Peak:  Mt. Evans (14er)
 Route:  West Ridge from Guanella Pass
 Range:  Front
 Posted By:  Chicago Transplant
 Date of Info:  03/16/2014
 Date Posted:  03/16/2014

Closed my winter on Mt Evans today, but figured I would post for people who might have a weekday off and are looking to sneak one last peak in before the calendar switches to Spring.

-Typical winter trailhead, road has a couple of short icy patches, parking lot in good shape.
-Road hike well packed out from snowmobile traffic, can carry your snowshoes, was a little softer in the afternoon so I left them on for the descent. The shortcuts for the switchbacks were not trenched, so I stuck to the road.
-Trail to Bierstadt split needed to be rebroken, in the morning and again in the afternoon, despite traffic on Bierstadt. Wind wasn't bad but steady and enough to blow some powder into the trail, luckily it was only about angle deep.
-Willow traverse was better than expect, good consolidation and mostly only ankle deep as well, also needed to rebreak on the exit
-Gully in Bill's route description was dry, but I didn't take it, I left the willows early and worked through some rocks with some willow "trap" postholes, but generally good. Took this to the ridge that forms the left skyline when looking left of the gully from the route description. Stashed snowshoes before gaining the ridge (image 1, early morning so a little dark, sorry I had stashed camera on the way out)
-Ridge was a mix of light snow coverage, grass and talus initially, and very windy. Topping out and traversing below Spaulding was in a wind shelter, initially ankle deep snow then weaving through talus and grass to gain the west ridge proper (image 2, aim for point in center to gain west ridge)
-West ridge trail was initially snow covered and I stayed above it to avoid side hilling the snow patches. Beyond following the trail was the best option with occasionally avoiding a snow covered section on rock. Some wind, but mostly sheltered, all the way to the summit.
-Image 3 is a view of the initial part of the west ridge
-Image 4 is a view to the willow basin below from up high on the initial ridge.

Photos (click for slideshow):
Image #1Image #2Image #3Image #4

 Comments or Questions

04/02/2015 19:45
Very timely update. I am hoping to take a day off to tag this one. Windless days are hard to come by on Evans. Looks like you went up Scott Gomer creek route, the same approach I used for Evans last time. Seems like enough snow for skinning on the approach.

Chicago Transplant

Glad to help
03/18/2014 15:40
Glad that someone will be able to use the information, have fun! Skiing along the road would be fun, but of course the meadows are so flat you will have to skin in both directions. Enough snow up to the ridge that you can string some turns together for a few hundred feet. Above 12,200, its all walking, unless today's snow does something special or you really don't like your skis


04/02/2015 19:45
After skiing Bierstadt last spring I know what to expect in terms of willows I think we were able to push thru w/o slapping skins back on though. I love my skis, so no, I don't expect to be skinning/skiing above 12.2k, just really want to use them for the approach instead of snowshoes. I do expect to trash my ski boots a bit more from talus hopping on Evans Good practice for spring hiking, I guess. Thanks again for the beta! Much appreciated.

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