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Mt. Bierstadt  
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Route  Conditions Information  Posted By   Posted On    Photos  Comments Likes Dislikes    
2015-01-25  West Slopes  Great conditions, though not much use for snowshoes. Summitted around 10:30 AM. Road in good condition too. Should have brought fat bike. Generalcuz   2015-01-26  0  1    Edit Delete 
2015-01-17  West Slopes  Road from winter closure to trailhead was loosely packed snow ~2-3 inches. Would not recommend taking any of the off-road shortcuts that cut out the switchbacks without skis; snow drifts were waist deep and we sunk in. Additionally, stick to the footprints on the road; I tried cutting corners and ended up waist-deep again. Initial part of the trail from the trailhead was hard-packed snow, easy to walk on, but about halfway to the "base" of the mountain the deep snow started. At least 3 ft deep (crotch-high in places) and incredibly energy-draining to trudge through without snowshoes. About 100-200 meters of these conditions; snowshoes are a necessity. The deep snow ends where the switchback up to the ridge starts, from there it‘s loosely packed snow again. Winds were strong at this point, despite barely feeling a breeze on the previous part of the hike. I couldn‘t estimate, but forecasts had an advisory for 50+mph wind gusts. We ended up turning around at the ridge due to the intimidating wind and weariness from deep snow. Overall, we encountered 13 other hikers on the trail; 5 turned around at the deep snow, 3 turned around at the ridge due to wind, 4 summited around noon, and 1 was on his way up ahead of us (we assume he made it). That makes 5/15 (that we know of) summited on the 17th. My husband and I are in our 20‘s, just moved out to Colo Sprgs in Dec and had not previously attempted a 14er. Most of our experience is limited to 5000-6000 ft-ers on the east coast in fall, spring and summer, so we definitely fall in the beginner category for both winter hiking and 14ers. Gear we used: soft shell jacket/pants, multiple insulating layers, hat, mittens, neck gaiters, microspikes, waterproof hiking boots. We wish we would have had: snowshoes (!), balaclava, ski goggles, trekking poles. Additionally, beware of the heavy traffic on 70W for weekend skiers. We weren‘t expecting it, and it set us back a few hours. Hope this helps! emself   2015-01-18 4  2    Edit Delete 
2015-01-10  West Slopes  Parked at winter closure south of Georgetown, well packed snow on road to summer TH, down to bare pavement just before TH. Well packed snow (with occasionally bare spots) the entire way to summit. Wore microspikes car to car, and partner went without spikes much of the way. Snowshoes were not needed. highplaces   2015-01-11 5  2    Edit Delete 
2015-01-07  West Slopes  I hiked Bierstadt yesterday from the winter closure. From the winter closure Guanella Pass Road and trail until 12,000 feet is hard packed snow, so snowshoes are very helpful for traction and for returning through the willows. In the afternoon the snow gets really soft. I left my snowshoes at 12,000 feet because it was all blowing snow and icy spots. The last 200 feet to the summit on the ridge, "you find your way". javy20040   2015-01-08  0  3    Edit Delete 
2014-11-30  West Slopes  The trail was easy to follow until the upper slopes (50-70%), at which point choosing the most direct line is probably most efficient. The path and the upper slopes were hard pack on account of the wind, which on this day, was very consistent and strong. michaeldavidson   2014-12-01 3     Edit Delete 
2014-11-11  West Slopes  Guanella Road was open all the way to the Bierstadt Trailhead. The thermometer in my car read 8 degrees when I arrived at the trailhead at 9:30 am. There were two to four inches of fresh snow in the willows, but above the willows it was mostly wind blown hard crust. The trail was in good condition the whole way up, although between 13,400 and 13,600 feet the trail was a little hard to follow and I ended up going too far south (I‘ve never been on this trail before). Wind started to pick up once I hit the south ridge, I estimate the wind speed to be around 30-40 mph (http://www.wrh.noaa.gov/pqr/info/wind.php. My dog Polar, even with four legs, couldn‘t walk in a straight line. There are some icy spots near the summit, but nothing you can‘t walk around. I brought ice axe and microspikes, but didn‘t need to use either. Trekking poles were super helpful though when the wind started to knock you around. When I got back to my car at the trailhead at 2 pm, the thermometer read 22 degrees. But when I drove down to Georgetown it went down to 9 degrees. I thought that was interesting. polar   2014-11-11  0     Edit Delete 
2014-11-05  West Slopes  I did Mt. Bierstadt yesterday, in general there is not much snow on the mountains. Trail was hard packed snow until about 12,000 feet. About 12,000 to to 13,300 feet some 2-4 inches of fresh snow. From 13,300 feet to the summit some places between 4 inches to a foot, with a thick layer of ice underneath. Micro-spikes would be great! Here are some pictures from yesterday: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/n99j8eg151hgtw8/AABCHciS7CuiPBvzVT2G_bLIa?dl=0 javy20040   2014-11-06  0  1    Edit Delete 
2014-10-25  West Slopes  The conditions have not changed much since the last report. There was minimal snow until around 12,000 feet. There were some snow drifts that were ankle deep as we got closer to the summit, but nothing deeper than that. It was not particularly icy, either. We had no spikes or hiking poles and felt 100% fine. I was in running shoes, my partner in simple hiking boots. It was a bit windy at the summit but still quite warm. bsmitty101   2014-10-25  0     Edit Delete 
2014-10-18  West Slopes  Similar to the previous post. No snow until roughly 12,000 feet and then mostly patchy, hard-packed snow in several places along the trail. Snow covers the route in several places making route finding a little more difficult. Not a big deal on the weekend though. Very warm conditions. Several hikers in tank tops. Used micro-spikes on the way down, but not entirely necessary. funkyhiker   2014-10-21  0     Edit Delete 
2014-10-15  West Slopes  Did Mt. Bierstadt today. Trail was snow-free until about 12,000 feet. About 12,000 to the summit the trail is hard snow-packed. Micro-spikes would be great! javy20040   2014-10-15  0    1Edit Delete 
2014-10-05  West Slopes  Dry under 12k ft, used micro spikes above 12,500, not must have but made it so much easier and were the envy of many hikers. Super windy day... Bring layers, protect head and hands. apasquel   2014-10-05  0     Edit Delete 
2014-10-04  West Slopes  Perfect day for my first 14er. Started at 8:10. Parking lot was nearly full. Once we were in the snow above the willows, the wind was pretty consistent and frigid. Skies were completely clear and views spectacular. On the descent, some areas in the willows had thawed and gotten a bit muddy. That was around noon. amcg   2014-10-05  0     Edit Delete 
2014-10-03  Bierstadt, Sawtooth, Evans  We attempted Sawtooth, but had to turn back early. Plenty of snow along the route, especially on the approach to Sawtooth from Bierstadt. The conditions along Sawtooth are probably quite dicey. jdroche135   2014-10-04  0     Edit Delete 
2014-09-28  West Slopes  No delays getting to the parking lot, still lots of open spaces around 6:30AM. Morning started off very nice, if a little chilly. Trail was muddy in a couple of spots in the willows, but nothing too bad. Reached the summit around 10:30AM and the weather was starting to turn shortly before then. During the last mile (around 12:45PM), or so, of the decent it started to rain and hail (just a little bit of lentil size hail for a very short time). Devos   2014-09-29 1     Edit Delete 
2014-09-28  West Slopes  Trail is clear and muddy in a tiny few spots in the marsh area. No problems up or down, but supposed to snow tonight, so might be different this week. vusteph   2014-09-28  0     Edit Delete 
2014-09-21  West Slopes  Lots of fog, but basically perfect conditions on the ground. The rocky section of the top might have been just a teensy bit slick because of all the moisture in the air. srspillman   2014-09-22  0  2    Edit Delete 
2014-09-11  West Slopes  Biggest thing to report about is there is road work being done on Guenella Pass between 285 and Duck Lake. The road is completely SHUT DOWN and will prevent you from getting to the trailhead between the hours of 8am-11am and 1pm-3pm with 30 minute delays to be expected. We unfortunately learned this the hard way, and had to back track and get over to I-70 side through Evergreen. Save yourself the hassle and go the I-70 side. Project is slated to go through October of 2015 according to the Forest Service website . The nice ladies at where they make you wait for a pace truck made it seem like it was only for a couple weeks and come Aspen viewing time it wouldn‘t be shutting down during the day. That aside it ended up being a nice clear day for climbing to the top of my FIRST 14er even though it was a foggy day in Denver when we left. The benefits of our delay starting were there was no frost on any of the boardwalks, and saw a Moose near the parking lot. The mud between boardwalk section that others have mention was still there, but none of it was big enough that it is not possible to step on the sides. Other then that the crew working on the trail have done an AMAZING job with all the work they have done moving rocks around to help define the trail and create steps in areas. They said this was the last week for them working on the trail this season, and were going to be working 6 days to try and complete the section they were working on, instead of the 4 they have been doing. We were the last to summit for the day, and did so about 3:30pm. timgetz   2014-09-12  0     Edit Delete 
2014-09-01  West Slopes  I did a quick trail run on the standard route Monday morning. Got kind of a late start leaving the TH at 7:15. The boardwalks were tinged with frost through they weren‘t particularly slick. There was some mud in between the boardwalk sections as well. The creek crossing was slick with a thin veneer of ice covering several of the rocks and logs. I slipped and stuck both feet into the creek which was less than awesome since I was wearing non-waterproof trail runners. Higher up on the trail there was quite a bit more ice where water had been running along during the day and then had frozen over night. Though the areas were avoidable, the ice meant that I really had to to pay attention to where I put my feet in order to avoid slipping. No traction aids were needed, just a little extra care in a few spots. CFI trail crews were doing some work on the upper trail so be aware of them when you‘re heading up. Things seem to be coming along very well for them with what appears to be a much more sustainable trail through the talus being built. The trail sections on final push to the summit were free of ice and snow (though there were some patches of snow in shaded areas between rocks) so no issues there. Cruiser   2014-09-03  0     Edit Delete 
2014-09-01  West Slopes  First time climbing Mt. Bierstadt today. Arrived at 6:30am, and began climbing by 7am. Very crowded today, Labor Day holiday -- parking lot was packed and cars were parked along the road. Temperature was 41 degrees at the trailhead. When we were down in the willows, it was deceptive because we were protected from the wind, and the sun was hitting us, we thought it would have been warmer. But once we got out of the willows and we were completely exposed, the cold wind (gale force winds) was constantly blowing, we‘re guessing upwards of 35MPH. There was also frost on the wood planks through the marsh making them a little slippery and there was a lot of ice and mud on the trail before you got to the scree near the top. The conditions were so brutal, we almost turned around several times, but stayed the course and made it to the summit. cyclelover   2014-09-01  0     Edit Delete 
2014-08-25  West Slopes  Got to east parking lot at 10am... it was full, but west parking lot was not even half full. Still some mud puddles at beginning of trail, but no ice or snow anywhere on trail. It started to sleet slightly at about 12,700‘ but only lasted 20 mins. Workers (volunteers?) were continuing to create stone steps near 13,500‘. The steps make the trail so much easier. About 2 dozen people were descending as we ascended. Only 6 other people at summit when we arrived. On a sad note... found 2 beer cans near summit. Shame on you. Eric Lyders   2014-08-26  0    1Edit Delete 

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