Peak(s):  Mt. Bierstadt  -  14,060 feet
Sawtooth, The  -  13,780 feet
Mt. Evans  -  14,264 feet
Date Posted:  05/31/2009
Date Climbed:   05/29/2009
Author:  dmccool
 Bierstadt and Evans via The Sawtooth  

I drove up Guanella Pass the night before and slept in the car. I started on the standard Bierstadt trailhead at 5:00am. The trail through the willows was muddy, but frozen in the early morning.

Crossing Scott Gomer Creek can be tricky because of all the new snow melt. I recommend finding a narrow stretch, not necessarily where the trail runs.

View of the sunrise on Square Top Mtn.

The Sawtooth with the sun coming through

I reached the summit of Bierstadt at 7:45am. No real problems. The trail disappears at about 13,500, but there are plenty of tracks through the snow fields towards the summit ridge.

Bierstadt Summit

Then I headed down the Sawtooth

The Sawtooth was pretty difficult at times. It was pretty clear of snow, but was definitely Class 3 scrambling.

After careful route finding, I made it up to the ridge of Mt. Evans.

View of Bierstadt from Evans' West Ridge

I wasn't alone on Evans:

My summit shot on Evans around 11:30am. There were plenty of people up there who made the drive on the Mt. Evans Road. Plenty of friendly faces. Say what you will about the road and the tourists it brings, but hiking 14ers isn't for everyone and it gives people what might be a once in a lifetime opportunity.

Looking back at the West Ridge from Evans' Summit

On my return route, I wasn't about to cross the Sawtooth again. So I hiked down the gully between Evans' West Ridge and Mt. Spalding (thanks to Bill Middlebrook's TR). I was able to do some great glissading for pretty much the entire gully. Once I got to the Beaver ponds, it was a different story. Very muddy and a post-hole nightmare. I recommend avoiding the "trail" and just hiking all the way around (to the right) of the ponds and willows. It's higher (and dryer) ground.

I made it back to the car around 2:45pm. A beautiful day and 2 more summits.

*Disclaimer: This is my first attempt at a Trip Report.

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):

 Comments or Questions

Nice TR!
02/05/2011 00:22
A good first TR, and I very much appreciate the beta on the Sawtooth. I saw you had on crampons... were the necessary?


05/31/2009 23:59
Thanks...Not entirely necessary, but pretty useful when approaching Bierstadt‘s ridge and the same once you‘re on Evans‘ West ridge. The Sawtooth was pretty ”snow-free” except on the west side (shaded side). I‘m glad I had them on Sawtooth, though. It‘s a little dicey up there.


06/01/2009 03:00
Next time, let yur fellow teachers know when you‘re going! I‘d love to join you.


Angel of Death!
06/01/2009 04:03
Holy cow! Maybe we can arrange a trip soon!


nice trip
06/02/2009 01:56
I plan to do summit lake to Evans as a warm up next friday
(coming from sea level)
then over to the sawtooth

how long mileage wise was your round trip?

Ridge runner

nice report
02/01/2011 00:24
I really like the sunrise shot of the Sawtooth! And your comment about the tourists that come up the road is right on.


11/30/2010 17:28
the estimated mileage was about 9, but i'd say i did well over 10 after going around/through the beaver ponds on the way back to the TH. from the summit of Bierstadt to Evans over the Sawtooth is a little longer than i expected - both distance and time wise.


nice rookie TR
08/14/2012 16:41
this is my kind of report D! you've come a long way in the 3 years since man. There is hope for me. I say the exact same thing about the Evans road to everyone that asks... And yep, you can call this TR ”creepin” on a somewhat slow Tuesday.

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