail ascends from the West in the shadow of the summit so you won't get the early solar heat. Obviously, it'll get colder as you ascend and if you're moving as quick as you hope to, you'll lose heat to the altitude probably about as fast as the sun will warm the West side.

If it's cloudy or windy all bets or off. At that altitude, white-out fog, sleet, snow, hail, and cold rain are possible 365 days a year.

It's your roll of the dice. But hey, it's Bierstadt - someone from the ascending congo line who came prepared for mountain weather may provide aide if you get into trouble.
I am unable to walk away from the mountain without climbing it. An unclimbed mountain tugs at my consciousness with the eternal weight of time itself. Until I've pressed my face into it's alpine winds, hugged it's ancient granite walls, and put it's weathered summit beneath my heal I'm unable to resist it's attraction.Knowing nature gives the mountain more time than she gives us adds urgency to the obsession. As has been said before; the mountain doesn't care.

It can wait forever. I cannot.

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Re: Bierstadt Trail Run

Postby Carl » Wed Jun 19, 2013 3:03 pm

I usually wear shorts and a t-shirt. Carry 20oz of water in my hand. I'm not much of a runner so I end up walking 95% of the ascent. Takes me a little over an hour to get up.

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