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The Sawtooth

Colorado 14er peak questions and conditions should be posted here. 14er Trip Reports
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The Sawtooth

Postby desertdog » Tue Jun 18, 2013 7:02 am

Did anyone do the Sawtooth this past weekend? I was wonder how much snow/ice was still on it? I saw the Bierstadt postes, but they don't get to the Sawtooth. I am thinking of doing it this Sunday. Thanks for your feedback!

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Re: The Sawtooth

Postby MatB » Tue Jun 18, 2013 8:06 am

From what I could see from Gray Wolf Mtn the descent off of Bierstadt toward the sawtooth was covered with snow (didn't look avoidable). I don't have any pics and I'm sure there is someone else out there that good a better look. Good luck.
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Re: The Sawtooth

Postby James Scott » Tue Jun 18, 2013 9:33 am

About a week or so ago, someone posted that the Sawtooth itself looked dry. I am planning on doing this via Abyss Lake on Monday, so I would appreciate any pictures or info on that basin if anyone has a picture.
Desertdog- please post how it goes on Sunday- I'm taking a couple of friends for their first class three scramble, and they're a little nervous. If it's too dicey, I would really appreciate the help so I can put it off a week or so.
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Re: The Sawtooth

Postby MatB » Tue Jun 18, 2013 9:40 am

I would be careful off that descent of Bierstadt if snow is still lingering and you don't have the necessary tools. There was a fatal accident there a few years ago because someone slipped on the snow and slid into the boulders below. The ramp/ledge of the Sawtooth did look dry though.
"Man. Because he sacrifices his health in order to make money. Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health. And then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present; the result being that he does not live in the present or the future; he lives as if he is never going to die, and then dies having never really lived,'"
- Dalai Lama, when asked about what surprises him the most about humanity

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Re: The Sawtooth

Postby blazintoes » Tue Jun 18, 2013 1:55 pm

This was taken from Evans on June 9th. If you zoom in you can see the kick steps down Bierstadt (lots of snow still)
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sawtooth.JPG
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Re: The Sawtooth

Postby climbnowworklater » Tue Jun 18, 2013 2:23 pm

I was planning on the "tour de abyss" for Friday the 28th and wondered about the Bierstadt issue. Anyone who does the "tour" would be helping out if any pics could be posted or TR's written. Thanks in advance if it happens.
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Re: The Sawtooth

Postby justiner » Tue Jun 18, 2013 2:24 pm

I did the Sawtooth last Thur - there's no current unavoidable snow until you get to the last part of the route. Using the description from here:

https://14ers.com/routemain.php?route=bier4&peak=Mt.+Evans

The are described, " Climb up as far as you feel comfortable, turn right, and scramble around to easier terrain on the east side of the gendarme. Photo #8 shows some of the climbing.", had some snow in it, that wasn't very useful for climbing on - it's soft on the top, and icy on the bottom, so no good purchase anywhere. The terrain was pretty steep too. When I got to this gully, I just climb up using the rock face to the right, which worked well, but judge your own confidence/comfort level.

I wanna say the crappy, gravel-filled climb here:

https://14ers.com/photos/mtbierstadt/mRBier_413.jpg

was also snowed in, so get a good early start and bring some crampons/ice axe. Here's what it looks like, looking back:

sawtoothroute.jpg
sawtoothroute.jpg (240.66 KiB) Viewed 757 times


I did the Sawtooth when two other people were attempting it as well. They left around 10 minutes before me, and followed the top of the ridge as much as possible. I quickly passed them, and was watching them from the summit of the Sawtooth, as they were on top of the final, "tooth" trying to figure out what the hell they're next move was going to be. I'm not too familiar to say if there's a way easily directly off the tooth, to rejoining the route, as it goes around to the West of the final obstacle and up that ramp, I'm saying is snowed in. If not, they would have had a hell of time going up that snow slope - it's an unprotected drop down toward G. Pass. I was almost at West Evans, when the finally came back into view, a little below the summit of the Sawtooth. Not sure what the final story was.
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Re: The Sawtooth

Postby metalmountain » Tue Jun 18, 2013 3:42 pm

MatB wrote:I would be careful off that descent of Bierstadt if snow is still lingering and you don't have the necessary tools. There was a fatal accident there a few years ago because someone slipped on the snow and slid into the boulders below. The ramp/ledge of the Sawtooth did look dry though.


This didn't happen on the descent from the summit of Bierstadt, it happened on the Sawtooth itself, after the first pinnacle you climb over/around. Coming off of the summit isn't too bad as far as my memory serves me though. I think I remember plunge stepping down to the point where we started traversing.
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Re: The Sawtooth

Postby desertdog » Tue Jun 18, 2013 5:05 pm

Thanks all for the great info. Justiner thanks for sharing the at.l route. James, I'll post info. if we end up doing it. Trying to decide between this or San Juans. Richard

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Re: The Sawtooth

Postby justiner » Tue Jun 18, 2013 5:08 pm

oh - just realize, I don't know if that alt route of continuing on the top of the Sawtooth worked out for those two gentlemen - all the times I've done the route, I've followed fairly closely what's on the guide on this site. I'd hate for you to get stuck at that last "tooth", with no way to easily get down, without a rappel.
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Re: The Sawtooth

Postby FCSquid » Tue Jun 18, 2013 5:30 pm

justiner wrote:
sawtoothroute.jpg



That "Slippery" section you highlighted can also be avoided by staying lower on the traverse.

Image

The yellow line shows the lower route that turns left more quickly, the blue line I believe may be the way you went. So it looks like the snow may be avoidable?
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Re: The Sawtooth

Postby SilverLynx » Tue Jun 18, 2013 9:21 pm

The yellow line is what I remember doing. Scary but it gets you to the right place. It is not a spot you want to be in for very long. :shock:
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