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Backpacking from Torrey's/Grays to Evans/Bierstadt

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Backpacking from Torrey's/Grays to Evans/Bierstadt

Postby ffer_06 » Thu Oct 17, 2013 12:05 pm

Hello all,

As the title says, I'm just wondering if anyone has backpacked from those two locations (in either direction). If so, how long where you backpacking and pack weight. I'm thinking of maybe doing this sometime next year. Thanks!
"Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing."
-HK

Re: Backpacking from Torrey's/Grays to Evans/Bierstadt

Postby BobbyFinn » Thu Oct 17, 2013 12:58 pm

I'm sure it's been done. There's at least 1 TR for going from Loveland Pass to Guanella Pass (but they didn't go onto Evans). You could do it in a day - no need to camp - but that would be a pretty big day. You can get water in the basin along the trail to Bierstadt. If you do it on a full moon night with a very good weather forecast for the next day then you could try to be on Edwards or Argentine by sunrise and then it's not a bad hike to the Bierstadt trailhead.

Bob
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"Rudeness is a weak person's imitation of strength." - Paul Arel

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Re: Backpacking from Torrey's/Grays to Evans/Bierstadt

Postby ffer_06 » Thu Oct 17, 2013 1:56 pm

BobbyFinn wrote:I'm sure it's been done. There's at least 1 TR for going from Loveland Pass to Guanella Pass (but they didn't go onto Evans). You could do it in a day - no need to camp - but that would be a pretty big day. You can get water in the basin along the trail to Bierstadt. If you do it on a full moon night with a very good weather forecast for the next day then you could try to be on Edwards or Argentine by sunrise and then it's not a bad hike to the Bierstadt trailhead.

Bob



Bob -

Thanks for your info! I did some quick digging and I've read of people doing Loveland to Guanella and others doing Guanella to Evans. My proposed plan is to do Torreys and Grays, continue down grays to Guanella Pass (going through Edwards, Argentine, then Square top). Then camp at Guanella Pass to get an early start to summit Bierstadt to Evans through the sawtooth and come down east to Summit lake. What I'm worried is that most of the hike (Edwards to Square Top) I would be up on the ridge which is no good if thunderstorms roll in...thoughts?
"Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing."
-HK

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Re: Backpacking from Torrey's/Grays to Evans/Bierstadt

Postby viejo » Thu Oct 17, 2013 2:47 pm

There are varying takes on the risk factors associated with thunderstorms in the mountains. You can search out those arguments in other threads.

However, whenever traveling, it's good to keep your bail-out options open. If you're ultimately heading to Guanella Pass, you can always bail down to Naylor Lake anywhere between Argentine and Square top, then walk or hitch the road back up to the pass. The section between Edwards and Argentine would put you further much out of the way from your start or end objectives, but could still be escaped.

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Re: Backpacking from Torrey's/Grays to Evans/Bierstadt

Postby ffer_06 » Thu Oct 17, 2013 3:22 pm

Upon more digging, I found this trip report from back in 2012 (http://www.14ers.com/php14ers/tripreport.php?trip=12550). This is pretty much what I had in mind. Looks feasible, but definitely a challenge. I'm worried that my hiking partner won't have the endurance to do this trip, then continue up Evans and Bierstadt the following day in the morning. Should I just split up the trip as a more reasonable goal? I'm heading up to CO in late June next year and "plan" on doing 8 peaks in 6 days and I just saw the opportunity to do this hike. Maybe as the date gets near, I'll ask around if anyone local is up for the challenge.
"Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing."
-HK

Re: Backpacking from Torrey's/Grays to Evans/Bierstadt

Postby Bean » Thu Oct 17, 2013 5:08 pm

This would be much better done as a trail run than a backpacking trip. I was planning a Loveland Pass -> Evans run this year but snow, weather, and calendar issues got in the way.
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Re: Backpacking from Torrey's/Grays to Evans/Bierstadt

Postby BobbyFinn » Thu Oct 17, 2013 5:55 pm

ffer_06 wrote:
Bob -

Thanks for your info! I did some quick digging and I've read of people doing Loveland to Guanella and others doing Guanella to Evans. My proposed plan is to do Torreys and Grays, continue down grays to Guanella Pass (going through Edwards, Argentine, then Square top). Then camp at Guanella Pass to get an early start to summit Bierstadt to Evans through the sawtooth and come down east to Summit lake. What I'm worried is that most of the hike (Edwards to Square Top) I would be up on the ridge which is no good if thunderstorms roll in...thoughts?


I see you found the TR I was familiar with. If you're worried about endurance, then starting your hike at Stevens Gulch (the standard Grays/Torreys TH) would be better than starting at Loveland Pass. That's still a long way to go and at a high average elevation with an overnight pack, so you'd need to start way before sunrise or split up the hike into two separate hikes or cache your gear at the Guanella Pass TH, which would probably not be a good idea due to how many people are usually there - they might see it as lost and found - or animals might get into it (though if you had 3 cars... one at the start, one at the end, and one with gear at Guanella...).

There's a lot of up and down on the route and most of it will be off trail, so you'll get tired. The lighter you can go, the better.

Bob
"Mind what you have learned. Save you it can." - Yoda
"Rudeness is a weak person's imitation of strength." - Paul Arel

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Re: Backpacking from Torrey's/Grays to Evans/Bierstadt

Postby ffer_06 » Thu Oct 17, 2013 7:59 pm

Bob -
Since I'm flying in from out of town, getting a hold of two or three cars will be slightly difficult. I was initially thinking of renting a car, but I'm exploring all my options. If I end up renting a car, I will have to split up the hikes to two different days, which I'm okay with but I would rather stay up in the mountains. Like I had mentioned earlier, the trip will be in late June next year so I'm exploring all my possible options right now.

As far as travelling light, my 2-3 night pack is usually under 15lb. But for this trip (a total of 5 nights in the mountains) I might have to carry a little more.

Bean - That is one of the reasons why I want to move to Colorado. I love running and I wish I was closer to mountains (Northeast Texas is pretty darn flat).
"Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing."
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Re: Backpacking from Torrey's/Grays to Evans/Bierstadt

Postby speth » Fri Oct 18, 2013 8:41 am

ffer_06 wrote:Bob -
Since I'm flying in from out of town, getting a hold of two or three cars will be slightly difficult. I was initially thinking of renting a car, but I'm exploring all my options. If I end up renting a car, I will have to split up the hikes to two different days, which I'm okay with but I would rather stay up in the mountains. Like I had mentioned earlier, the trip will be in late June next year so I'm exploring all my possible options right now.

As far as travelling light, my 2-3 night pack is usually under 15lb. But for this trip (a total of 5 nights in the mountains) I might have to carry a little more.

Bean - That is one of the reasons why I want to move to Colorado. I love running and I wish I was closer to mountains (Northeast Texas is pretty darn flat).


I won't be huge Debbie Downer, but keep in mind that there could be snow in the mountains at the time you're proposing.
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Re: Backpacking from Torrey's/Grays to Evans/Bierstadt

Postby ffer_06 » Fri Oct 18, 2013 9:28 am

speth wrote:
ffer_06 wrote:Bob -
Since I'm flying in from out of town, getting a hold of two or three cars will be slightly difficult. I was initially thinking of renting a car, but I'm exploring all my options. If I end up renting a car, I will have to split up the hikes to two different days, which I'm okay with but I would rather stay up in the mountains. Like I had mentioned earlier, the trip will be in late June next year so I'm exploring all my possible options right now.

As far as travelling light, my 2-3 night pack is usually under 15lb. But for this trip (a total of 5 nights in the mountains) I might have to carry a little more.

Bean - That is one of the reasons why I want to move to Colorado. I love running and I wish I was closer to mountains (Northeast Texas is pretty darn flat).


I won't be huge Debbie Downer, but keep in mind that there could be snow in the mountains at the time you're proposing.



How much snow are we talking about? I'm not very familiar with weather patterns up there, but I have heard that it's been snowing a little later in the year.
"Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing."
-HK

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Re: Backpacking from Torrey's/Grays to Evans/Bierstadt

Postby peter303 » Fri Oct 18, 2013 10:03 am

ffer_06 wrote:How much snow are we talking about? I'm not very familiar with weather patterns up there, but I have heard that it's been snowing a little later in the year.

In an average year there is patchy snow at the beginning of June and all melted by July 4.

2011 was high snow year. Some of the mountain roads could not be opened by the traditional Memorial Day date. And snow stayed on some areas of Maroon Loop and the Longs Loft through the entire summer.
There have been years I still needed snowshoes in mid-June.
In a drought year like 2012 it was almost snow free in May.

We usually dont know until May what the late Spring snow will be like.

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Re: Backpacking from Torrey's/Grays to Evans/Bierstadt

Postby jdawud » Thu Jan 02, 2014 4:30 pm

During our 14ers ThruHike, Luke and I did pretty much what you proposed.

We started in upper chihuahua gulch, ascended Torrey's West Ridge, traversed to Grays, traversed the east ridge over to Mt Edwards and then Argentine Pass. We continued to the saddle between Argentine peak and Mount Wilcox, then descended past Murray, silver dollar and Naylor lakes to Guanella pass road which we followed up to the pass. We made camp near Gomer creek and the ascent route of Bierstadt. The following day we summited Bierstadt, traversed to Evans and then descended back to Guanella Pass. The day before it had snowed several inches so most of the traverse from G/T to SD lake had snow. Day 1 will be bigger/tougher, but day 2 you may be pretty tired.

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