Peak(s):  Mt. Bierstadt  -  14,060 feet
Date Posted:  05/17/2008
Modified:  05/18/2008
Date Climbed:   05/17/2008
Author:  randalmartin
 Difficult Conditions on Bierstadt   

Just got back from an unsuccessful attempt on Bierstadt today (turned back at 13,500). Snow conditions were terrible. The hike through the Willows on the return was unbelievable with snow really in weak shape, post holing every other step up to your waist and water at the bottom of that. Given the phenomenal amount of snow still around and the warm temperatures I wouldn't recommend going till the first of June.

Good view of Bierstadt from the trailhead

After crossing the willows we begin are ascent

Passing through another band of willows visible on the previous photo a few hundred yards up.

Upper section just beyond this ridge

Looking across the valley opposite Bierstadt you get a good sense of just how much snow is still sitting up here.

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
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Comments or Questions

Respect the willows and they may respect you...
05/19/2008 02:15
I made Evans from Guanella yesterday and wore snowshoes the whole time except for the road. I was surprised at how much snow existed above 13K. The willows were bad but not brutal after 5 PM but figure with rising temps they will be an absolute nightmare from today on. My advice to anyone thinking Bierstadt will be an easy tick next weekend after they plow the road is to bring your snorkel and fins.

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