Peak(s):  Mt. Bierstadt  -  14,060 feet
Mt. Evans  -  14,264 feet
Date Posted:  10/04/2010
Date Climbed:   08/30/2010
Author:  CinciKid

 Adventure on Bierstadt-Sawtooth-Evans  

I got on the trailhead by 0512 and started off on the obviously marked trail to Mt. Bierstadt. About 3/4 of the way up the sun started to rise and I noticed that it was very cloudy, but I continued on. The hike up Bierstadt was not very challenging, carins guide you pretty much the whole way up. At the top of Bierdstadt, since it was so cloudy, I took shelter in a circle of large rocks to hide me from the wind to provide me an opportunity to warm up and hydrate.
I had not dressed appropriately for the weather, which I would regret later. After I had waited for about 30 minutes for the clouds to pass, the sun came out just at that moment I had decided to continue on through the weather. I found out that I had been about 20 feet from the peak the whole 30 minutes, so that was a relief.
Somehow through all the clouds I found the little coin thats on top of Bierstadt that shows where the summit is.
As the sun came out more, I thought the day was turning into a beautiful day. The clouds rolled away and the view from Bierstadt was great. The temperature rose and at this point I was excited to continue on to Evans.
Next was the Sawtooth. The temperature rose and I took off some of my heavier clothing and made my way through the sawtooth. Along the way I wandered off the path to create some of my own fun. There is a main path but you can also climb over/around stuff to have a little more fun with the hike.
As i got to the other side of the sawtooth I noticed clouds starting to roll back in. I thought that since I had already survived one set of cloud cover, another one wouldnt do me in, so I continued on towards Evans. The image below is bierstadt from the sawtooth
As I started up the ridge to Evans it got cold, windy, and cloudy once again. I put back on my heavy clothing and continued on. After many false summits I again took cover in a circle of rocks for about 30 minutes. The clouds were so dense that they did not let me see along the ridge. At this time I was starting to get very cold and the sweat I had worked up was beginning to feel like ice. The clouds once again broke and I was able to see that Evans was the next peak down and I hiked for about 15 minutes to gain the summit of Mt. Evans.
I knew at this time that bad weather was coming so I asked a guy if I could get a ride, but I realized that the Guanella pass was closed from georgetown, so that wasn't gonna work. This nice guy drove me down evans which gave me a chance to warm up. He dropped me off at the foot of Stanley and as soon as I started to summit it in order to get back to the right side of the ridge it started snowing heavily. At times I could not see more than 10 feet in front of me. I was not dressed for snow and at this time I became severly dehydrated because I knew that if I stopped and took off my gloves to get water from my pack (since I had already used all the water from my camelback) that I would not want to start hiking again. I finally got to the peak and saw bierstadt to my left. I also have no pictures of this snow because I wasn't really in the mood for remembering the moment, I was more focused on getting back to my car. I finally got off toward the parking lot and it suddenly became sunny and hot as I came down the mountain.
I could not find a trail towards my car so I stomped through a couple miles of marshes and got my shoes all soaked and muddy. I hiked the last couple of miles back to my car tired, dehydrated, stinky, and dirty. Looking back at bierstadt and sawtooth it looked like it had been beautiful all day.
I finally got back to my car 204p, 9 hours after I had debarked from the trailhead. It was definitely an adventure to say the least.

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):

 Comments or Questions

Glad it turned out OK
10/05/2010 14:30
Nice pictures. Sounds like this trip was a reminder that things can and will go wrong when you hike 14ers, and you can't take the weather for granted. I am glad this story has a happy ending. Personally, if I have water in my pack, I'm stopping to dig it out and drink it. You are lucky you didn't have more problems in that respect. Interesting way back of hitching a ride down Evans and then traversing around the the Beirstadt trailhead. Glad you were able to make it w/o a trail. We found the marshy area around Beirstadt to be miserable to bushwhack through, averaging a little over 1 mph through that area.


Interesting trip report
12/27/2010 03:38
Thanks for posting your story, a good warning about taking the proper attire even if it's warm down below.

   Using your forum id/password. Not registered? Click Here

Caution: The information contained in this report may not be accurate and should not be the only resource used in preparation for your climb. Failure to have the necessary experience, physical conditioning, supplies or equipment can result in injury or death. and the author(s) of this report provide no warranties, either express or implied, that the information provided is accurate or reliable. By using the information provided, you agree to indemnify and hold harmless and the report author(s) with respect to any claims and demands against them, including any attorney fees and expenses. Please read the Safety and Disclaimer pages for more information.

© 2017®, 14ers Inc.