Last week Delaney and I decided we wanted to hike one of the 14ers. We settled on bagging two of them in a day by hiking up Mt Bierstadt and then take the traverse over to Mt Evans. I pulled the route description off of 14ers.com (A great resource if you want to climb a 14er)
After picking up Delaney and George (he wanted to go hang out in the mountains) Sunday morning we got up to the trailhead around 8 AM. This is a much later start than I normally would ever do, but it turned out okay as the weather cooperated through the day.
The hike up to Bierstadt though had most of the elevation gain took us under three hours to complete. We hung out at the top of that Mt with the crowds of people. It was very busy up top and you could see the steady stream of people climbing up the mountain after us. Shortly after reaching the summit we decided to leave the crowds and make our way to Mt Evans.
I have mixed feelings about the Sawtooth traverse. It looks like an impressive traverse that could be very dangerous and has high exposures. But, if you take your time it is really not that bad of a climb. It did take us a lot longer than I would have expected to complete the traverse (Around 5 hours) but we were taking our time making sure to be careful. That, plus I had one hell of a headache and the altitude was doing a number on my body. 80% of our trip was above 13,000 feet. There were a few class 3 moves where you had to scramble up a rock (I would have to push Zip up to where Delaney was and then climb up myself since Zip couldn’t get up some of it).
Once you reach the top of Sawtooth and look back at Bierstadt it does look quite impressive and it really doesn’t seem like it was the mountain you just came down. I would hate to go up that section I can tell you that.
We made it to the summit of Mt Evans around 5 PM dragging our asses. I kept getting dizzy from the altitude. So, we didn’t linger long at the summit and descended down to Summit lake where luckily George was waiting for us. As we had texted him when we got to the summit of Bierstadt with an alternate plan of having him meet us up at Evans instead. Well, the road was closed to Mt Evans so we had to hike down to Summit Lake which was the farthest up the road he could drive.
All in all it was a great adventure and hike. The views are amazing up there. But it sure was more than I expected and sure did kick my Ass.