Peak(s):  Mt. Bierstadt  -  14,060 feet
Date Posted:  11/15/2012
Modified:  11/17/2012
Date Climbed:   11/14/2012
Author:  robnrhea
 Solitude on Bierstadt  

I have been wanting to hike Bierstadt just because I never have. Trying to avoid the large crowds seemed nearly impossible on this mountain. So I waited till late fall hoping the crowds had thinned, boy did they ever. I hiked up to the summit and back without seeing a single person.

I arrived at the trail head at about 7:15 thinking the lot would be at least half full, it was completely empty. Started wandering to myself, is it o.k. to be here? Where is everybody? I couldn't believe I have Bierstadt all to myself. So without hesitating I threw on my pack and headed up the mountain.

The trail was mostly snow packed from the few hikers that had been up since the most recent snow, which made following the snow covered trail much easier. Wind was blowing steadily at about 20-30 mph pretty much the whole trip up, luckily it was at my back, but knew I would be walking into it coming down. But at least the sun would be shinning by then. Never felt the suns rays until the final push to the summit, which was about 9:30. The hose to my water bladder froze solid after just a mile into the hike, so I had to stuff into inside my pack to try and thaw it out. Eventually it did, half way back down the mountain. I also had to keep taking the battery out of my camera and put it in my pocket to keep it warm because it was to cold to work. I was cussing at possibly not being able to take any pictures on this blue sky day

I've never hiked anywhere before where I can keep an eye on my vehicle during just about the entire hike, that was different. I feel very fortunate to have had this mountain to myself on this day. Just couldn't imagine a hundred or so people on this trail at the same time. That just would not be for me. Just wanted to share this fantastic day of solitude on a very popular mountain. ''

Heading out on the snow covered path

Gotta love them boardwalks

Only car in the lot

the Sawtooth & Bierstadt in clear blue skies, just wish the sun would get over that mountain

Grays and Torreys from the summit

Clear blue skies, great views

view looking south

Empty summit with spectacular views

Image #9 (not yet uploaded)

Heading down the mountain under clear blue skies

Snow covered tundra

The sun felt great, but the wind never let up

Frozen Scott Gomer Creek

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):

 Comments or Questions

11/15/2012 23:31
..IS difficult to find on Bierstadt. I'm glad you were able to have such a nice day!


11/17/2012 15:24
It truly is a difficult feat, to get solitude on such a peak. You found the tried and true way to do it: Go when the conditions are brutal! Nice photos.


Oh What A Lonely Boy!
11/17/2012 15:36
Not often you can get one like that! For bonus points, name that old ski area in pic #6? I was able to get one on Grays & Torreys in June on a Monday!


I see it
11/17/2012 16:22
Thanks for pointing that out boudreaux. Now that I looked back at the picture I saw the word ski on the mountain right away. Thats the old Geneva Ski Basin Area. I hiked Grays & Torreys two days after this hike, counted seven other hikers that day, crowded.


Ski area
11/19/2012 23:29
The old ski area is Geneva Basin. I actually skied there a few times when I was 11 or 12 years old (late '60's). I don't remember exactly when it closed.

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