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Ascent of Mount Evans on 2013-07-28

Climber: David Fitch

Date:Sunday, July 28, 2013
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:4x4 Vehicle
Peak:Mount Evans
    Location:USA-Colorado
    Elevation:14264 ft / 4347 m

Ascent Trip Report

It took three days to motorcycle out to Colorado. The plan was to acclimate to the higher elevations of the Colorado peaks and to get a feel for the various types of terrain that we would be covering over the next week. The route was intended to be a loop of Bierstadt,the Sawtooth traverse, and Evans. The terrain ranged from easy hiking with moderate elevation gains to extreme elevation gains up scree covered slopes and across narrow ledges spanning ridges with steep drops on both sides. Some parts of the route came close to more technical climbing.

We took the road that goes up to the observatory on Evans to the trailhead for the Bierstadt, Sawtooth loop. It was a misting rain and cold when we started out. We couldn't find the trail as it is not the more popular route from the East, Summit lake, so we decided to do the loop in the other direction from Evans, across the Sawtooth, to Bierstadt.

The elevation took a huge toll on our climb. Every breath was labored and though we were following the road up to the observatory, it was a challenge. Of course this being Colorado, there were runners and bikers passing us by while we labored on.

We made summit in the wet and cold and wondered what we had gotten ourselves in for. The White mountains seemed like a walk in the park compared to this. We continued onto the Sawtooth and Bierstadt but had difficulty finding the "exit", the marked trail that allows access the the precipice sided ridge line that connects Bierstadt and Evans.

The weather had gotten more pleasant with the sun coming out and the icy rain diminishing. With more weather coming in though and our physical condition we decided to turn back in our attempt of the Sawtooth and Bierstadt. When we returned to our vehicles the rain came in hard and the temperatures dropped. A good call had been made.

If I were to do this again, I would do the route from the west coming from Guanella Pass. We met some climbers who did this route and it looked like it covered some nice terrain, was well marked, and provided a nice approach to Bierstadt and Evans.

When the mists lifted, we were greeted by spectacular vistas. The Colorado peaks are awe inspiring.
Summary Total Data
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Unmaintained Trail, Exposed Scramble
    Gear Used:
Ski Poles
    Weather:Drizzle, Cold, Calm, Low Clouds



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