Peak(s):  Mt. Evans  -  14,264 feet
Mt. Bierstadt  -  14,060 feet
Date Posted: 
Date Climbed:   07/02/2005
Author:  bgosch
 bierstadt/evans via evans highway july 2  

we hiked bierstadt and evans via the sawtooth on july 2. the weather was pretty good, some cloud cover but still warm. our trailhead was about 13,000 feet on the evans highway, and the trail dropped straight into the valley between evans and bierstadt to about 12,200 via class 2/3 gully. the hike up the valley was nice and easy, up to alpine lake at 12450, at which point we couldnt really find the trail, so we scrambled pretty much straight up the east face of bierstadt. definitely harder than the guanella pass trail route! beautiful scenery though, well worth it. after debating whether to retreat the way we came or do the sawtooth, we decided to do evans, and started down for the ridge. the hardest part of the sawtooth route is actually getting to the ridge from bierstadt, in my opinion. nice, steep talus, big boulders so not too loose, and pretty fun. once you get to the ridge, the trail is well cairned, and heads around the first big hump in the ridge, then cuts through a saddle and goes diagonally left up the face. this ramp isnt quite the diagonal dirt strip you can see from bierstadt, but theres not really any mistaking the route. its pretty exposed, which is where it gets its class 3 rating, but the hiking itself isnt any harder than the rest of the mountain. once you clear the diagonal ramp, the hike to evans summit is easy and well cairned; follow the trail across the west face and youre there...along with a hundred tourists. oh well.

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