Peak(s):  Sawtooth, The  -  13,780 feet
Date Posted:  07/02/2012
Date Climbed:   07/01/2012
Author:  cbarr33
 Mt. Evans Via the Sawtooth For a Newbie   

Yesterday I decided with my roommate that we would go ahead an tackle the Sawtooth. This was my first experience with a class 3 route. The first time a climbed a 14er it was Bierstadt about 4 weeks ago (again with my roommate) He was trying to convince me to make the trip but it was looking a little too daunting for my taste as there were high winds and cold temps. I spent a lot of time reading the trip reports and studying the route. Everything that I had read mentioned that it was not nearly as bad as it looks when you get to the Sawtooth and the worst or hardest part of the trip was actually getting to it. I found out that this was the truth.

The main reason that I am doing this report is to add a little info at the end that I was not able to find in any other report however I think that it very important to know when planning this climb.

We started at 5:45 am up Bierstadt while at the top around 7:30 I Believe we ran into a couple of guys that we were playing leap frog with the whole trip up and got to talking. We mentioned that we were doing the Sawtooth and they had decided to come along with us. One of the guys was on his first ever 14er and was able to make this entire trip no problem.

Time: 5:45am - 3:30pm Length: 10.48 Mi.

This is the aprox. route that we took of Bierstadt. There a a meandering trail to follow this area is really steep and loose so mindful footing is required.

There is a lot of scrambling to get to the bottom of the saddle but nothing to hard at this point to get there. After you get into the saddle this is where the real work begins. Here is a look at at whats to come starting up the saddle: Aprox 9:30

Here we ended up staying higher and to the left as we were able to find a good route (class 3) Instead of going down and around:

And a closer look:

Forgive me as I forgot to get some pictures of the ledges over The Sawtooth however when I did get on them they were not nearly as bad as they had looked. The hard part was over by now. We went straight over the Sawtooth with no problem taking the exact route that shows in their route description. Now of course you need to have mindfull footing but if you can make it to the ledges then you will have no problem at all. Like I said the hardest and most technical part is over.

After making it to the top we took a little different than traditional route over to Mt. Evans. We decided to take on a little more class 3 and summit the first peak on our way:

I was really glad that i got to see some of these guys on the way over to Evans:

Made it up Evans:

On our way back from Evans we did run into a little bit of rain coming our way. But the storm ended up missing us so the weather ended up being very nice the whole day:

This is a look at the Gully on the way back to the trail head. When going down the gully keep in mind that it is very steep and there is a lot off loose rock so take you time:

**This is the bit that I wasnt able to really find in other reports.*** What I was under the impression of is that after the gully there would be a huge fight through the willows and I thought that we were going to be bush wacking the whole way. This is not the case there is a trail that leads you out. It is washed out in some areas and it does fade in and out but for the most part you can make really good time on this trail. It leads back to the main trail about .5 Mi from the parking lot.

Here is a little waterfall from the cliffs of the Sawtooth at the bottom of the gully.

Hope this report helps future hikers!

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
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Comments or Questions

07/02/2012 23:53
As I'm preparing to take a beginner up there this is good info. I'm also happy to hear about that trail, I hope to find it and avoid the willow-whacking.

Thanks as well
07/03/2012 03:12
glad to see you all made it with out a hitch, all the info y'all gave me down in the parking lot was super helpful.

Brian C

Trail out?
07/03/2012 13:05
Is there really an established trail through the willows now? Bummer! Battering out was half the fun!

Thanks for the update.
07/07/2012 21:41
I'm taking 2 newbies with me to do that in 2 wks. Glad to hear it's better than it looks. Appreciate the pics (I didn't see any snow).

Two Q's:
1)Is it a dirt road, or paved to the trailhead?
2)How cold at night, as we'll be camping there for a few days.


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