Peak(s):  Mt. Bierstadt  -  14,060 feet
Mt. Evans  -  14,264 feet
Date Posted:  07/11/2011
Modified:  02/16/2012
Date Climbed:   07/09/2011
Author:  DanielL
 My first TR - Bierstadt, Sawtooth, Evans  

Route: Mt. Bierstadt's East Ridge, Sawtooth, Evans
Start Time: 6:00 am
Finish: 12:30 pm

This is my first trip report ever, so hopefully it's a good one. A couple of friends, my sister and brother, and I, set out early on Saturday morning to climb a couple of routes on Bierstadt and Evans that I had wanted to do for a while. Although the weather forecast predicted thunderstorms starting before noon, it didn't rain the entire climb.

A beautiful sunrise while driving up the Mt. Evans road

The descent down the gully had some loose rock, but it wasn't as bad as I thought. We made it down in good time and got over to the base of the ~800' slope leading to the East Ridge of Bierstadt. I found this part the most physically difficult part of the climb.

Looking up the Northeast slope of Bierstadt

We got to the top and then the real fun began.

On the ridge crest, looking at Pt. 13,641 and the summit of Bierstadt beyond

We quickly made it to the base of Pt. 13,641', and then we encountered some more difficult Class 3 moves. We crossed the grassy ledges on the right side and scrambled up back to the ridge crest, avoiding the Class 5 area shown on the route description on this site. From there, it was just a brief scramble to the top.

Almost to the top of Pt. 13,641

After Pt. 13,641', it was pretty straight forward to the summit of Bierstadt.

Near the summit of Bierstadt, looking down on the East Ridge

On top of Bierstadt, looking at the Sawtooth Ridge

Once we were on the summit of Bierstadt, we noticed threatening storm clouds that caused us to question the wisdom of climbing our next objective, the Sawtooth ridge. However, the winds quickly blew the clouds away and we decided to go for it.

On the ridge crest

Because of snowfields on the right side of the ridge, we stayed on the crest for most of the ridge. The rock was solid, and we enjoyed plenty of Class 3 scrambling.

Looking up to the large gendarme on the Sawtooth ridge

Once we reached the large gendarme most of the way across the ridge, we left the crest and followed a trail around the right side of the gendarme. After a bit of traversing, we turned left and climbed up a gully for about 100' or so.

Some fun Class 3 scrambling

After this, we traversed the rest of the way around the gendarme and climbed up toward a large notch.

The notch before the ledges

We took a quick breather, and looked at the ledges below the top of the Sawtooth. I remembered about a climber who had recently fallen on the ledge and I immediately got more nervous. However, I found it to be less difficult than I had anticipated, although caution was definitely necessary.

On the Sawtooth ledges

Looking back down the ledges

With the Sawtooth behind us, we walked quickly toward the final part of our trip, Mt. Evans.

Past the Sawtooth, on our way to Evans

Stretching out on Mt. Evans' West Ridge

Looking up to the summit

On top, looking down at the parking lot

While we were hiking back to our car, we spotted a few mountain goats resting on the rocks. I'm always amazed at these fascinating creatures with the ability to survive in alpine conditions.

A mountain goat and her baby

Another goat

We got back to our car at about 12:30. This was a great trip and I would love to do it again in the future!

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):

 Comments or Questions

07/11/2011 18:18
Nice pictures and nice report... Keep it up!


Great Trip Report with Awesome Photos!
07/11/2011 22:12
Great TR with marvelous photos! You guys rocked the Sawtooth to the max -- way to go! Thanks for posting this awesome report!


Nice Report
07/12/2011 02:53
I like these straight to the point kindof reports. Nice pictures too, which help show conditions.


Thank you
07/12/2011 03:02
It was great to get some more recent photos and updates. Hoping to do Sawtooth in the coming weeks.


07/12/2011 16:12
Great report! Excellent photos! And great timing - again! This exact route will be my warmup hike in about 6 days! We seem to have a similar itinerary! Thanks for posting!


07/12/2011 19:20
Nice photos of the ridge, you guys really look exposed up there, excellent overall report. The goats look snuggly but I wouldn't try it.


good stuff
07/15/2011 18:13
good pics. did you guys park off of the mt evan road? if so, what was your route down from evans back to the car? we are trying a new route this year and this may be the one!


Re: good stuff
07/16/2011 02:53
We parked at about 13,300' at a pull-off right above the Evans-Epaulet saddle; it's right past Summit Lake. From the summit of Evans we went to the parking lot and hiked down the ridge on the west (right) side of the road, towards Epaulet Mtn, and got right back to our car. I hope this helps!


07/19/2011 03:07
Great Report. Looking forward to more of the same.


Very Nice
08/07/2011 21:28
Nice report, I just read your Quandary report and followed it to this one - we are hoping to do both these routes in a couple weeks. I see you like ridge routes (who doesn't) - may I suggest Sneffels Southwest Ridge - it is one of my all-time favorite routes. My brothers trip report here
Great job, nice report, and thanks for the information on Bierstadt/Sawtooth/Evans and Quandary West Ridge!

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