Peak(s):  Mt. Bierstadt  -  14,060 feet
Mt. Evans  -  14,264 feet
Date Posted:  08/12/2007
Date Climbed:   08/09/2007
Author:  Gabe K
 The Sawtooth (my first class 3)   

5 Summits in 5 Days Baby!!!
1) Shavano, 2) Tabeguache, 3) Uncompahgre, 4) Beirstadt, & 5) Evans

Unfortunately this was my last 14er hike of the summer, because I have to head back to Michigan and get back to my real profession, teaching. Many of my cohorts at the park keep telling me to move out here since I spent the last two summers out here volunteering for the National Park Service. I should take their advice, Colorado is an awesome state!!!

The Hike
I spent the night in Georgetown at an overpriced Motel 8 after driving from Gunnison coming from the southern end of Guanella Pass and trying to find the trailhead in the dark so I could camp. I woke up at 5:00am and got a cup of java juice at a gas station and tried to find a trail map, but was unsuccesful in finding one. So, I figured like other 14ers, it has a well established trail that shouldn't be hard to follow. I started hiking at 6:25am and got to the summit at 8:00am.



I passed a few folks on the way, and got passed by a trail runner. He was flying up and down Bierstadt. During the entire time hiking up to Beirstadt's peak I was contemplating if I should do the dreaded "Sawtooth". I met two guys on Beirstadt, John and Dan, both from Kansas and came out to Colorado to hike some fourteeners. I asked if they were going over to Evans, and Dan said that he would. I asked if I could join him, and he said "sure, love the company". John decided he was going back to the car and waiting. So, after having breakfast on Mt. Beirstadt, Dan and I began hiking over the Sawtooth.

The "class 3" hike was definitely not what I imagined. It was much easier than I thought it was going to be, and definitely A LOT of FUN!!! I am ready for more class 3 hikes!!! The Sawtooth was over before I knew it, and I definitely wanted to more. I can't wait to see what Longs Peak will be like whenever I get around to it. The icing on the cake was the two mountain goats that we saw during the scramble over the Sawtooth. It was a mother goat and her kid. I was literally a couple feet from the two mountain goats, it was an awesome wildlife sighting! We also saw a weasel-like animal, which could have been a weasel or pine martin.



I waited at the end of the Sawtooth, and he said that he didn't mind if I went ahead to Evans ahead of him, so I did. Along the way we saw more mountain goats as well as bighorn sheep. Mt. Evans was kind of a surreal somber sight. I didn't feel like I accomplished much after seeing the paved road and observatory. But, I enjoyed my second summit of the day among the people who drove up to the summit. I waited for Dan and got our photo together. Then I decided to leave.

I went to the ridge overlooking the Sawtooth and took some photos of it looking down on top of it. Then, I hiked down the gully with the snowmelt stream. This was a little sketchy due to the loose gravel, but manageable. I got to the infamous "willows" and quickly realized that this was by far the most challenging hike of my entire day. During portions of hiking through the willows I had to navigate a route of my own as well as walk through mud hoping that I didn't sink into the mud past my knees, which I was doing occasionally. The willows slowed my pace to that of a turtle, but it was definitely adventurous!

I finally got back to my car at 2:30pm and talked with John. He said that when Dan gets back they will probably go get a brew and some food at the Red Ram, and asked me to join them. So, I did. We declared it the place for folks to eat and drink after a day hiking the nearby 14ers. Hopefully so.

I had an awesome summer! I successfully hiked up 12 fourteeners this summer in less than two months. I would definitely keep hiking up more, but my summer volunteer position is over and I have to head home. I hope to get back out to Colorado again and hike up some more, what a great goal to accomplish.

Thanks to all for maintaining such an awesome website. If it wasn't for this website, I wouldn't have gotten all the information and motivation that I needed for my fourteen hikes.

ps: If anyone cares to view my blog about my summer, click the link below

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

Comments or Questions
Gabe K

Defintely not a marmot
08/13/2007 04:04
Trust me, the weasel-like animal was not a marmot. I am pretty skilled in identifying animals, and I know what a marmot is. It was slender and had short hair, and was a predator. It was a member of the weasel family, not rodent family.

White Light

08/13/2007 04:43
Not a bad summer. I also hiked both Evans and Bierstadt this week, separately, and admired the Sawtooth from afar. My hats off to you for conquering the Class 3 climb. Cool shots of the mountain goats too.


good stuff
08/13/2007 05:18
if you liked the sawtooth, you will love kelso...lots more class 3, and just hella fun


Congrats, Gabe
11/30/2010 17:28
Sounds like a great summer! I also got stuck in the dreaded willows doing Evans (in the rain, too), but without the fun of the Sawtooth. One of these days, I'll ditch the dog so I can join the class 3 fun.


11/30/2010 17:28
I'm glad you had a great time. Thanks for all of the info! I'm going to try it this weekend. I think those were the exact same goats I saw when I was coming down Torrey's Peak 2 weeks ago! The mother passed within a foot of me, it was really cool. I'll have to upload my pictures of the goats when I get a chance!


02/05/2011 00:22
12 14ers in a summer is nice accomplishment and I was hooked after my first Class 3 as well. Great shots of the goats and the weasel-like animal was a marmot. See the forum on tips on how to punt them.

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