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Mt. Bierstadt  
Report
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Route  Conditions Information  Posted By   Posted On    Photos  Comments Likes Dislikes    
2013-05-18  Northwest Gully  Road to TH still closed although free of ice/snow. Still lots of snow as soon as you hit the trail, mostly compact. Made for easy "attack" up the summit - just head for the summit! Sun hid away most of day allowing me to get by with just the spikes. Postholing I did in the willows was tolerable so I didn‘t bother wearing the snowshoes I carried. Creek was easier to jump over in the morning. On the descent I and two other ladies had trouble crossing due to the melting "creek bank" and we all three took an afternoon dip. Fortunately it was only 1 hour of wet feet for me and at least I stayed warm most of the time. Snow showers in the afternoon made me glad I was already on my descent. Great day! Photo looking towards Grays and Torreys and route up to summit. MissH   2013-05-19 1     Edit Delete 
2013-05-12  West Slopes  Skinned up from the winter gate on the Georgetown side. When we came down the snow on the road was melting very fast and will be gone from the road in a few days. The road will probably not be skiable Monday afternoon. There is still lots of snow from the trailhead, and a few trails are broken through the willows. Floatation is necessary to avoid lots of postholing. DaveSwink   2013-05-13  0  1    Edit Delete 
2013-05-05  West Slopes  Still plenty of snow up there. Snowshoes were very helpful, particularly around the willows and on the way down as the snow started to soften up. It was snowing when we left. esagas   2013-05-05  0     Edit Delete 
2013-04-27  West Slopes  Skinned up Bierstadt today from the Guanella pass side and the summit ski is still in! As long as you do not mind a little Davenporting/billygoating. The snow will go quick though so get after it soon! Here is a link to the CAIC report I filed this afternoon on today‘s snow/avalanche conditions if anyone is interested in more detailed condition information; https://avalanche.state.co.us/obs/obs_report.php?obs_id=19636 . Will try to post some pics later, we shall see if I actually get to it. taylorzs   2013-04-27  0  1    Edit Delete 
2013-04-26  West Slopes  Access is still from winter closure TH on Guanella side. There is a superhighway access to about 12k in a form of snowshoe/skin track. Before the last switchback on the road, aim left (there is a track), it will save you about 200 vertical and 0.5+ mile of hiking/skinning. The track will merge with the "standard" summer route later in the basin. Summit ski is in, but there is a rocky section for about 200 ft below before it opens up. Snowshoes are still needed, but probably less effective in the PM, as the snow in the willows got soggy by 12pm. No avy danger on the route. There is ony one spot that looked steeper than 15 degrees, but benign bypass options exist. Photo 1: Last switchback before getting to summer TH. Keep going through the trees. Photo 2: Overview of the route Photo 3: Rocky section approaching the summit Photo 4: Summit cornice. Don‘t stray too far east. nkan02   2013-04-26 4     Edit Delete 
2013-04-20  West Slopes  It‘s about as wintry as I‘ve ever seen Bierstadt, including previous trips in November, February and March. The road is paved and plowed to the standard winter closure from the Georgetown side, about 1.5 miles short of the Guanella Pass summit. From the closure, the road is buried under a significant amount of snow. It eclipses the guardrail in places. We had to break easy trail in the morning, but by the time we were headed down the Saturday traffic had a firm trench in place. Snowshoes are mandatory beyond the summer TH. One member of our party summited without them, but let‘s just say he‘s unlikely to leave them behind ever again. The snow stays continuous all the way to the top. A summit ski is IN, but sharks are lurking in many areas on the face. We roped up from about 12,000‘ to the summit. The slope angle reaches AT LEAST 20-25 degrees. A fall there might be very bad for the skin on your knees. You can never be too safe. To conclude, a PSA: don‘t be stingy with your sunglasses/goggles. It was very cloudy and snowing most of the day, except for one hour of direct sunlight from 2-3 p.m. I kept waiting for it to get cloudy again and put off pulling out my goggles until it was too late. Three of our four team members have spent most of today nursing snowblindness. Now if you‘ll excuse me, a cold washcloth and a dark room are calling. (sorry for the crappy iPhone pics, forgot my camera at home) PHOTO 1 - Initial trail PHOTO 2 - On the face PHOTO 3 - Summit PHOTO 4 - I‘d rather have a kidney stone P.S. if you lost a snowboard on Bierstadt recently, PM me. SurfNTurf   2013-04-21 4  3  Edit Delete 
2013-02-16  West Slopes  Started at the Georgetown side closure of Guanella Pass. Did not need snowshoes on the road. Through the willows there‘s a nice bootpacked trench. Above treeline the snow was wind scoured. Stayed in boots all day but traction devices may have been handy at times. dpage   2013-02-17 2     Edit Delete 
2013-01-21  West Slopes  Just wanted to clarify some confusion I ran into. Last Friday I was planning on Bierstadt. Got to Georgetown and saw the signs at the end of town...Guanella Pass 11 miles...Road Closed 8.2 miles. I backed off and went to plan B (Sniktau and Cupid) as I didn‘t want to add 5.6 (RT) miles to a late, 10:30 start. Went back Monday and I feel the signs are inaccurate. It only took an extra 40 minutes to get to the summer trailhead. Turned out to be no big deal. I am guessing it‘s closer to an additional 1.5 miles (3 RT). I did two obvious shortcuts of hairpin turns so that helped a little. As in some other recent reports, had microspikes, but never used them. With the mild temps it seemed more like a fall hike than winter...only with a heavier pack and a softer trail underfoot. Very pleasant...only one on the mountain...on a holiday too. Who says the 14ers are getting crowded? The hardest thing was pacing myself as to not break a full on sweat... and the frozen creek clossing, where it would be easy to do a "banana peel" fall if not careful. Also, for anyone considering the Sawtooth Ridge, here are a few photos to go with taylorzs recent report. powhound   2013-01-23 4     Edit Delete 
2013-01-17  Bierstadt, Sawtooth, Evans  Did the Sawtooth yesterday. Lots of snow on the east side of the ridge. Not enough snow to ski anywhere but plenty of waist deep postholing on the traverse. It was fun, but a very long day and not easy going at all. Third time to do the Sawtooth, first time in winter. Past scrambles on the Sawtooth, I found easy. Yesterday was very challending. Ice, postholey snow, and increased exposure due to current conditions, made it quite the day. taylorzs   2013-01-18  0  3    Edit Delete 
2013-01-06  Bierstadt, Sawtooth, Evans  Paul (CaptainP) and I hiked Biersadt and Evans on Sunday the 6th. Paul used the Grant side approach, and got stuck in his truck, needing chains to get out. He parked at the gate. I took the Georgetown approach and enjoyed a well groomed road to the gate closure. We each left the car at 730am and met at the TH at 8am. The roads are well groomed and go by quickly. The trail to Bierstadt is boot packed and the upper slopes are not holding much snow. The Sawtooth is a different story. The east side was completely covered. An ice axe is 100% necessary. The west side ledges are holding enough snow to catch your attention. I have done the Sawtooth in summer, and fall, and found this trip to be a much more difficult and committing. The trail to Evans has snow, but snowshoes are not needed. We descended the dreaded willows route and were ecstatic to find a well packed trench leading all the way back to the main trail. We did not use snowshoes (or bring them). I used microspikes. Paul did not. Sorry, I don’t have any good photos of the ‘Tooth. I Man   2013-01-07  0  2    Edit Delete 
2013-01-01  West Slopes  Went up today. New snow did not change need for snowshoes; they are unnecessary and we booted the entire way up. A little bit of postholing up top but too rocky for snowshoes to be useful up there anyway. Most of the trail was packed but a bit loose, except for the finish. Agree that spikes could be useful! Weather was cold, calm and clear - a perfect combination! Surprised we only saw a few people on it. robbieflick   2013-01-01  0     Edit Delete 
2012-12-30  West Slopes  To reiterate MountainHiker‘s post - there was no need for snowshoes on the entire route. Took spikes but never put them on. Certainly this could change with the snowfall predicted for today. If conditions remain as they were on Sunday, Bierstadt would make for a nice, easy New Year‘s Day climb. Image 1 shows the boot pack trail through the willows. Image 2 shows the conditions above 13K Jay521   2012-12-31 2  2    Edit Delete 
2012-12-29  West Slopes  From Naylor Lake winter TH. Well packed trail on road to Guanella Pass and through the willows. Above the willows the packed trail braids away from the real trail in several places. We left the snowshoes in the Jeep. MountainHikerette wore MicroSpikes but I was fine without them. Used poles. Some did wear snowshoes. MountainHiker   2012-12-29  0     Edit Delete 
2012-12-21  West Slopes  Guanella Pass Closed 8.2 miles up from the Georgetown side for winter. Shin to knee deep snow on Guanella Pass Rd past Winter Road Block. I put on snow shoes immediately on the other side of the road block and made it to the TH in about a hour. The snow remained deep through the Scott Gomer Creek area. It wasn‘t until above approx 12,300 ft on the shoulder before the snow thinned out to where it was manageable breaking trail without snowshoes. From there to just below the final summit pitch were a few snow drifts that were avoidable by staying on the rocks. Just before the final summit pitch there was a deep patch of snow approx 25-40 yards wide, that in places I sunk up to my waist. jnorris   2012-12-23  0     Edit Delete 
2012-12-20  West Slopes  Very little snow above 12,000‘. I was hoping for the elusive west slopes summit snowboard descent after recent snow cycles. Oh well. Approached from Grant side. Lots of snow below treeline and some great, although avalanche prone snow conditions over in the old Guanella pass ski area. I did not see any avy activity but lots of whumping and cracking. The picture was taken from the top of Guanella pass ski area. taylorzs   2012-12-21 1  4    Edit Delete 
2012-12-07  West slopes  A few snow patches along the trail. Brought microspikes, but never felt the need to put them on. Very windy at the top. Felt like fall conditions with some added windchill. As we were headed down there was a little snowfall, but I doubt it had a significant impact on the trail. sheller   2012-12-10  0       
2012-11-24  Bierstadt, Sawtooth, Evans  The road was dry and clean, no problem there. Started hiking in the morning and the mud path was frozen, and the creek was mostly iced. Ascend to Bierstadt was clean, very little snow. The Sawtooth traverse however had enough snow where gators is a MUST, deep snow in unexpected places - between the rocks and just didn‘t want to take chance to wet the feet. The climbing of the sawtooth is rather clean of snow. Evans ascend has no snow. We descended through the gully between Spalding and the Sawtooth - no snow there, nice and dry. The creek path is as usual hard to find, but the most of the water is frozen and you don‘t have to deal with mud. Again: BRING GATORS, no need for micro-spikes or snowshoes. Thank you! igoreka   2012-11-26  0     Edit Delete 
2012-11-23  West Slopes  Road to the trailhead via Georgetown was entirely clear save for some Bighorn Sheep on the road. West slopes were clear with packed dirty snow in spots (I had microspikes but did not need them on the packed sections). Overall the trail is clear and 85% dirt at the lower elevations with packed snow on the trail more prevalent above 13,200. BlackCoffeeFix   2012-11-25 1     Edit Delete 
2012-11-06  Bierstadt, Sawtooth, Evans  No snow on the way to Bierstadt. Some snow one the sawtooth. Not much of a problem with footing, though it did hide some rocks. No snow on Evans. The biggest issue was after dropping down from Evans. The return through the willows had some very bad smooth ice (from melting and refreezing) that was very slick. No consequences though other than a bruised tailbone. jmd_10   2012-11-07  0     Edit Delete 
2012-11-04  West Slopes  There is almost no snow/ice on the way up. some patches but everything is clear. you can feel the weather change for sure. it was obe cold climb KTriver07   2012-11-04 2     Edit Delete 

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