Peak(s):  Epaulet Mtn  -  13,523 feet
Rosalie Pk  -  13,575 feet
Mt. Bierstadt  -  14,060 feet
Sawtooth, The  -  13,780 feet
Spalding, Mt  -  13,842 feet
Mt. Evans  -  14,264 feet
Date Posted:  08/29/2018
Date Climbed:   08/28/2018
Author:  Z Demko
 Mt. Evans 13 Peak Combo (Attempt)  

The goal of this hike is to complete Mt. Evans and Mt. Bierstadt plus all of the surrounding 13ers, ranked and unranked, in a loop. I was only able to summit 7 of the 13 peaks this time! This was my first attempt.

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(Photo 1) Mt. Evans' resident goats heading to the summit for some human food. DON'T FEED THE ANIMALS!

Parked off the road on the saddle between Epaulet and Evans. Started at around 6:30am for Rosalie via Epaulet and "Epaulie."

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(Photo 2) First Summit was Epaulet Mountain (13,523 ft).
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(Photo 3) On top of "Epaulie" (13,530 ft) looking back at Eapulet with (from left) Mt. Bierstadt, the Sawtooth, and Mt. Evans in background.
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(Photo 4) Rosalie Peak from summit of "Epaulie."
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(Photo 5) On the beautiful saddle seen in photo 4 looking toward Rosalie.
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(Photo 6) On the summit of Rosalie Peak (13,575 ft) looking out over the hills. Pikes Peak barely seen on the horizon toward the right of the picture.
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(Photo 7) The hike so far and the hike yet to come from the summit of Rosalie. Exhausted just thinking about the rest of the day.
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(Photo 8) Back on the saddle of "Epaulie" and Rosalie. From here I cut across to the ridge west of "Epaulie."
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(Photo 9) Looking back at Rosalie.
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(Photo 10) Before the drop down the beautiful, wide gully west of "Epaulie" into the Abyss Basin. I saw the tent of a lucky camper pitched up here - what an incredibly gorgeous spot!
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(Photo 11) At the bottom of the gully and the lowest elevation of the day, around 12,200 ft. The large boulder in the middle is the perfect spot for a snack break- and a nap. Abyss Lake is hidden from view farther up the basin.

I decided to take the Northeast slopes of Bierstadt rather than the East Ridge. I don't like exposure and I figured it would be better to do it once before including it in such a long, strenuous day. Taking the East Ridge would have taken me over Bierstadt's Southeast peak (Photo 17), so this was the first 13,000 ft point I bailed on. But it was clear at this point that this hike will take a few attempts to get right.

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(Photo 12) Abyss Lake! Where the real hike begins.
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(Photo 13) Looking back across Abyss Lake where I was able to cross due to low water.
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(Photo 14) I started up the Northeast slopes way too early and found myself making quite a few difficult class 2 scrambles. Made my way across this fun boulder field before rejoining the established cairn trail. I should have hiked to the very very end of the basin, seen in Photo 12, where the cairn trail starts.
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(Photo 15) Great view of The Sawtooth from below the summit of Mt. Bierstadt.
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(Photo 16) Standing on the Summit of Mt. Bierstadt (14,060 ft) at around 11:30am.
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(Photo 17) East Ridge and Southeast peak of Mt. Bierstadt in bottom right and Mt. Evans in top left. Top right (from left) are Epaulet, "Epaulie," and Rosalie.
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(Photo 18) Looking down the North Ridge of Mt. Bierstadt to The Sawtooth.
I followed the ridge all the way to the saddle where I opted for the lower cairn trail around the big gendarme.
The gendarme can be seen really well in photo 15 just to the right of the saddle.
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(Photo 19) The infamous scramble just below the summit of The Sawtooth (13,780 ft).

From The Sawtooth is a short and easy hike over to Mt. Spalding. Stay on the trail as best you can to preserve tundra!

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(Photo 20) Standing on the summit of Mt. Spalding looking toward Gray's and Torrey's.

I was totally exhausted at this point and decided Mt. Evans and Evans' West peak was about all that I could handle - leaving out Gray Wolf Mountain (13,602 ft), Peak 13,340, Mount Warren (13,307 ft), and Rogers Peak (13.391 ft). From Spalding I hiked straight across the tundra to the Mt. Evans ridge along the standard route.

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(Photo 21) The Sawtooth (right) and Mt. Bierstadt (middle). Can you spot the mountain goats in the very center?

I ended up skipping the west peak of Mt. Evans on the way to Mt. Evans' summit. It would have been a very short and easy detour but I'll save it for next time!

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(Photo 22) Last summit Mt. Evans a little before 2pm! Took the road switchbacks 1,000 ft back down to the saddle with Epaulet.
















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

Looks easy (on the map)
08/30/2018 06:51
It took me three trips to get all of the Evans' 13er/14er summits; I didn't get Bierstadt's. Beautiful area to be and, once off the beaten trail, surprisingly quiet (case for Brad's FR4K concept).

Good luck finishing the project.


Chelsea

Great job!
08/30/2018 08:41
One of my favorite areas...I have done all but Gray Wolf (but not all at once! lol). Just did the Rosalie group yesterday actually. Make sure you hit "West Evans" next time. It's super quick to get to (and I'm super slow) and you have WAY better views than on Mt Evans because it's summit is so small. You have 360 views of the peaks & lakes around Mt Evans. Amazing! Definitely worth checking out.



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