Ascent of Mount Evans on 2012-09-08

Climber: William Musser

Others in Party:Karen Musser
Date:Saturday, September 8, 2012
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Mount Evans
    Elevation:14264 ft / 4347 m

Ascent Trip Report

Sixteen hours afer arriving in Denver from Florida, we were attempting to see if we could acclimate and tag Evans. This was my first high ascent after developing a heart condition and I was told by the Doctor to take it easier this year and not climb high aided by Diamox again. So we spent the night at 10,000 feet plus and then acclimated for breakfast at 12,800 and had climbed Warren and Spaulding. We both still felt good - no headaches but certainly very short of breath so we climbed very slowly letting karen set the pace at less than 1 mph. It was working so far.

We checked our pulses regularly and my resting 50 bpm was reaching 105 bpm climbing-hiking and K was going from 75 resting bpm to 150 and 160. Thus, her heart rate was the limiting factor and we stopped often.

The backside of the cirque affords great views. The backside with Abyss Lake and its cirques are wonderful. The peaks in this area have deeply carved glacial valley and cirque features that are as beautiful as most 14ers I have seen. The only downside is the amount of traffic is crazy. There was more people going up this beautiful day than I saw even doing Gray Peak!!

The trail around West Evans dissapointed me. The views were great but I wanted to go tag West Evans also and I was confused why the trail see saws back and forth and up and down so much and never really climbs. You get extra gain with all that roller coaster and do not really climb to the peak of Evans till you are completley around the mountain and next to the car parking lot. By then, I wish I had scrambled up West Evans while I was there but that 0.3 miles back and both of our heads were finally starting to feel the altitude.

We took the peak my 10th 14er in CO and Karen's first. We met an interesting man who was easily 100 pounds overweight who was about 30 and doing the 14ers for the second time. It was his 99th completed 14er. Impressive considering how much extra weight he carried and how many technical peaks he had done. He chatted with us and enjoyed the mountaineering fraternity all the way down the class 2 switch back down the NE face. We saw many sheep and goats along the way. I have never seen so many goats and sheep on a trip before. My favorite part of the trip was seeing the "Sawtooth" class three exposed ridge climb connecting to Beirstadt. It looked like fun but most people had climbing helmuts doing it and we were in no shape to exert ourselves that much with so little acclimation.

On the way down Karen got a bad headache and it was time to drive down and get her some relief. I found a nice little place in Idaho Springs and fun dinner at the Beujos Colorado Style Pizza place - the most popular place in town. That picked up her spirits and her headache went away.

Tommorrow would be a harder day. Now that we had some acclimation time in we would try Beirstadt.
Click on photo for original larger-size version.
From summit of Mount Evans, tracing traverse from the parking lot below to Mount Warren (at end of finger) then climbing Mount Spalding 13,842 feet left side of photo and around the lake to the summit (2012-09-08). Photo by William Musser.
Click here for larger-size photo.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:824 ft / 251 m
    Total Elevation Loss:1574 ft / 479 m
    Round-Trip Distance:2.3 mi / 3.7 km
    Grade/Class:1 and 1+, class 2 do
    Quality:7 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail
    Gear Used:
Ski Poles
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:824 ft / 251 m
        Gain Breakdown:Net: 684 ft / 208 m; Extra: 140 ft / 42m
    Loss on way in:140 ft / 42 m
    Distance:1 mi / 1.6 km
    Route:Spaulding West Evans
    Start Trailhead:Mount Spaudling Col  13580 ft / 4139 m
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:1434 ft / 437 m
    Distance:1.3 mi / 2.1 km
    Route:NE slopes
    End Trailhead:Summit Lake  12830 ft / 3910 m
Ascent Part of Trip: Evans-Bierstadt

Complete Trip Sequence:
1Mount Warren2012-09-08 a620 ft / 189 m
2Mount Spalding2012-09-08 b966 ft / 294 m
3Mount Evans2012-09-08 c824 ft / 251 m
4Mount Bierstadt2012-09-092939 ft / 896 m
Total Trip Gain: 5349 ft / 1630 m    Total Trip Loss: 5169 ft / 1576 m

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