Peak(s):  Mt. Bierstadt  -  14,060 feet
Date Posted:  01/14/2012
Modified:  01/15/2012
Date Climbed:   01/13/2012
Author:  Roger
 A very windy Mt Bierstadt  

So yesterday I climbed Mt Bierstadt--14,060 ft--only 2,400 feet of elevation gain, 6 mile round trip (from TH), 6hrs estimated--not including the 45 min, to/from TH to parking. Not the highest or longest I've done since 1 Jan but my 4th this year in '12, and the cold and brutal wind made this one hellish! Weather was for a daily high of 19 deg but I departed the trailhead at 8 AM so probably a bit colder and wind was to be 30-40 mph with gusts up to 70mph--expected wind chill... wait for it.. -28deg! r u kidding? I thought; weathermen are wrong most of the time, right?-- so dress and go.
Mt Evans on the left, sawtooth in the middle and Mt Bierstadt on the right! My goal,,, Mt Bierstadt—no way trying the sawtooth in this wind and didn't have the proper gear!
Image Departed Colorado Springs early-- 4 AM’ish To Denver no problem, west on I-70 got windy by Idaho Springs. Made it to Georgetown and found the road leading to Guanella Pass. Easily drivable 9 miles or so in 4WD and probably any 2WD. Mixed; dry road and snow packed with sand spread over it. Not able to drive to the actual TH tough,,, road blocked by snowplowed barrier.
Road beyond the road snow barrier was also very drivable, in fact, bare pavement by the actual TH parking lot,,, added another 45 minute hike to the trailhead, another 45 back.
At the TH, ready to go! Wind blowing, but dressed and warm.
Not much snow on the willows,,, what was there was hard packed,,, only broke through a few times. Jogged most of it cause it was flat.
Image Did I mention it was VERY cold,,, Walk up to the TH was 45 minutes,,, 30
minutes later my Gatorade bottles were frozen solid. Not much hydration on this hike.
Quick pics at the summit-- which don’t show the bitter cold or blowing wind—then got off the Mt. Was so windy at the top decided to low-crawl over the rocks to prevent from being blown around. After departing the summit and flat rockfield, heading down to the willows, got blown to the ground a couple times by the wind. Gusts were really strong!
Image Finished! Only one other hiker I met crossing the willows at the end. Departed TH at 8 AM,,,, summited at 10:20, departed summit at 10:36, returned to TH at 12:08. Despite the cold and incredible wind, I was warm except my feet. I like to wear running shoes, but today was not the day for that.

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):

 Comments or Questions

01/15/2012 21:32
I had the same problem with my hydration the day after you - my camelback tube was frozen solid by the time I got to the TH. I wore it under my jacket for the rest of the hike, and that seemed to work well.


01/16/2012 05:33
Nice job in that cold and even getting to the TH. At least you had some electrolyte popsicles when you done!


camelback trick
01/31/2012 21:51
when you're done drinking out of your camel back, blow the water in the tube, back into the resevoir. Helps minimize freezing. Also, cools down your water on summer hikes.

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