Peak(s):  Mt. Bierstadt  -  14,060 feet
Sawtooth, The  -  13,780 feet
Mt. Evans  -  14,264 feet
Date Posted:  07/22/2010
Date Climbed:   07/22/2010
Author:  jrvoodoo
 Bierstadt, Sawtooth, Evans Combination from Guanella Pass  

Bierstadt, Evans combination via The Sawtooth from Guanella Pass

Left Lakewood, CO. at about 2:30am headed to Guanella Pass via US 285 because the road is still closed from the Georgetown side. Drove right on past the Guanella Pass TH all the way to the road closure, turned around and found it on the second pass. Woke up the tent campers with my early am arrival. Hit the trail at about 5:20am. The "required permit" station had no more spaces to add any names so I skipped it. Got to the top of Bierstadt at about 7:20am. Took a couple shots with my camera phone signed the register and headed for The Sawtooth. Scramble down to The Sawtooth from Bierstadt wasn't too difficult but guess I didn't do my homework on the route over and through. There are many paths all over The Sawtooth, and some including the route I chose turned out to be much more difficult than a class III scramble, but hey it was pretty fun anyhow. When I crossed over to the ledges I dropped way too far down the west side and decided to climb higher to attain the ledge at a much easier and higher point. I would recommend studying the route through The Sawtooth much better than I did because I spent more time than needed getting through it. I climbed up to the top of The Sawtooth because it is there, and can very easily be passed much lower on the way to Evans, but that wouldn't be any fun and its pretty cool standing on the edge looking at the exposure down the other side. I then headed over to Evans and realized that there were at least three distinct summits so I decided to hit them all on the way to the Evans true summit. I was disgusted by the road bringing people nearly all the way to the summit on Evans. Not because they don't have a right to be there however they choose, (the mountains are there for all of us to enjoy) but because the cap on the empty summit register was broken and the other summit register was stuffed full of wet paper. Too many people with a chance to ruin one of the cool parts of summiting a peak! IMHO! I headed back to Guanella Pass and decided to drop down the gully onto the west side to hike back out. I had read that the gully was on the climbers left and went down a gully way too far to the left. I think its a mountain goats only route, and I did surprise a group of six goats that wanted nothing to do with me. I made it down though, slowly but surely, and scrambled across the rocks over to where the proper gully exits and found the trail through the Willows. The willows aren't what you have to worry about on the way back though, its the mud that constantly tries to remove your boot, which is rather deep in some spots, like over the ankle deep! The route through the willows is pretty defined but I was getting anxious so I turned east back up the hill towards the good trail out. Hit the parking lot again at about 1:20 pm for an eight hour total trip. All in all I had a great solo trip and climbed my first and second CO fourteeners with some official and unofficial thirteeners thrown in for good measure. Its on to Grays - Torreys tomorrow and La Plata the day after. Then its back to Washington. Climb hard, climb safe, climb happy!

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