Ascent of Mount Bierstadt on 2016-09-11

Climber: Crystal Davis

Other People:Solo Ascent
Date:Sunday, September 11, 2016
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Mount Bierstadt
    Elevation:14060 ft / 4285 m

Ascent Trip Report

My first 14er!!

I left Brandi's a little bit later than planned. The roads to the trailhead were insanely awesome. I started hiking at 9:17AM and soon could feel the elevation effecting me. I was psyching myself out a bit and several times thought that I was not going to make it. Not because of the difficulty of the hike, but because I had a flight to catch at the airport in Denver which left at 5PM. I knew I had to drive there and drop off the rental car....I gave myself a turnaround time of 12PM. It was kinda helpful to be able to see the whole trail most of the time, but it also mentally hurt me because I honestly wasn't sure I was going to make it in time.

I knew when the trail got to the boulders section that I was almost at the top. I read about a false summit and asked someone descending if what I was looking at was the true summit or the false summit. He said the top was a long way off and to keep going. A long way off? I figured what I was looking at was the false summit, so that made me push even harder. I was up it soon enough and expected another level, but nope, that was the top!

The whole hike was "above tree line" lol...and quite exposed. Most of the way up that wasn't an issue, but at the top the wind got pretty intense. I took a bunch of photos and was so in awe of the beauty I saw. I had brought more than enough gear because of what I had read in the weeks prior to coming out to Denver. I spent 17 minutes at the summit. I was impressed to find a summit disk. The views from the top were AMAZING.

I found the tiniest little bit of snow on the way down. On my descent, the wind was incredible. The trail was so different from any other that I've been on. I practically jogged down as it was in such good condition. It usually takes me about the same amount of time up and down, but I shaved 37 minutes off my time coming down! I found it so much easier to breathe and I was highly motivated by my nearing flight.

Solo hike...just me and the couple other hundred folks hiking there today. I think this peak is comparable to Cascade in the Adirondacks.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:2767 ft / 843 m
    Round-Trip Distance:7.6 mi / 12.2 km
    Route:Bierstadt Trail
    Trailhead:Parking lot on Guanella Pass Road  11293 ft / 3442 m
    Quality:7 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Scramble
    Gear Used:
Ski Poles
    Weather:Pleasant, Calm, Clear
Ascent Statistics
    Time:2 Hours 17 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Time:1 Hours 40 Minutes

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