Mt. Bierstadt  
Condition Updates  
Route: West Slopes
Posted On: 2011-07-07, By: Andymcp1
Info: Trail is snow free from parking lot to summit. Only a few slightly muddy spots that were easily avoidable. The entire hike is in great condition! 
Route: West Slopes
Posted On: 2011-06-28, By: wlmiller
Info: A group of 4 of us decided to hike Bierstadt as our warm-up hike for the summer. We went up on Monday, June 13th and ran into quite a few other groups hiking the West Slopes side of the mountain. Overall, it was a lovely hike on the way up. CDOT has strange closure hours for the road up to Guanella Pass coming from the Georgetown side, so we chose to come in from the Grant side and had no problems getting up to the parking lot. We started out around 8ish and there was still a lot of snow near the base, but once you get up to the higher elevations, it was pretty much clear. The early morning freeze was great since there was snow all across the willow fields and it made it possible to walk across the top of the snow instead of postholing, but beware of some of the snow and ice going up. We had a seasoned hiker who slipped and fell and almost broke her arm. After bandaging her up, we continued to climb and made it to the summit around 11-11:30. (We climbed with people from WA & KS so they were a little slower going.) After summiting, we were thinking about doing the Sawtooth, but it looked way too scary for the time being and we are glad we chose not to attempt it. We headed back down and all of the snow fields we walked across earlier were turning soft, giving us problems on the way out. Additionally, the mud was outta control too as all of the melt turned to mud down lower. Overall, everything was clear and it was a great hike to start out our season! 
1
Route: Bierstadt, Sawtooth, Evans
Posted On: 2011-06-26, By: joelsteidl
Info: Up to Bierstadt is pretty dry. The Sawtooth had some patches of snow. Please evaluate carefully before crossing any snow. Let me take a second to remind everyone how serious the Sawtooth is. It is a wonderful ridge climb, but it is not a walkup. I did this route yesterday when a lady fell and died. (God bless her family...so sad). 
1
Route: West Slopes
Posted On: 2011-06-24, By: mtnmike
Info: Most of the snow is gone, except for brief stretches above the saddle. Lots of mud and muck down around the willows, but that‘ll probably be dried up in a week or so. All in all, summer conditions!! 
Route: Bierstadt, Sawtooth, Evans
Posted On: 2011-06-20, By: barbuckl
Info: Completed the Combo route solo up the Bierstadt West Slopes, across the Sawtooth, up the Mt. Evans west ridge and then back down the gully starting from the saddle between Mt Spalding and the Sawtooth. The route up Bierstadt at 8:00 am was mostly dry with occasional mud and small snowfields. Everything was passable with only hiking boots. I began the descent onto the Sawtooth ridge at 10:30 am after a short break. The route crossed five moderate to steep snowfields mixed in with dry rock and boulder fields. This was my first time attempting the route and I felt the 14ers.com description and scattered cairns along the way made route finding pretty obvious as long as I paid attention. The first two snowfields were relatively solid and I was able to kick in supportive foot holds sinking 4-8 inches. The remaining fields became slushy around 11:30 am with moderate postholing up to waist deep at times. All snow was passable in hiking boots only but snowshoes or crampons may help less experienced climbers. I used trekking poles while on the snow but hands or an ice axe would also work depending on your comfort level. The ramp past the gendarme was dry/easy terrain. The hike to Evans was also dry and in good shape allowing me to summit by 1:30 pm. The first 3/4 of the descent gully was loose, dry, and steep rock following a small trail. The bottom 1/4 of the gully was deep snow that was soft by the early afternoon causing waist to chest deep postholing so I decided to glissade down the snow sliding on my butt and using by heels to control speed. Overall there was probably 300 meters of sliding. You could hike down the snow easily with snowshoes but with only hiking boots today, glissading was the only good option. Exiting the snow filled gully was a small game trail that crossed soggy marshes, thick willow fields, and countless snowfields. For the next few weeks, the bottom stretch of the gully back to the main trail to the parking lot will be a frustrating slog through cold water, deep snow, and lots of mud. You will give up on all attempts to stay dry and will willingly accept walking through mud and streams to avoid the thick snow filled willows. After passing the last of the large beaver ponds on your right, find a game trail that meanders through the willows towards the start of the Bierstadt trail and finish the last ½ mile on the well travelled and muddy trail to the parking lot. I finished at 4:30 pm without any major difficulties except for navigating through the willows and mud. Overall the route was in good shape with just enough difficulty and snow to make for a very enjoyable day despite constant winds in the 20-40 MPH range. I recommend bringing 2-3 pairs of socks and gaitors to keep your feet dryer. 
1
Route: West Slopes
Posted On: 2011-06-13, By: mediocre_climber
Info: Finally being able to access Bierstadt from I-70 is a welcome development. Snowshoes are not needed on this peak, though one may encounter a bit of post-holing on the way down after the snow softens. The peak is very dry on the upper flanks, and though I saw some people carrying ice axes (as well as snowshoes), neither are needed. Great early summer conditions will be found. 
3
Route: West Slopes
Posted On: 2011-06-07, By: hugemike
Info: Came up Guanella Pass from Georgetown. Road is closed from 8:00am-11:00am and 1:00pm-3:00pm M-F. Trailhead restroom still buried in snow, upper parking lot was buried also. Climbing was not bad at all coming back was the issue. Should have brought snow shoes! Postholing up above the waist! 
Route: West Slopes
Posted On: 2011-06-04, By: mtnmike
Info: Great climb this morning, pre-dawn. Deep firm snow through the Willows, then intermittent hardpack to the summit. Crampons/microspikes may be useful high up, but some kind of floatation is definitely required down low. After sunrise the stuff softens fast and without snowshoes, the postholing is painful! 
2
Route: West Slopes
Posted On: 2011-05-22, By: Jay521
Info: Snowshoes mandatory, traction devices very helpful. Be sure and start early because the snow turns to mush before noon. 
Route: West Slopes
Posted On: 2011-05-08, By: ktrainor
Info: The road up from Grant is passable up to the last switch back before the winter closure. I used my 4wd for one section about a mile back from where the road is closed. Beyond the closure, the road is snow packed all the way to the trailhead. From the trailhead there is a well defined track up to the summit. Overall conditions are good, enjoy! 
Route: West Slopes
Posted On: 2011-03-05, By: Walk29
Info: Guanella Pass road had too much snow for my Forester at mile marker 8 which is 5 miles south of the trailhead. Add 10 miles roundtrip! The snow is deep in the willows and we postholed a lot due to the warm day. Only made it to 12,200 feet. My first trip report will be coming soon. 
Route: West Slopes
Posted On: 2011-02-12, By: Br0k3r
Info: 3:00 AM Guanella Pass not accessible from the south 8 miles in. Snow too deep for clearance on 4x4 jeep grand cherokee with chains. Adds extra 8 miles roundtrip to the summit. 
Route: West Slopes
Posted On: 2010-12-06, By: rijaca
Info: The road up to Guanella Pass from Grant is gated at Duck Lake (~1.5 miles below Pass). Some snow on the road (before and after the gate). We put in a good track through the snow in the willows and didn‘t need snowshoes. The slopes are wind scoured above the willows. 
Route: West Slopes
Posted On: 2010-11-24, By: bednorz41@hotmail.com
Info: 14ers, I attempted Bierstadt on Tuesday Nov 23 but only made it up to the ridge at about 12,000. The road up to Duck Lake required chains to get to it but then it got plowed while I was hiking. The road after Duck lake had some snow on it but not a lot but the gate was closed. I did not need snowshoes. I got started to late to summit and not come down in the dark. Any day out hiking is better than sitting at home. Matt Bednorz 
Route: West Slopes
Posted On: 2010-11-22, By: Satama
Info: Road from Grant to the trailhead is/was open but after the winter closure gate would probably require a 4WD vehicle. Snow was pretty wind blown off the west slopes to the north and east sides where there was a lot of wind loading. There were drifts in places along the route but the snow was mostly packed down by the wind and there was very little ice. Didn‘t require any sort of traction devices to reach the summit. The wind was pretty intense at times. Snowshoes would be helpful for some short stretches to prevent postholing but weren‘t needed for most of the route to the summit. 

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