Peak(s):  Mt. Evans  -  14,264 feet
Date Posted:  05/06/2012
Date Climbed:   05/05/2012
Author:  epende
 Bierstadt and Evans from Guanella Pass, including the sawtooth  

We arrived at the trailhead pleasantly surprised that the road was no longer closed 2 miles below. The trail is icy in the morning, and I slipped a few times before having the sense to put on my shoe spikes. I left them on the rest of the day.

I summited Bierstadt in 2 hours and it was uneventful but majestic. Of the 11 14ers I've now done, this was the easiest. There was very little snow on this trail and it was frozen enough to prevent post-holing. Snow shoes not required anywhere on either mountain.

I would echo what others have said and recommend shoe spikes and gaiters. I was glad I had them every step of the way. The spikes helped in the ice, snow and mud, as well as on the boulder hopping on the south side of Evans.

We took the Class 3 sawtooth traverse from Bierstadt to Evans. It was my first Class 3. It didn't seem to bad because I didn't look down and the rocks were dry. It was also not too windy. Afterwards, my hiking partner said this portion was harder than the Class 3 parts of Longs Peak. I've never done Longs.

I had a lot of trouble finding the route on Evans. There are at least 3 false summits and the trail cairns are hard to spot. I got off trail on the in-hike and lots a bunch of time. On the hike back I was able to stay on. Just try to stay near the top of the ridge and you're better off.

The highest summit on Evans is the first one you get to *after* the westernmost summit. Be sure not to mistake the Spalding summit, which is North, for Mt. Evans.

On the route back I walked down the drainage between the Bierstadt ridge and the Spalding ridge. This was one of the worst trails I've ever done. It was poorly marked, very steep, and unstable on the high parts. The low parts are either running streams, 6 inch bogs, hemmed in by plants, or buried under thigh-high snow. If I'd known I would have crossed the sawtooth and gone back via Bierstadt.

Overall, a great hike and a great way to get two 14ers. The Bierstadt hike is so easy it's hard to call it a day after reaching the summit at 7:30 or 8:30AM.

My GPS Tracks on Google Maps (made from a .GPX file upload):

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):

 Comments or Questions

05/06/2012 20:29
I did this same route a few years ago. That drainage is horrible and The boggy willows worse. Never again!


Thanks for the beta.
05/08/2012 04:20
I'm looking to do this but with a car parked at Evans.

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