Peak(s):  Mt. Bierstadt  -  14,060 feet
Date Posted:  06/21/2013
Date Climbed:   06/21/2013
Author:  ergometer
 Bierstadt - West Slopes  

This was my first 14er as I just moved to Colorado about three weeks ago. Asked some questions in the forum about how to prepare because I wanted to try and run it, and decided to just run as much as I could. Got to the trailhead at around 6:30. Wore trail running shoes, running shorts, a short sleeve tech shirt, long sleeve tech shirt, a hat, and sunglasses. Used a 2L camelbak which had a pocket to put my phone and two GU packets in. Only used one though. Started running and following the trail, got about 1.5 miles in and took a wrong turn running through some bushes that scratched my legs a bit. Tried to run back but didn't see the trail till someone else got lost with me and we found it together. started up again and had to start walking about 2 miles in when it got pretty steep. From then on I just ran whenever it wasn't too rocky or steep and tried to hike quickly the rest of the time. Around 13k feet I lost the trail again and added a little bit more to my ascent trip. Had my GU at around the hour mark and eventually saw someone who looked like they were on the trail and ran toward them. Moved up the big rocks as quick as I could and I was on the summit. Took me 1 hr 11 minutes and 4 miles, instead of 3.5, but whatever, I made it. Took pictures and chatted with a few others for about 15 minutes on the summit, then my legs started to get cold so I headed back down. I felt slower going down the big rocks at the summit than going up them. Looking at my GPS track I went way off the trail and just ran down through big rocks and snow. Slipped a few times on the ice that was starting to melt, but eventually hit the trail again. There were only a few patches of snow and most had a track through them you could follow or just walk around them if you wanted. From about 13k ft till uphill before being back at the car (which was the most painful hill lol) I was able to run around 7:30-8:00 pace unless I came upon a group of people, where I would try and walk. Took me about 42 minutes to get back down. Looking at a map I can see where I took my wrong turns, so next time that won't happen. Glad and I did and looking forward to more ! Roundtrip distance was 7.7 miles with a total time of 2 hr 11 min with the summit time.
My GPS Tracks on Google Maps (made from a .GPX file upload):

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):

 Comments or Questions

Congrats and welcome!
06/21/2013 21:05
How do you gather data for the gpx file? Does it come through a dedicated device or is it through a smartphone app?


06/21/2013 21:15
I have a Garmin Forerunner 305 (old, but still works). Just uploaded to Strava and exported the GPX file and linked it in the post.


GPX export
06/21/2013 23:34
You have to be a paying member at Strava AFAIK, but Garmin Connect lets you get the .gpx (or .tcx) file for free. 305-s rock; I have them too.

No Malarkey

Congratulations & Good Run!
06/22/2013 02:57
Hey Ergometer, thanks for the report. I plod along myself and reliably get there and back, but you fleet of foot fellas are always impressive. Hang tough ... keep moving.


Well done!
06/23/2013 01:08
Bierstadt is one of my favorite 14ers to run because it has a half mile downhill for warmup. My round trip time is very close to yours (one or two gels, no water, running tights/shorts, appropriate top). I've done it about 10 times to summit and another dozen to ridge since I moved to Georgetown two years ago. If you liked Bierstadt, Grays/Torreys (2:15)is very similar in effort; route Saddle,Torrey,Grays. Decalibron (3:35) is very runnable; take the gully west straight down from Bross.
Elbert up the Colorado Trail and Northeast Ridge is my favorite, 4700' vert but seems to be the most runnable trail of all and the views at the top always make it worth the effort. I'm in CA on a job but will be back in a couple of months if you are looking for running buddies.

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