Ascent of Mount Bierstadt on 2012-09-09

Climber: William Musser

Others in Party:Karen Musser
Date:Sunday, September 9, 2012
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Mount Bierstadt
    Elevation:14060 ft / 4285 m

Ascent Trip Report

Now with more than a day in CO and one day of hiking at altitude under our belt, it was time to see if those FL lungs could get Karen up her second 14er. We got up early from Idaho Springs and drove to the TH to find good parking and eat breakfast in the car. We left at 7:30 AM and headed up with the masses. It was the week after Labor day and a beautiful day so the place was crawling with people.

Hiked down from 11,669 to Scott Gomer Creek at 11,460 and had to regain. This is where the fun began! At the creek was about 25 people trying to gingerly cross the creek but the early morning crossers got water all over the rocks and the cold morning refroze the water all over the top of the rocks and they were icey topped. I watched all these people sliding and holding hands and helping each other with walking sticks but all like sheep following one after another painfully slow across this tricky spot. I shake my head at why people do not just ford a stream? So I broke lines from the people all in a row like ants, and hopped across easily about 20 feet down from the "spot". Then all looked at me like WOW that was easy and amny started to brake ranks and follow my way. Karen went with another group to a spot that was not safe. I told her to trust me and follow me but she elected to try it her way and, of course, slipped on the first rock and went down in the freezing water and was soaked from her waste to her toes. Nice way to start the hike!.... I started to say..."I told ya so" but she shaked me off with her finger and I realized it was best to keep my mouth shut till I could get her gloves and pants dried out.

The infamous Willow route is no more.......they have installed boardwalks through the willows on the standard route and it is an easy class 1 hike most of the way now. Karen's spirits got better as the sun came out but her heart and lungs were still angry with her for all this high altitude hiking and we stopped often and chatted with people. I would check our pulses and I was acclimating well now and was around 90 and she would be around 150 so we would stop and let it drop to 120.

Near the top, I felt that I had not climbed enough on this route so I hiked around the cirque up and over a number of un designated subpeaks on the south side of the Frozen Lake cirque which afforded some wonderful views and photos of the valleys between Beirstadt and Evans. More importantly finally some solitude. After hiking up with hundreds of people and dogs finally someplace by myself.

At the top there is mostly class 2+ but if you want to have more fun you can find class 3 fun to the top. The summit was a zoo. On this tiny pointed mass of rock was at least 8 dogs and 30 people. I have never seen so many humans attracted to one spot on earth. fortuntaly the views at the top area outstanding! There are impressive ridges in every direction and the Sawtooth ridge is very inspiring. Surprisingly for me, I started my first trip headache and elected to call it a day and we headed down.

Summary Total Data
    Elevation Gain:2939 ft / 895 m
    Elevation Loss:2939 ft / 895 m
    Distance:7.6 mi / 12.2 km
    Grade/Class:1,2 and minor 3
    Quality:7 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Scramble
    Weather:Cool, Breezy, Clear
Perfect September day
Ascent Statistics
    Elevation Gain:2730 ft / 832 m
    Extra Loss:339 ft / 103 m
    Distance:4 mi / 6.4 km
    Route:Standard Trail
    Trailhead:Guanella Pass TH  11669 ft / 3556 m
Descent Statistics
    Elevation Loss:2600 ft / 792 m
    Extra Gain:209 ft / 63 m
    Distance:3.6 mi / 5.8 km
    Trailhead:Guanella Pass TH  11669 ft / 3556 m
Ascent Part of Trip: Evans-Bierstadt

Complete Trip Sequence:
1Mount Warren2012-09-08 a
2Mount Spalding2012-09-08 b
3Mount Evans2012-09-08 c
4Mount Bierstadt2012-09-09

This page has been served 440 times since 2005-01-15.

Copyright © 1987-2018 by All Rights Reserved. Questions/Comments/Corrections? See the Contact Page Terms of Service