Peak(s):  Mt. Bierstadt  -  14,060 feet
Date Posted:  12/01/2012
Modified:  12/02/2012
Date Climbed:   12/01/2012
Author:  sierra
 Bierstadt Standard  

We decided to go for a climb and to test my new wind resistant breathable midweight REI pants marketed as wind resistant up to 50 mph winds. I took my climbing partner who was testing out a new carbon fiber hip joint.

We drove up from Georgetown to find the road was closed about 2 miles below the TH. The paved road was clear for an easy walk up to TH parking lot. There were only 3 cars in the parking lot. We left the lower parking lot (where the road is closed with a gate) at 7:45 am and reached the TH parking lot at 8:20 am. Now that we were nicely warmed up, we started out on the trail at 8:30 am. We were carrying our usual 25 pound training packs since we plan to return and climb Mt. Rainier again next summer.

Very minimal snow and ice along the trail and easy to find carins all the way to the summit. No snow or ice on the final scramble to the top which was warmer and had less wind than on the lower slopes. Reached the summit at 11:30 am when the sun popped out for a few minutes. We were back down to the TH at 2:50 pm. The weather front coming in from the West seemed to stall over Square Top.

The trail was easy to moderate in difficulty. The summit is in view for most of the climb. Leg gaiters were nice for the lower scrub and upper scramble. We saw only 8 other people on the mountain for the entire 6.5 hours. One young guy wearing pajama pants climbing alone made the traverse across the Sawtooth, hope he made it. Staying on trail was apparently optional for three guys we saw leave the summit and head straight down to the basin.

Winds were on average 20-30 mph with gusts up to 45-50 in a comfortable 30 degrees, the wind did pick up after noon. It was a good day for a climb, although snowpack would have made the trip much better. The REI windresistant pants are truly wind resistant up to 50mph as noted on the sales tag and the new carbon fiber hip joint is in great working order for many more climbs.

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):

 Comments or Questions

Pajama Pants!!!!!
12/04/2012 17:24
I switched over to snow pants shortly after seeing you two. I made the traverse, but arrived back to the highway in the dark. I should have woken up earlier... Good luck on Rainier!


02/13/2013 23:29
There's almost NO snow up there! Is this typical for Bierstadt that far into winter?

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