Peak(s):  Mt. Bierstadt  -  14,060 feet
Date Posted:  07/16/2007
Date Climbed:   07/14/2007
Author:  Brad

 Bierstadt - Standard Busy Saturday  

So we made it up to Guanella Pass Friday night, found all of the CG‘s full but found plenty of roadside camping, chose one and set up the tent just in time for the rain to start. It was rapidly approaching the 9:00 PM hour so we tried to get some sleep, listening to the rain pelt the tent in ever-varying hardness. Amber had a much easier time at falling asleep than did I, but I did manage a little sleep before the alarm clock rudely sang at 4:30 AM. We started dressing for the hike and realized that I had not packed Amber‘s hiking pants and shirt that she had left out. Damn, she was to a cottoneer today. We rapidly tore down the tent and cooked breakfast, making our way to the TH minutes before 6:00 AM. I finished our breakfast of freeze dried Cheese Enchilada Rancheros and we loaded up our gear to join the dozen or so other groups already on the trail. Shortly after beginning the hike, I stepped onto one of the logs traversing the trail and my feet went out from under me, landing me on knees and wrists. Fortunately, I only had a scraped knee. We continued along, rapidly passing through the willows, all the while staring at the summit and Sawtooth. We saw a deer prancing through the meadow, running away from the mass of hikers on the trail. As we began the ascent portion of the trail, the sun began to shine across our faces. We were yet again treated with nature as we saw a couple dozen deer running along the ridge immediately ahead of us. Here, our hiking became slower and the stops for breath frequent. We continued on towards the summit, following those ahead of us. As we neared the final summit push we contemplated ascending the packed snow or going around. We chose the snow and it was easy to ascend. There were many people making their way to the summit, some following "the trail" and some making their own way over the rocks to the top. We chose to do a little of both, and found the scrambling to be quite fun. We made the summit at 9:30 AM and joined about 3 dozen others there. After a brief break for snacks and views, we made our way down. We must have passed 100 people on their way up as we were descending. This truly is a busy 14er. It was interesting to see the number of people on their way up at noon with clouds forming overhead. Two and a half hours on the descent versus the three and a half hours to summit. I have not included any pictures as of yet as most everyone has seen pics of this route aplenty.

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