Peak(s):  Mt. Bierstadt  -  14,066 feet
Mt. Evans  -  14,268 feet
Date Posted:  08/14/2020
Date Climbed:   08/14/2020
Author:  kphelan25
 Bierstadt, Sawtooth, Evans   

My first trip report so here is my brief bio. 45 years old. 6'2 195. Decent shape. Before today I've hiked Bierstadt 2x, Longs, Grays and Torreys, Quandary, Elbert, Massive and Princeton. I have been wanting to bag Evans but with Covid making that hike 17 miles I decided to hike the Sawtooth route. I wore hiking shorts, La Sportiva trail running shoes, long sleeve base layer, a micro puff hoodie/coat, hat and gloves. Carried a 3 liter Camelback and some snacks.

Half way up Bierstadt around 6am. Seems a bit hazy and I could smell smoke.

It was a Friday morning and the first parking lot was about 3/4 full at 4:45am. Smoke was in the air and once the sun rose the sky was hazy from the fires. Note, the bathrooms in the parking lot do not have any TP. I got started at 5am and summited Bierstadt at 7am. Passed a couple college aged kids on the way up so my confidence in my fitness was high.

I didnt spend any time at the top of Bierstadt and quickly started my descent into the Sawtooth. I didnt hike the ridge though. I went straight down and to the right. Its a bit tricky but not too bad. I jumped on a few rock formations and ended up at the bottom of the Sawtooth looking up at the saddle. I ended up scrambling and climbing to the first notch. In hindsight this was not a good idea because I spent alot of energy climbing up to that first notch. Once I got to the notch, I crossed over and hiked over to the next rock out cropping. I was happy to see a well defined trail and many cairns. This lifted my anxiety as a first time Sawtooth hiker. Then I entered the ledge and took a few deep breaths. Happy to write, and as everyone says, the ledge wasnt as bad as the pictures depict and not too narrow. Just dont look down!

Nice trail and cairns helped with route finding on the Sawtooth

Getting to Evans was a bit of a slog. I couldn't find the trail and the first false summit threw me off. I spent a few extra minutes hiking up that hump. Waste of time and energy. Just stay way right and you will find the correct trail per the route on this site. Finally got to the Evans parking lot, which was empty except for a cyclist, and scrambled to the top of Evans. I wasn't sure which rock pile to tag so I did the one on the left, it looked higher. Then I chilled for a bit and chatted with 2 mountain goats who were hanging around the pavilion. Note, the bathrooms here are closed.

The gully was easy to find and its a beautiful view, but the descent sucked. I was pretty tired at this point and the descent is steep. Its full of scree, loose rocks and dusty dirt. It did a number on my feet and legs. Eventually it levels out into a grassy area and softer trail. A few minutes later you will hit the creek and the willows. I didn't have any problems with the willows. There is a bit of mud initially by the creek and I did go in up to my ankle but most of the trail is dry and easily hiked. Total time was 9 hours TH to TH. Strava said it was 11.34 miles and I had 5,689 feet of elevation gain. Im not sure about those numbers but a big day none the less. Thanks for reading. KP

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Comments or Questions
Nice job
08/14/2020 21:31
That €œwasted hump€ was actually unranked 14er West Evans so there€„˘s a silver lining! I also ascended Evans on the ridge almost and returned much lower.

Great effort!
08/15/2020 11:54
A nice route, eh? And ditto what CaptCO wrote. And you were fortunate to be on Evans almost by yourself - only time that ever happened to me was in the dead of winter. I guess Covid has a silver lining..

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