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|Conditions Information||Posted By||Posted On|
|2015-11-29||Route: West Ridge from Guanella Pass
Info: Not many people on Bierstadt and Evans this weekend. We hit the trail around 6:30 with temperatures in the single digits. The snow from this weekend was very powdery, and had not been tamped down, and going through the willows was much easier with snowshoes. By the time we left, the route up Bierstadt had been traveled by less than a handful of people but was mostly packed down and do-able in boots at least up to the first big rise. In a 14er first for us we were the only car in the parking lot before noon when the weather started to turn and the wind came up. The snow still looked pretty thin in the upper reaches, although it‘s about time to start bringing microspikes at least. Instead of going up Bierstadt we cut off the trail and went toward Evans. We battled our way through about 3 feet of fresh powder interspersed with willows up to the gully for the west ridge. There is a bit of snow in the gully, but mostly it is just covering the rocks and there is not much for crampons to get a hold on. Snowshoes are a must in the valley until the trail gets tracked a bit more, and some kind of traction or a reliable set of boots with good tread will help with the vertical portion of the trail. As far as snow conditions, don‘t bother going to Evans or Bierstadt to ski yet, they are still very lightly dusted in the upper reaches.
|2015-11-08||Route: West Ridge from Guanella Pass
Info: Typical thin, early-winter snow cover for most of the route. Unfortunately, the boggy areas in the willows are only partially frozen, so expect slow going through there. There is fairly decent boot currently track in place along the base of the NW shoulder of Bierstadt, which can be utilized to minimized willow-schwacking. In the west-facing gully that gains the Evans massif, we mostly stayed on the south-facing slopes to climber‘s left on the ascent (which are either melted out or have only a thin layer of crusty snow), and took the middle of the gully on the descent - which had quite a bit of deep, unconsolidated snow. Would probably do the S-facing side both ways if doing it again. Above the gully, the tundra flats are a mix of shallow snow with deeper (2‘+) sections. The deep sections were just a bit too short to warrant snowshoes, but expect some postholing. For the time being, there is a pretty good boot track through there as well. The trail on the West Ridge itself is still visible, and is a mix of snow, bare rock, and a little ice. Not too bad yet. We carried snowshoes and microspikes, but did not use them. Spikes might be nice for parts of the gully, but we didn‘t find them essential. Snow cover currently insufficient for snowshoes, though this will likely change soon. A pole was very handy for the numerous creek crossings, occasional snow traverses and general balance. All in all, while there is no one single particularly awful part of it, the whole thing (the willows, the occasional deep postholing, the annoying rock-filled gully, the rather long, high-altitude traverse along the West Ridge and back) makes for a longer and more exhausting day this time of year than the gain and distance alone would tell you. A pretty fun way to do Evans though!
|2015-10-11||Route: West Ridge via Chicago Creek
Info: Did Bierstadt -> Sawtooth -> Evans on Sunday. big wind, but once we were on the right/South side of the sawtooth, we were sheltered. 4 of us on the trip, one took microspikes, but only used them for a brief period. Sawtooth is 90% snow free. Notes: most snow is in the first part leaving Bierstadt, but no difficulty getting across this. as you get close to Evans and start traversing to West side (maybe just before this), there‘s a ledge with exposure to your left that‘s snow covered. I did not enjoy crossing that, but it was short and care got all four of across safely.
|2015-09-06||Route: West Ridge via Mt. Spalding
Info: Temps at the Summit Lake parking lot were in the upper 30‘s at our 7:00 a.m. start time. The wind was fierce at gusts up to about 30 mph, or so which made it feel like the teens! The trail was in fine condition, and there were quite a few folks on the mountain that morning due to the Labor Day crowds. It was a partly cloudy day with no precipitation, and beautiful for enjoying the summit to Mt. Evans. There are a number of cairns which will mark your way up until you get to West Evans where you need to pay closer attention to them since there is quite a bit of talus and boulders there to the summit. There might have been about 150 people crawling around the summit at 10 a.m. when we arrived!
|2015-08-09||Route: Northeast Face
Info: Northeast face route is starting to get a little torn up from traffic. Wildflowers are in full force and mountain goats were putting on a show. Road, Summit Lake Trailhead all in good shape.
|2015-08-07||Route: West Ridge via Chicago Creek
Info: The section of trail above the upper Chicago Lake and on the west flank of Mt. Warren is very bad. It is the section which has been wiped out by avalanches and runoff the last few years. There was a crew from CFI (Colorado Fourteeners Initiative) working on hacking out something presentable but it still a tough go especially coming down. It is very loose soil and rocks and we slipped and fell numerous times. Hiking poles are strongly recommended.
|2015-08-04||Route: West Ridge via Mt. Spalding
Info: UPDATE: Road Reopened! Just checked cotrip.com, and as of this morning the access road has been reopened. Apparently there is still construction being done so there might be delays or other closings but for now it‘s open again (at least until it closes again for the winter!). ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ ACCESS ROAD CLOSED UNTIL AUGUST. Sadly, I wasn‘t able to do my planned hike today as the road to Summit Lake is closed until some time in August. The Mt. Evans website hasn‘t been updated since the winter closing in 2013 so no relevant information was available there. Strange being closed in the peak of the season but I imagine there‘s a good reason. I don‘t know how to get reliable information about when it opens up again, but if you‘re interested in doing this hike, maybe try calling around to the Colorado DOT before heading out.
|2015-07-18||Route: West Ridge from Guanella Pass
Info: Starting at mile 1 to 2.5 be prepared for wet, muddy and cold feet. Tie your laces tight because you will sink in some spots to your shins. No use taking the off trail options because you will still get wet. Wet feet still beat getting your feet stepped on by taking the high traffic Bierstadt trail. Everything is absolutely perfect after 2.5 miles. Bonus - When you get back to the main Bierstadt trail, you can forgo the wooden planks at the small creek crossing and get a convenient shoe and shin cleaning.
|2015-07-06||Route: West Ridge via Chicago Creek
Info: Snow is mostly clear from this route. No additional gear is required but you may want decent waterproof shoes. (not really necessary though) Just FYI - the road to Mt Evans is closed as they are doing construction on it. I had a hard time finding that information on the web. Not sure when it is scheduled to reopen.
|2015-06-30||Route: West Ridge from Guanella Pass
Info: Gear to bring: Wind-blocker, long-sleeve, PANTS, waterproof pants, keens or shoes you can get wet, 2 pairs of socks, hiking boots, hat, light-weight gloves. The marsh is awful and I didn‘t find the trail he was talking about for 1 mile after leaving the Mt. Bierstadt trail. If you walk in 1.5 miles in PAST the rock at elevation 11,575 head directly southwest and you might have luck finding the trail. The guy really needs to update the trail notes. It had rained the night before and so the willows were wet and got my pants soaked. As you can guess the marsh ground is completely wet or muddy- rarely will you find a dry patch. In my opinion have your keens on for the beginning of the hike for about 2.5-3 miles, then once you get to the gully/gulch, switch to your hiking boots. Once you see Evans West Ridge, you‘ll see lots of Cairns that mark the way very nicely! This is my second peak of 53 I will be doing this summer. You can check out my blog at sunshineof1985.com!
|2015-06-22||Route: West Ridge from Guanella Pass
Info: Hiked Evans from Guanella Pass on Monday. Wore trailrunners and used trekking poles. The willows were a sloppy, muddy mess - as expected. The gully is in decent shape (no snow), just be sure to cross over to the climber‘s left about halfway up. There are cairns on both sides and I stayed on the right - big mistake. I made it go, but it‘s a lot more work than going up climber‘s left. There is some snow from the top of the gully to the summit, but it‘s not very deep. On the traverse of the ridge, just watch your step - there was some frozen snow melt on the rocks early in the morning that caught me by surprise a couple of times.
Info: Road‘s still closed, and construction is being done, even on Saturday. Not sure about the weekdays, but the workers are using the entire lane that‘s left to do their job, so please give them a heads up, if you‘re riding on a bike. Bike‘s (and walking the road) seems to be fine, I passed a dozen+ cyclists/people, as well as rangers. Just be aware of the construction. I would wait until the weekend to hit up the road, or after normal work hours if on the weekday. It‘s some serious damage - half the road is gone, at a turn before the downhill to Summit Lake! Not sure what the plan is to fix it! Should be interesting. And, baby goats, everywhere.
|2015-06-18||Route: West Ridge via Mt. Spalding
Info: We attempted to hike Evans yesterday. We decided to turn back at Mt. Spaulding due to some strange looking weather at 9:30. Snow conditions were great! there is still lots of snow above treeline but we had no problems moving on it, no post-holing. we brought snow shoes and micro-spikes and never used either. Doing it again i would probably still bring the snowshoes and spikes just because you never know what to expect, especially this year with all the crazy precipitation.
|2015-04-06||Route: West Ridge from Guanella Pass
Info: Bring snowshoes and an ice axe (traction wouldn‘t be a bad idea either). Very deep snow up to the base of Spalding. I took my snowshoes off at the base of Mount Spalding and I was fine on the ascent. After you get on Spalding, it was very hard packed snow (in the morning). On the way back down it was fairly soft, but manageable without snowshoes. Once I got down to the willows, snowshoes were a must. They were helpful in the morning, but necessary in the afternoon. Very windy, but definitely manageable climbing day!
|2015-03-21||Route: West Ridge via Mt. Spalding
Info: Did not summit. The route had not seen any traffic since the last snowfall on Wed. night and Thursday. We got to the shoulder at around 13,900‘, then tried following the cairns around the SW side of the ridge. We quickly encountered a short, but very suspect, totally snow-baked snow slope that didn‘t look good at all. We decided that staying directly on the ridge would be the only safe way to do the route today, and retraced our steps. A few minutes of poking around the ridge revealed a fair amount of class 3 scrambling on rock interspersed with sugar snow. Certainly not undoable, but it being fairly late in the day, already tired from breaking trail up Spalding earlier (see other entry), and with our 1-year border collie, it wasn‘t in the cards that day. Still a good time!
|2015-03-07||Route: West Ridge from Guanella Pass
Info: Solid trench running from the Guanella Campground parking area up the road and all the way through the Scott Gomer Creek meadows to near 12,000 where Scott Gomer Creek comes down between Mount Spaulding and Gray Wolf Mountain. Above that, fairly snowy with large areas of hard packed snow. Snowshoes required and micro-spikes highly recommended. West ridge is fairly windblown and dry with some decent pockets of snow/ice. Very little snow on the summit proper. The awesome trench is courtesy of SarahT and Kevin Baker‘s group that were ahead of my group. (Thanks guys!)
|2015-01-17||Route: Mt Evans Road
Info: Rode up to the top of Mt Evans Road on my fat bike this past Saturday. Was very windy but otherwise enjoyable. The avy areas on the road we stable and Goliath route was pretty bare. Pretty neat to be up top and have it all to myself. Sure beats a summer day in August.
Info: Went up Goliath route and back down Chicago Creek yesterday. Snowpack almost non-existent on Goliath route, though Chicago Creek was crotch deep snow from first lake to reservoir. Not even the fattest skis or biggest snowshoes could float on that powder. Postholing nightmare. Road looked pretty clear except for one section that has some avy danger present. Easy to hike around if you were on the road. Snow was moving in fast and hard on the way out. Be safe out there.
|2014-11-20||Route: West Ridge from Guanella Pass
Info: Attempted Mt Evans as far as the gully, from Guanella Pass. Once you took the side trail off the main Bierstadt trail, and went into the willows, trail got pretty poor. About 3 inches of soft snow, and the creek crossings/puddles are buried. Ice over top of water is thin, you will break through and some of the water is higher then boot level. Gully also has about 3 inches of soft snow, it hides the rocks and gaps between rocks and so the going is slippery and uncertain. I don‘t think this will be a decent route until more snow falls, as right now its about the worst possible level.
|2014-11-08||Route: West Ridge from Guanella Pass
Info: Trail dry to "large boulder on left" (turn off to Mt Evans trail). Willows section was frozen/snow covered in the morning, and semi slushy in the afternoon. Poles were helpful on the ice. Traction would have made life easier on the ice (just didn‘t feel like getting them out). The gully up to the ridge is dry (this gully sucks coming down).