Peak(s):  Mt. Bierstadt  -  14,060 feet
Date Posted:  07/09/2012
Date Climbed:   07/08/2012
Author:  michaelperk86

 First 14er Mt. Bierstadt  

I'm from Kansas, living at about 1300 feet, so a 14er seemed like a pretty daunting task. I was vacationing for the weekend and rented a cabin near Bailey. After checking the weather most of the weekend, I decided that Mt. Bierstadt was probably a better place to start than Mt. Elbert and much closer to the cabin I was staying in. I arrived at the trailhead at about 7:30 and started up. The trail was kind of muddy going through the willows and getting to the shoulder, but I was moving at a fairly quick pace at this point and felt pretty good about myself. Once I reached the shoulder, I quickly realize that there was a lot more to go and I was starting to feel tired already. I started up the winding steeper parts of the trail and realized that this was a lot more difficult than I thought. It seemed like I was stopping every 10 seconds to catch my breath, looking up as the summit ridge seemed farther and farther away. I met a real nice guy about 500 feet below the ridge that was about my speed and we decided to go the rest of the way together. His group had already reached the summit and were waiting for him there. We finally reached the summit ridge and jokingly asked someone along the way if it evened out up ahead. She told us it didn't, but it would be much easier near the top going over the boulders. She was right. I felt like I could finally catch my breath going through the rocks and working my way to the summit. It was about 11:30 before I finally made the summit and it seemed fairly crowded, but it was an absolutely gorgeous view and I was ecstatic that I actually made it to the top. Image We stayed at the summit for about 10 minutes, then we left with a group of 4. It was a rough trip down, and my knees were starting to ache a little, but I pressed through and made it back to the trailhead about 2:00. I felt I might turn around a few times, and it looked like the weather might turn me around a few times too, but thank God the weather was perfect the whole way. Everyone I met on the trail was super friendly and I had an amazing time. Hopefully, I can make my way out again this summer and climb Torrey's and Gray's, or even give Elbert a shot this time.

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):

 Comments or Questions

07/10/2012 11:38
I feel your pain being from Oklahoma. Isn't it funny how you suffer the whole hike then start thinking about which ones to do next as soon as you get to the car?

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