Mt. Bierstadt (Front Range, Guanella Pass TH)
- Attempted 8/31/14
- 7 miles round trip
- Apprx 4-5 hr hike
- Easy 14er (Class 2 – Standard West Slopes approach)
- +2,850′ net elevation gain to peak (14,060′)
- sunblock (at that elevation, you’ll feel the sun)
- tech shell (you will want a shell to protect you from the wind, which was 50+ mph at the peak when I went)
- Soft shell (always layer when attempting a 14er)
- headlamp (you always start a 14er in the early morning if you intend to summit)
Some friends and I decided to take a trip for labor day weekend at summit a 14er to start off our trip. We intended to complete the Mt. Bierstadt (class 2) and Mt. Evans (class 2) combo via the sawtooth connection (class 3). We left Boulder around 3:30a with all of our hiking gear. We then likely started hiking around 5:30a or so.
Once the sun came out to say hello, we could see our intended route!
It felt like this valley was never going to reach the 14ers!
It takes awhile before you actually begin gaining elevation, but it all happens pretty quick once you reach the ascent up the mountain!
The hike of a 14er always begins to take a toll on the lungs around 13,500′ or so. In our case, the wind and sleet picked up right around then, adding even further to the challenge of summitting!
A small rock scramble is necessary to reach the peak!
While we intended to do the combo, common sense told us that it was far too windy and wet to begin to attempt the dangerous class 3 sawtooth (too much exposure for wetness or wind to be safe). Overall, I really want to attempt this again this summer on a day I know I can make it over the sawtooth over to Mt. Evans (because taking a car to the peak of Evan’s DOES NOT count). Great 14er if you are looking for something easier but still in the front range.