Ascent of Mount Bierstadt on 2013-08-09

Climber: Richard Hensley

Others in Party:Chad C.
Lydia C.
Steve S.
Date:Friday, August 9, 2013
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Mount Bierstadt
    Elevation:14060 ft / 4285 m

Ascent Trip Report

Steve promised a more fun and interesting way to hike Bierstadt and Evans. A route with lots of little class 2+ to 3 scrambling and likely no others except on the peaks themselves. This route is described in Roach's Colorado Fourteeners.
We parked at the 13,300msl switchback on the Mt Evans Road, and walked south cross-country to the gully that took us down into the Abyss Lake basin. There's a trail in the basin leading up to Abyss Lake. We followed it north a couple hundred feet, then turned west across open country toward the small unnamed lake at the base of Bierstadt's east ridge. From just north of this lake, we went straight up the steep grassy hillside to gain the ridge just right of its terminal cliffs. Much of the elevation gain was done here.
Bierstadt's East Ridge provided the best scrambling. We generally stayed on or just left of the crest. Ended up doing one short class 4 climb, but it could have been avoided. The crux of the ridge was going around Peak 13641. We took the higher grassy ledge on the right side before scrambling up just beyond the top.
The Sawtooth Ridge was much easier than expected. We descended a path in the scree on the right side until about level with the lowpoint on the other side of the saddle. Then we moved over to scramble along the right side of the ridge, trying to stay level with that gap. There was one short class 4 downclimb, but it could have been avoided. I think if you drop down another 100 feet lower, and keep your eye on the gap to cross over to the left (west) side, the whole ridge becomes a walk across talus, with a few loose dirt and scree sections. Basically, the whole route can be done without any significant exposure.
Summary Total Data
    Elevation Gain:1910 ft / 582 m
    Elevation Loss:1860 ft / 566 m
    Distance:2.9 mi / 4.7 km
    Route Conditions:
Open Country, Scramble, Exposed Scramble
    Weather:Cool, Calm, Partly Cloudy
Ascent Statistics
    Elevation Gain:1850 ft / 564 m
    Extra Loss:1080 ft / 329 m
    Distance:2.4 mi / 3.9 km
    Route:Abyss Lake basin, East Ridge
    Trailhead:Mt Evans Rd, mile 11.4  13290 ft / 4050 m
    Time Up:3 Hours 11 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Elevation Loss:780 ft / 237 m
    Extra Gain:60 ft / 18 m
    Distance:0.5 mi / 0.8 km
    Trailhead:Sawtooth saddle  13340 ft / 4066 m
    Time Down:1 Hours 7 Minutes
Ascent Part of Trip: Bierstadt-Evans (0 nights total away from roads)

Complete Trip Sequence:
1Mount Bierstadt2013-08-09
2Mount Evans2013-08-09

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