Mt. Bierstadt  
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2016-06-19  Route: West Slopes
Info: Beautiful day for a hike. It was pretty windy at the summit, however. Started at 6:15am and summited at 9:15. Only one or two small muddy spots. Otherwise, a great time! 
rwf66  2016-06-19   2             
2016-06-18  Route: West Slopes
Info: Late (8:30) start, already 200+ people on the mountain. Good conditions, easy stream crossing and one small snowfield that is easily avoided (although there was some post-hole potential in the snowfield). Crowded (as is to be expected mid morning on a Saturday). Always sad to watch so many people off the trail though... 
illbread_  2016-06-19   0             
2016-06-18  Route: West Slopes
Info: Pre-sunrise hike on Thurs. morning 06/16/16. Easy stream crossing. Still a few small snow fields that were frozen as I was pre-dawn. I brought an ice axe hoping for enough snow left for some glissading down, but not the case. Plenty of frozen runoff on the trail if the temp is low so spikes could be helpful, but not really required. Sunrise on the summit was awesome although the smoke from the New Mexico fires is interfering with the views. 
steve4450  2016-06-18   0             
2016-06-14  Route: Bierstadt, Sawtooth, Evans
Info: Pretty basic up to Bierstadt, the sawtooth gap was pretty Gnarly with some snow fields below the notch, but negotiable. Some ice on the west path before the rock wall so be careful and watch where you step! After we got around and up the gap was clear sailing to the west ridge of Evans. Took a minute to get on the right path after leaving the rock scrambling above the gap and there was a intermittent snow along the rest of the way to Evans, BUT not deep at all and didn't need snowshoes or spikes...for any of it really. Did some glissading down the gulch to Scott Gomer Creek, still a lot of snow there, but you can see the snow line from Guanella pass. Be ready to be wet and muddy on the hike out back to the Bierstadt Trail. Pants (for the scree & glissading), extra layer or two for the summit, and food/snacks/water and you can do it too! 
hockypck13  2016-06-14   5   7          
2016-06-11  Route: West Slopes
Info: Left the parking lot at 7:15am. The lot was full, but there were still many close spots on the road--it was much less crowded than I expected. There are patches of snow, but they are short and easy to get through. The last 200' has a lot of snow, but it can be completely avoided if you are ok with bouldering around the rocks. Snowshoes are unnecessary even if you choose the snow route at the top. Summitted at 9:45. Sunny, a little chilly, a light breeze, and clear skies made it an awesome summit. Like usual, it was very crowded though. Glissaded down one section using pre-existing tracks. Back to the car by noon. 
quinnwolf  2016-06-11   4   2          
2016-06-10  Route: West Slopes
Info: I started from the parking lot at mid-morning. Encountered lots of mud through the willows. The stream crossing was a challenge due to high water. 95% of the trail was clear of snow. The sections with snow were packed and supported my weight (210) nicely. Encountered few difficulties. 
duncanmil  2016-06-11   0             
2016-06-08  Route: West Slopes
Info: I decided to go early, because I had to go to work after and was hoping the willows wouldn't be as muddy on the way down. I hit the Guanella Pass TH at about 4:40am and it the trail was pretty stable with some muddy spots. The only issue I had was the creek that runs through. It was a bit deeper than I expected and I ended up stepping in it and having cold and wet feet for the whole hike. And after skiing all winter, I'm used to having cold feet! I got off the trail somehow, because it was dark, and hiked up the talus field most of the way. Probably could have just traversed across and hit the trail, but it was fun so I kept doing it. Some postholing, but this was pretty much only because I wasn't on the trail. There's a good amount of snow on the ridge, and it was pretty hard packed at 730ish when I was coming down. You definitely don't need crampons, and I didn't have any microspikes. I wouldn't bring them if I knew the conditions, just because it would have been more of a hassle than it would be worth, for me. I slipped a few times on the way down because of ice I couldn't see. By the time I got to the willows again it was much muddier, but again not bad (unless you really don't want to get your shoes dirty, lol). 
nat724  2016-06-10   0             
2016-06-05  Route: Bierstadt, Sawtooth, Evans
Info: The Sawtooth was interesting in the soft spring snow. Summited Bierstadt around 7am then went for Evans. There were old footprints to follow on the traverse, and kudos to who ever placed these! Snow was soft off the east side of the sawtooth (obviously in the sun) but could become unstable later in the day. Crampons are handy to traverse the ridge on the west side where the snow is more solid, but if you are feeling risky you can rock hop on the loose talus near the cliffs edge, your call really. The trek over to Evans was fine, snow in the gully on the way back to Guanella Pass was terrible with major postholing up to your waist at the base of the gully... The venture through the willows was nightmarish to say the least with swamp, mud, rivers, and large melting snow drifts making this quite unpleasant. 
asnellstrom  2016-06-06   3   4          
2016-06-04  Route: West Slopes
Info: Road is great shape, very few cars when I got there at 5:30 AM. The overnight lows for the trailhead were predicted in the 40's but we got a nice hard freeze due to a clear night. Bootpack is in good shape but the snow bridge over Scott Gomer creek doesn't look likely to last more than a week. Still 1-2 feet of snow in the willows. Very little snow on the actual west slope which lured tractionless hikers up to the continuous snowfields above ~12,500. Took a look at the Sawtooth - no boot tracks visible and still a decent amount of snow. I think the path back down from Evans postholing through the willows would be the worst part. Might want to wait for that to melt out! 
HikerBox  2016-06-06   0   2          
2016-06-04  Route: West Slopes
Info: Left the trailhead just before 6 AM. Snow was firm through the willows and across the creek, may have postholed once or twice. After the willows trail is mostly clear and easy to follow up the shoulder. Tried to stay as close to the summer trail as possible though many others went straight for the summit. Was able to mostly avoid snow patches on the steeper upper portion of the shoulder but what snow I did cross was easy enough to kick footholds into. On the final push up to the summit spikes would have been nice (snow was very hard) but I made do with poles and caution. Summitted at 9:15 and it was pretty crowded. My descent was uneventful until I got back to the willows... By 11 AM sun and lots of hikers turned the snow into mush. It was so soft I doubt snowshoes would have done any good. Lots of 3+ foot postholing but the snow bridge across the creek (off to the right as you descend) was still soild least. Back to the trailhead at noon. 
Owen Puffenberger  2016-06-04   0             
2016-06-04  Route: West Slopes
Info: Got to the TH at 4:45. Very sloppy snowmud mix through the willows. No traction or flotation needed at that time of the morning. Snow was just firm enough on the way up to only need microspikes. Reached summit at 7:00. On the way down, it warmed up very quickly and I occasionally broke through the snow. Not enough to make me put on my snowshoes. Willows even sloppier on the way down. Start earlyfinish early = No problems. 
das3596  2016-06-04   3   1          
2016-06-03  Route: West Slopes
Info: Started at 7:00, reached the summit at 10:30. Wore microspikes...I think they were necessary, but most people were without them. Really warmed up on the way down and snow got super soft. Postholed several times but snow shoes wouldn't have really helped.  
juliamay  2016-06-04   0             
2016-05-30  Route: West Slopes
Info: We figured with Memorial Day it would be crazy busy so we decided to car camp at the trailhead. We set out at 5:30AM this morning as recent trip reports mentioned lots of post-holing later in the day. We didn't have microspikes/snowshoes/or trekking poles but figured we'd turn back if we felt unprepared. This was our second 14er (1st was Huron Peak in early June of 2013) but we now live in Aurora so we were able to actually catch our breath while hiking and it was easier than coming from sea level. Snow was nice and firm-packed and the trail was easy to identify. There were a few places where ice on trail had frozen and it was super slick. I actually slid and fell down just in the parking lot and we saw a few people slip on the trail. We reached the summit at 8:50AM but took our time getting there and took frequent breaks. It was quite windy at times, especially on the summit. Going down the snow started to soften and it was slippery at times. Conditions were good for some brief glissades. We both post-holed a couple times (maybe five or less) and made it back to the car at 11:15AM. The wind had picked up considerably and clouds were quickly blowing in. There were a few stray raindrops. Snow was softening and hard to find a good path at times. Definitely recommend starting early with all the snow still there. 
sarahmax  2016-05-30   0             
2016-05-29  Route: West Slopes
Info: This was kind of a last minute decision hike. Got to the parking lot around 930 am, got our stuff together and the dogs ready (4 yo. jack russell/terrier mix & 6 mo. German wire-haired pointer), used the rest rooms and started for the trail. Stopped and signed the register and took a pic of the trail map (as I always do). There was still quite a bit of snow on the ground which not only made it difficult to walk, but also difficult to keep on the trail. Since this was our first 14'er and first time at Bierstadt, also not many people to follow, and not many signs showing where the path was, we had no idea where we were going. So I did the only thing I could think of, follow the most traveled road, on the way back down I realized we missed most of the trail going up and were basically climbing the side of the mountain, in the snow. There was a bit of slipping and falling through the snow all the way up and down the mountain. When we were able to find the trail, it was really muddy do to the melting snow. We made it to the peak by 2-230pm (so a good 5 hours up). At the peak there is a tube tied to a rock that contains a list where you put your name, where you live, and a short message, which kind of gives you that sense of accomplishment. The weather was pretty good, mostly sunny with random gusts of wind which blew in clouds that would periodically block out the sun, weather app said it was 30 degrees but due to work it felt much warmer. Storm clouds could be seen coming in from the peak, and we made it back to the car right before a nasty rain came through ( descent was only 2 hours). Both of my pups were troopers on this hike, had to carry my older pup at one point heading back down due to her legs being tired but she soon regained strength and finished the hike. I will definitely have to try this hike again in July when the snow is melted and we can see the trail. Overall it was a great experience, except for the sun burn i got (I forget im not at sea level anymore and I actually can get burnt lol). 
morefitt303  2016-05-30   8             
2016-05-25  Route: West Slopes
Info: Goal was to see the sunrise from the top of Mt. Bierstadt today, May 25. Left from closure at the campground at 1:45am. I didn't wear snowshoes or microspikes going up, had no problems with post holing the whole hike. The ascent was pretty straightforward - I had plenty of moon light, plus my lamp and plenty of tracks to lead the way, but there were plenty of "pick your own line" moments, particularly in the willows. The firm snow made it pretty easy to go wherever I wanted in terms of my route. Wind picked up significantly around 12,500', and then it really picked up when I reached the summit at 5:30, just in time to see the sun peeking over Evans. I was pretty cold and unable to find any reprieve from the wind at the summit so I didn't hang out long. I wore microspikes for the first 500' of the descent then didn't need them or snowshoes the rest of the way down. Crust was supportive of my weight (165 + 20lb pack) coming back through the willows/Scott Gomer/the trailhead at 7:30am. The route from the trailhead is still about 90% snow covered, but it's getting pretty thin in most places. I was back at my car by 8AM - hike stats were 9.8 miles in 6 hours 15 minutes, net elevation gain 3600'. 
lrosenmayer6  2016-05-25   6             
2016-05-22  Route: West Slopes
Info: Headed up today and had a great time - bluebird to start and scattered clouds on the finish, snowpack was firm enough to forego snowshoes on the ascent. The decent was fine, only because I had snowshoes. Lots of groups were getting stuck post-holing their way out. So bring snowshoes or other floatation and have a blast. 
emassof  2016-05-22   0             
2016-05-21  Route: West Slopes
Info: Conditions are not to bad if you get an early start, i left lot below closed gate @ 6am and hit summit by 8:47am, the face was windy and on decent the tundra was beginning to soften and ended up post holing about 10ish times not enough to warrant me putting on my snow shoes i was at the parking lot by 11am below gate. i would foresee that as long as an early start is made it should be a decent endeavor the next few days (do not try and forge your own path across the meadow) saw a few trying and they were posthole masters by the end. as far as layers all i "needed and used" was rain/wind breaker, gators, trekking poles, hydro, long underwear, zip off leg pants, shades, hat, and a decent pair of boots...only thing i used out of my 27 lb. pack was the dang sign and thank you to whoever took the picture for me @ summit with my sign. 
Ionizedsoul  2016-05-21   7             
2016-05-20  Route: West Slopes
Info: Road is dry to the TH but blocked at the winter closure. I believe Clear Creek County will open it next week. Good trench to the top. An early start is recommended as later in the day, the snow gets pretty soft and snowshoes are beneficial. I will post pics later. 
Jay521  2016-05-20   0             
2016-05-14  Route: West Slopes
Info: *Falcor's owner - your picture is attached! Guanella Pass road is paved but the gate it still shut, so you'll need to park at the Guanella Pass Campground and walk 1.75 miles up to the Guanella Pass TH. You'll know you've reached the TH when you see bathrooms (inaccessible due to snow) on your right. The ascent is relatively easy but I recommend wearing snowshoes. I did not wear snowshoes on my ascent but was very happy to have them on my way down (snow can be slick and hard in some steep areas). Snow is packed but I was still post holing up to my shins in some areas. It was a pretty windy day but we were expecting storms by the afternoon. I recommend starting EARLY, giving yourself about 4 hours to summit if you're a slower hiker. If you're inexperienced with 14ers, be sure to prepare correctly! Even "easy" 14ers can be dangerous. Dress appropriately (waterproof gloves, hiking boots, lots of layers as the wind at the peak will freeze you), research if you need snowshoes or microspikes, invest in some trekking poles, etc. Better to be overprepared with a little extra gear than halfway up a mountain and miserable. Also, pack a snack!  
LilSpookies  2016-05-14   3             
2016-05-13  Route: West Slopes
Info: I wanted to write to add to savedbygrace's condition report because I am the guy with the dog they were referring to. I began my hike from the winter parking lot around 10:00 AM. I got a much later start than anticipated, and this will be the last time I ignore the rules about being off the mountain before afternoon. I always thought it was because the weather conditions can get bad, but failed to realize it is also so you can avoid post holing your way back out due to the snow/ice pack melt. From the trail head across the willows/marsh area I followed the footsteps through and everything went fine. I waited to put my snowshoes on until probably the last 1/4 of the hike to the summit. I got to the summit around 215-230, stayed for a short 15-20 minutes, and began my descent. The descent was a bit slick but nothing too bad, up until the valley/willows. This is where the trip became quite horrifying, and I am writing so no one makes the same mistake. It was around 4-430 when I began to try and make my way through the willows. I had gone about 1/4-1/2 a mile when I looked back and realized the last girl on the mountain was stuck behind me. I post holed back to her, and we tried to decide the best route to get out as I could see the beginning of the trail head. At this point it was 530, and I knew there was no time to play around. We followed the footsteps/trail out and postholed, crawled, etc. to the trail head/guanella pass road and got to it at around 8 pm. I had no water left from about 6 pm onward (I began the day with over 4 liters of water) and frostbite had set in on my feet and left hand/fingertips. I write this part because I want anyone attempting it in the current condition to be sure to bring enough water, and be sure to start EARLY so this doesn't happen to you. I could go into greater detail, but I just want the main point to be : start this hike early as possible, and keep in mind on your way out you may have to post hole quite a ways to get back to trail head (my estimate would be 1.5 miles). Snowshoes did not help in the willow tree area, in fact, it made it worse because getting stuck with snow shoes made it more difficult to get my feet back out of snow. Other Info : A man who was working on the roads told me as I was walking up the guanella pass road that the road should be opened up to the trail head very soon. This will aid in the hike only being 7 miles RT instead of 10.5-11. I don't want this report to deter anyone, as I made a big mistake in starting so late. Had I left at the correct time I think this would've all been avoided and the descent would have been just as pleasant as the ascent. So I I just wanted to leave a word of warning because, it could've proved to be a deadly mistake. 
beb003  2016-05-16   0             

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