Peak(s):  Mt. Bierstadt  -  14,066 feet
Mt. Evans  -  14,268 feet
Date Posted:  09/04/2020
Date Climbed:   09/03/2020
Author:  mzagorski
 Bierstadt - Sawtooth - Evans - Willows   

Bierstadt > Sawtooth > Evans > Willows yesterday (solo). Started from Bierstadt TH at 350am... 4-5 cars in the lot at most. Summited Bierstadt at ~540am and had the summit to myself for 10mins which was nice. Sunrise was amazing. Almost no wind and not that cold.

Continued onwards to the Sawtooth and thanks to the awesome 14'ers App, route finding wasn't too bad. Had to backtrack a couple times after spotting cairns. The last steep part with two route options wasn't that bad... I took the higher route as the lower one looked too loose and sketchy :)

Continued around the west side of Mt Evans which was a pain in the ass to route find - A lot of cairn hunting! Had the Evans summit to myself at 8:15am and the parking lot was empty. Only one goat. No marmots. Headed back around the west side of Evans... Managed to slip when down climbing some rock that was slicker than I expected. Did a front-flip, snapped a Black Diamond CF hiking pole, and made good use of the Black Diamond helmet I bought days earlier! Without that I'm sure my head would have been a mess and I'd have been hitting SOS on my InReach Mini. Thanks to the guy that stopped to make sure I was OK!

I had a hard time finding the trail to the top of the gulch but eventually got there. By this point my feet were blistered and descending the gulch was not fun. Full of butterflies, marmots, and other cute critters.

Then... THE... WILLOWS... They were actually not as bad as I expected. I manage to avoid all mud, didn't lose any shoes, and didn't end up waist deep in mud. But... they go on for what feels like FOREVER :) This was my second time up Bierstadt, first time on the Sawtooth, and Mt Evans is my #5 although I've biked up it twice. Overall fun day with amazingly perfect weather.

Some approx. times (Note, I'm 99% cyclist, 1% hiker of 14'ers, so although I have fitness, I don't consider myself fast):
Start: 3:40am
Summit Bierstadt: 1hr 53min
Traverse Sawtooth: 1hr 10min
Sawtooth to Summit of Evans: 1hr 20min
Evans to top of Gully: 1hr 10mins
Bottom of Gully through Willows to Parking Lot: 1hr 25mins
Total Time: 9hr 11mins
Total Moving Time: 7hr 37mins
Distance 12.3 miles

Link to Strava: https://www.strava.com/activities/4007750973

Link to GoPro video (mostly the Sawtooth): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QbyarsXHCbk&t=3s




Comments or Questions
Bryan W
Mt. Evans
09/06/2020 12:37
My understanding is that no cars are allowed up Mt. Evans this year due to Covid. Apparently the bikers are really enjoying the less hazardous road this year with no cars. Just FYI, since you a 99% biker.


mzagorski
User
Ride Mt Evans
09/06/2020 12:42
Bryan - Thanks. I rode up it a month or two ago starting at Wash Park in Denver. So much better to ride it without cars!



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