Peak(s):  Mt. Bierstadt  -  14,060 feet
Mt. Evans  -  14,264 feet
Date Posted:  08/29/2005
Modified:  11/03/2009
Date Climbed:   08/25/2005
Author:  alanb
 Beirstadt Trailhead with Sawtooth  

My buddy from UT and I planned on doing a 2 day marathon climb of 4 -14ers, starting with Beirstadt and Evans via the Sawtooth and finishing up the next day with Sherman and Quandary.

My day started at 3:30am with the drive up from Parker. I made good time and met my buddy at the trailhead at 5am. The construction on Guanella pass had not yet started for the day so it did not slow me down but the heavy machinery noise could be heard clear up on the summit so I am sure that later in the day it could be an issue. The parking lot is actually closed right now and has a huge pile of dirt in it. We parked about 1/4 mile down the road and walked back up to the trailhead.

The days are getting shorter and not wanting to miss the views we did not actually start hiking until 6am. The hike up was beautiful and we stopped often to take photos. The first part of the route across the willows is all boardwalk.


After crossing the willows you being to climb up the ridge on a well marked trail.


At the top of the ridge the views are spectacular.


Despite the enjoyable hike up our eyes kept straying to the Sawtooth. It truly looks menacing. (This photo was taken from the trailhead.)


The last push to the summit is a short easy class 2 section.


Upon summiting we scoped out the Sawtooth and decided that we were up for the challenge.


While we were doing some route planning several parties behind us reached the summit. My buddy had printed out some nice signs with the date, mountain name, and elevation on them. Needless to say the sign was a hit and everyone took turns getting their picture taken with it.

As we loaded up and departed off into the Sawtooth. We heard several comments like "crazy" and "no way" from the other groups. We dropped off the side of Beirstadt and as we reached the bottom we both decided that this part was not bad. In looking back up to the summit, it certainly looked worse than it was.


We got a little high several times in crossing the teeth of the Sawtooth but we managed to work our way around and up the trough that leads up to west side of the trail. Looking at this side of the route is spectacular. The drop off is staggering and anyone with a fear of heights should certainly think twice before attempting this route.

We took some great photos and the actual climb across the west face was pretty easy. The ramp looks intimidating from a distance but once you get up on it, it's not bad.


We exited onto the very large flat saddle and looked back in amazement at the route we had just taken.


Some ominous looking clouds were building to the west so we did not linger as long as we may have liked....Evans was still waiting

(Continued on the Evans trip report)

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):

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