|2017-03-20||Route: West Slopes
Posted On: 2017-03-20, By: rckymtnlove
Info: Snow was packed and firm until descent and then had some postholing to the car. Gate up on Georgetown side which leaves a 1.6 mile hike to the trailhead.
|2017-03-19||Route: West Slopes
Posted On: 2017-03-20, By: AlexeyD
Info: Similar to previous report. Continuous snow up to about 12.5. Sporadic snow with parts of summer trail melted out thereafter. A little boulder hopping required to avoid steeper snow on summit cone. Snow is firm and supportive at night/morning with a thick MF crust. Traction/poles helpful if starting early. All in all easy conditions for hiking, but pretty bad for skiing! Waiting for snow...
|2017-03-12||Route: West Slopes
Posted On: 2017-03-13, By: polar
Info: Hike Mt. Bierstadt under a full moon starting at midnight Saturday. Snow is well packed on Guanella Pass road with some snowmobile tracks. The snow in the willows is generally wind packed and pretty firm. Above the rock band it is mostly wind scoured with patches of firm snow. Snowshoes are not needed from the rock band to the summit, but in the willows they are quite helpful. My companions used considerable amount energy getting through the willows before they put snowshoes on. Any energy you saved by not carrying snowshoes will be quickly used up by postholing for a bit. Better to carry them, and maybe stash them above the rockband.
|2017-03-11||Route: West Slopes
Posted On: 2017-03-12, By: juliosantanaiii
Info: Road closed ~1.5/2 miles before the Guanella Pass trailhead if coming from the north (from Georgetown/I70). Snow is well packed to the trailhead. Some character-building postholing for the first half of the actual trail. Afterwards, you'll hit a few semi-dry spots before ascending the rocks. Microspikes were helpful; most folks were out in snowshoes, but they (snowshoes) are definitely not necessary and possibly more trouble than they are worth to carry. No wind when I hit the summit around 2PM on Sat., 3/11. Because of that and the isolation, the summit experience was v. pleasant. No wildlife.
|2017-03-04||Route: West Slopes
Posted On: 2017-03-04, By: AnnaG22
Info: Mostly reiterating Kevin's update from last weekend. If you start early enough, you shouldn't need snowshoes, but a later start warrants them; quite a few folks were in posthole city descending this afternoon. Microspikes should be enough traction for this route. The west slopes are currently not skiable from the summit unless you have designated rock skis.
|2017-02-26||Route: Bierstadt, Sawtooth, Evans
Posted On: 2017-02-27, By: Kevin Baker
Info: Snowshoes are currently not needed for the standard west slopes route. We used them to approach the Spaulding gully and did the Sawtooth from north to south. No need for crampons on the west side as it was mainly wind scoured with a few patches of snow. We used crampons on the east side of the traverse and for the climb of the north ridge. We stuck to the right edge of the north face near ridge proper, which was a combo of a wallowfest with some sections of firm snow.
|2017-02-19||Route: West Slopes
Posted On: 2017-02-19, By: Markwise
Info: Fresh snow on Bierstadt, we summited today around 4p, snow started falling around 6p, at least 3 inches by the time we hit the road, could be more by morning. Even before the snow, we found existing tracks difficult to follow, thankfully most of the snow in the willows had been consolidated for the most part. Only minor post-holing. We did not need snowshoes today. Microspikes not absolutely necessary, but we enjoyed using them in a number of places for the added traction.
|2017-02-15||Route: Bierstadt, Sawtooth, Evans
Posted On: 2017-02-15, By: Furthermore
Info: I thought the conditions on the Sawtooth were very favorable at the moment. Go get on it! Snow descending Bierstadt was solid and wasn't a concern (would be a different story with a different snow pack). Some energy consuming wallowing in snow on the east side of the ridge but once I flipped to the west side of the Sawtooth, the ledge was fairly dry which allowed quick access to Evan's west ridge.
|2017-02-15||Route: West Slopes
Posted On: 2017-02-15, By: Furthermore
Info: I was able to complete this climb without the use of flotation. Also, I did not use any traction device nor did I think they were warranted. The road up to the pass is very well packed. Hard snow pack through willows with a thin snow crust on the upper slopes.
|2017-02-04||Route: West Slopes
Posted On: 2017-02-05, By: Carbinematt
Info: Road open to the naylor parking lot. The road up to the restrooms had a hardpacked trail under the 8" of fresh snow. Restrooms are buried to the roofline, so dont expect a windblock or shelter retreat. Snowshoes to about 13,300, mixed hardpack/posthole/granular to final ascent. Ground blizzards like i've never seen. 100' visability with interment 0 visablity (couldnt see my feet, actually pretty scary). Final ascent in boots only, not enought snow for crampons or traction device. Rough day with exposure to sustained winds over 25mph and ground blizzards obscuring all views.
|2017-01-16||Route: West Slopes
Posted On: 2017-01-16, By: KC Aakhus
Info: Ditto what Bean said (with some pics). Perhaps a little more snow from last night/this a.m.
|2017-01-14||Route: West Slopes
Posted On: 2017-01-14, By: Bean
Info: I set a skintrack to 13,500'. Good consistent snow below that with surprisingly good ski conditions. Inconsistent snow, and rime-coated boulders above.
|2016-12-30||Route: West Slopes
Posted On: 2016-12-31, By: asarsam
Info: From the south approach to Guanalla Pass: snow is deep enough to stop a normal 4WD an extra 1/4 mile from the winter closure. Snow on the road is intermittent, to full coverage, to no coverage for 2 miles to the TH (used combo of microspikes and snowshoes). From the TH the snow is well packed and the trail is easy to follow as you descend into the willows. While in the willows, and the ascent out, the trail is hard to follow and snowshoes are a must with knee high post holing. After you gain the shoulder, the rest of the route to the summit can be accomplished with microspikes on the wind swept trail still dry in many areas.
|2016-12-04||Route: West Slopes
Posted On: 2016-12-05, By: Alexmountainman
Info: Started hiking from the gate, since winter conditions prevail on the road to the pass, at 6:05am. In 40 minutes I made it to the TH with very cold and a little windy conditions. The trail is PERFECT right now. There was no need for any sort of spikes. I only used my hiking poles. It was very, very cold and windy once I approached the ridge to the summit, and I had to wear my down jacket and extreme-cold mittens. I also wore boots for extreme cold (Baruntse, La Sportiva). It was a great ascent with amazing views!
|2016-11-24||Route: West Slopes
Posted On: 2016-11-24, By: mikefromcraig
Info: The trail itself was in pretty good condition for the end of November. No deep snow. I used microspikes but they weren't a must. The wind is at your back on the ascent and in your face on the descent so I recommend getting a later start so that on the descent you at least have the sun. Or wait even later and get the sun both ways.
|2016-11-24||Route: West Slopes
Posted On: 2016-11-24, By: trailboss88
Info: Guanella Pass is open until the 28th and is currently accessible by 2wd vehicle. Conditions on the west slopes are about 2 inches of windblown snow. Trail is obvious on the lower half of the route, but less so on the upper half. Conditions this morning were in the teens and upslope winds gusting to around 30mph. Wind died off in the afternoon. The route is shaded all morning so be prepared for the cold or start late.
|2016-11-19||Route: West Slopes
Posted On: 2016-11-21, By: Runnerd
Info: Guanella Pass still open until 11/28/16 weather-permitting. Snow accumulation from less than an inch to knee deep, especially nearing the summit. Trekking pole and micro spikes helpful, especially when descending. Very windy.
|2016-11-16||Route: West Slopes
Posted On: 2016-11-17, By: Brealee0112
Info: Guanella Pass open and completely free of snow and ice, did standard route, no traction needed beautiful day, but extremely windy
|2016-11-14||Route: West Slopes
Posted On: 2016-11-15, By: cmac42008
Info: Trail is mostly clear of snow until the last 1/3 of the trail as you approach the crest of the ridge. Spikes would be nice, but certainly not necessary. It was cold and windy. Sawtooth looked to be clear of snow if anyone wants to attempt it before winter sets in. Probably only one more day with conditions like this.
|2016-11-13||Route: Bierstadt, Sawtooth, Evans
Posted On: 2016-11-14, By: freepancakes
Info: Took West Slopes up Bierstadt, little ice/snow as you got over 13k, microspikes not necessary but would be helpful. 3-5 inches of snow on the sawtooth coming down bierstadt, was very happy I had my microspikes for that. Very little snow on the ascent up the sawtooth, once I got to the final ridge up to Evans it was covered in 4-6 inches of snow. Great day. If you can believe it I had the summit of Bierstadt to myself for a bit! Never thought I would see the day.