Mt. Bierstadt - 14,060 feet
|5/17/05 - West Slopes from Guanella Pass|
I couldnt sleep last light so I figured I would get out into the mountains for some alpine start fun before todays predicted weather moved in. My gamble paid off and the weather was really nice aside from a little wind up high, but nothing too bad.
I got to the trailhead sometime around quarter of 4 and I think I left the car sometime between 4:15 and 4:30. I got back sometime around 7:30 or 7:45 I think. As you can tell, I wasnt paying a whole lot of attention.
I experienced some pretty nasy breakable crust (it was WARM even at this ungodly hour) but thankfully I had my skis on. Even with them I busted through a few times. Aside from one little annoying "steep" section where I flailed around (should have brought my ski crampons) the skin up was nice and quick.
The views from the summit were great. It was starting to cloud up but I still had great visibility of the surrounding peaks. I took a bunch of pics including some panoramas so Ill post those a little bit later since it is time for sleep now.
Oh, and for those interested...you can keep the skis on the entire time. I had to cross grass/dirt/whatever once at about 12,200 or so but that was it. Crossing would be a pain on a board but everything else should go good. One benifit was the downhill sloping section of the willows. You can just blast right through that crap on skis.
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