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|Conditions Information||Posted By||Posted On|
|2014-06-22||Route: West Slopes
Info: There were few snow patches near the summit of Bierstadt. You can the snow patches or bypass and take the rock/boulder route. No ice axe/microspikes/crampon needed but for some folks hiking poles will be useful. Overall, the trail was in very good condition.
|2014-06-22||Route: West Slopes
Info: Smooth sailing on the trail to Bierstadt this morning. The lower trail is sloppy though CFI trail crews are working diligently to install new foot bridges and stepping stones in the worst areas. Still, be prepared to get dirty on the way back to the car. Do you best to avoid trampling the willows through the worst sections. Scott Gomer Creek is running pretty high but there is still enough of a snow bridge to cross without getting wet if you follow the creek about 30 yards upstream. Higher up there was a thin veneer of ice on parts of the trail which made things kind of slick. There are still a couple of snow fields to cross, but there are good trenches through them which should minimize or eliminate post holing for all but the latest hikers. The last of the snow is melting quickly though...
|2014-06-21||Route: West Slopes
Info: Mt. Bierstadt was my third and my wife‘s first 14er. As a friendly reminder for those tackling this 14er in the next week or so, here‘s just a few tips to make your trip more enjoyable regarding the conditions: 1. Wear some type of high ankle, water proof boot/shoe. The lower trails were consistently muddy through the willows. In between board walk areas, it was a wet, sloppy mess. I spent most of the day with wet feet. 2. River crossing about .5 miles in. Please don‘t cross where the trail and river intersect. Heading to Mt. Bierstadt from the parking lot, look up river (left) to find an easier crossing about 50 feet up river. It‘ll keep your toes dry a little longer. 3. Throughout the hike, there were significant (50 feet or more in length) sections of the trail that are snow covered. At times, I sank mid-thigh deep in the wet white stuff. Enjoy the hike! It‘s a great one.
|2014-06-14||Route: Bierstadt, Sawtooth, Evans
Info: We left the Guanella Pass Trailhead at ~5:30 a.m. There was no snow so no need for snowshoes. Initially, the mud on the lower section of the trail was frozen, so it was no problem, we didn‘t get muddy. Photo 1 shows a view of the ridge from Bierstadt to The Sawtooth. We descended Bierstadt via some talus, then traversed snow to the low point of the ridge. It would have been nice to have an ice axe on the snow, but not really with carrying one the whole way for this short section. Hiking poles were adequate. There was no snow on the rest of the ridge around the gendarme or the Sawtooth ledge (see photo #2). There was no snow, just lots of wind, from the Sawtooth to Evans. The trail descending to Scott Gomer Creek was partially snow-covered, and some patches we were able to cross, while others were too soft. Hiking poles were essential in the willows. The Bierstadt trail back to the trailhead was muddy, but after the willows, does it matter?
|2014-06-11||Route: West Slopes
Info: Started on the trail at 6am. Moderate mud and ice on the way up. Some snow patches that are packed enough to walk on during the morning. Snow with post holes near the summit. Very muddy on the way down. Great hike!
|2014-06-07||Route: West Slopes
Info: Started at 5am and snow was soft enough that some of my group members were post holing and it was also muddy. Some icy runoff around 13000 but on the way down it had melted. We had chains/microspikes but no snowshoes. On the way down we were able to glissade a fair portion, maybe 1/4 of it. Willows were redic muddy, as expected. Fun day!
|2014-05-31||Route: West Slopes
Info: Great day for this 14‘er. Microspikes on way up, snowshoes on return. Even with snowshoes, still postholing mid and lower sections. Got snowed on a little bit but cleared fast. Recommend getting out early. We left TH at 7am (late start) and snow softened around 10am.
|2014-05-20||Route: West Slopes
Info: The large and flat meadow/swamp leading up to the first ridge is covered by about three feet of snow and in the morning is icy enough to hike up without post-holing too much. The remainder of the hike has several areas of dry ground and hard windblown snow that you will support quite a bit of weight so there is no worry about post-holing. the summit approach is a field of bare boulders on the left and a large snowy cornice on the right. After 12:00 the snow in the meadow has melted enough to make traversing it without skis or snowshoes almost impossible. If you do not bring the proper equipment or descend too late you will spend at least two hours in the meadow leading up to the trailhead.
|2014-05-10||Route: West Slopes
Info: Road from winter closure to TH mostly free of snow. Once you hit the TH, solid snow all the way to the summit. Snow shoes definitely helpful, but not absolutely needed (you will post hole in the willows).
|2014-04-26||Route: West Slopes
Info: Road is dry up to the winter road closure. Past the closure, the road still has 3-4 ft of snow. Wet slab avalanche activity can be seen at certain points across the road, so I would be weary of any shortcuts between road switchbacks. The willows are solid under snowshoes until about noon at which point I was post holing with 30" snowshoes and had to dig myself out once with my shovel, so start by 6 AM from the winter road closure if possible to avoid this. Past the willows up the mountain, snow is patchy to the point that a ski descent wouldn‘t be much fun anymore. Even so, we were comfortable with snowshoes up to 13,500‘ on our way up and stayed in our micro spikes until the willows on the way down. Wind was characteristic of Bierstadt. Temps over the day ranged from mid-20‘s to mid-30‘s.
|2014-03-25||Route: West Slopes
Info: Road is plowed like always. Snowshoes are a must. We used them to about 13600 for traction and because it was easier than taking them off. Still post holed at times. From the TH we shot straight towards the ridge and stayed to the west of the main trail as the main trail looked to have some deep snow. Picture is of the slopes looking back towards the trail head.
|2014-03-15||Route: West Slopes
Info: 285 was clear and well paved up to Guanella camp (2 mi and ~800‘ elevation from trailhead). Road was well packed from snowmobiles and others. Once on trail, snowshoes are required, and even with them you might posthole. About ~200‘ above treeline, microspikes or crampons would be extremely helpful but not necessarily required.
|2014-03-08||Route: West Slopes
Info: Pretty nice packed down path. we turned around at 13,200‘ and it looked like the path went all the way to the summit. definitely needed snowshoes for the day. we talked to a couple of skiers that had to take their skis off right before the summit and they said they were post holing.
|2014-02-28||Route: West Slopes
Info: The winter closure is about 1.6mi from the trailhead and after about .65mi we cut through the trees to avoid the slopes along the road. Deep snow in the willows which made for the occasional waist-deep post hole. Showshoes are definitely recommended until 12,800‘ at which point it is windblown and bare in places (microspikes would be helpful).
|2013-12-21||Route: West Slopes
Info: Guanella Pass road closed just past Guanella Campground. So this will add about 800 vertical to the standard summer route. The road is 4-6 inches of power, with at least one decently well packed trail. Snowshoes/microspikes/crampons not required for the road, but very helpful. Once you reach the summer TH, the boardwalks are mostly buried under snow, snowshoes not required, but helpful. Microspikes and crampons highly recommended. Some deep snow drifts on the upper slopes, but with careful route-finding, shouldn‘t be much of an issue.
|2013-12-03||Route: West Slopes
Info: It was a nicely-packed trail until today‘s storm brought 4-6in to the Werst Slopes. The trail is well-defined and somewhat packed until you reach the boulder field, and then trail-finding becomes slightly difficult. After Tuesday 12/3 expect drifts up to 2 feet in some places. Snowshoes would be nice, but I managed in knee-high gaiters and microspikes (partly because I was too lazy to stop and make the switch to shoes).
|2013-11-28||Route: West Slopes
Info: Guanella pass is open all the way to the trailhead - made it easy with FWD and snow tires, just a little icy in the early AM. Trail is mostly packed snow, left the snowshoes in the car and didn‘t have many problems, a couple post holes here and there but no big deal. Brought microspikes and probably could have used them in a couple spots, but just rock hopped instead. Killer weather (and sunrise) today.
|2013-11-27||Route: West Slopes
Info: Trail all snow covered, but really packed. No need for snowshoes, around 13,000ft lots of exposed rocks. Ascent trails are nicely made, decent trails....well its seems everyone makes their own.
|2013-11-25||Route: West Slopes
Info: Calf- to Knee-deep wind blown powder for much of the way to the summit today. I decided against flotation, but there were definitely a few places when I wished I had my snow shoes.
|2013-10-27||Route: Bierstadt, Sawtooth, Evans
Info: The trail approaching Bierstadt is somewhat muddy at lower elevation, then somewhat icy at higher elevation. Traction is very nice to have, but not essential. On the way to the Sawtooth, a bit of snow conceals the gaps between boulders and makes for a little postholing, but by in large, the Sawtooth ridge is free of any difficult snow or ice. The traverse to Evans is similarly tame - mostly a pure talus scramble with no interference from snow or ice. The descent gully near the Sawtooth is very navigable, though a bit slippery with loose snow. The marshy section at the foot of the gully among the willows is icy but still quite wet and swampy. This was the only place where my feet got wet (soaked), and I was sporting Gore-Tex trail runners.