Peak(s):  Mt. Evans  -  14,268 feet
Date Posted:  06/18/2021
Date Climbed:   06/16/2021
Author:  runningCO
 Mt. Evans West Ridge from Guanella Pass   

I planned to run as much as possible two peaks on the Morning of June 16, Mt. Evens & Bierstadt. Neither of which I had done. I didn't realize how difficult this route was going to be. That's why I like to explore them before taking people out, other than Chris Matier, I have no guilt about torturing him with me! Lol. I am thankful he came with, this is probably the most dangerous hike I have done to date, and by the looks of it, very few have traveled it, none while we were there. This a great example of adapting plans on the fly. As it turns out, the Mt. Evens approaching from the west side via Guanella pass is a beast!

We started at Guanella pass, around 11,000 feet. Most of it is off-trail, which means you are crashing through dense willows on game trails, crossing creeks and bogs! That is the first 2.5 miles. The only regret is not having zip-away pants. This whole part is a "choose your adventure" route.

Then it is a 20-40 degree ascent up a gully with loose rocks, running water from the snowmelt, and bouldering for about a half-mile. Not a spot you want to slip and fall. Clearing this section put us close to 13,000 feet.

Then it was traversing a scree field for a little less than a mile that still had snowpack to get to the west side of Mt Evens. In this section, we were able to jog a little, but the altitude was certainly hitting us. The view was astounding, something no picture can ever capture. And crazy enough, there were ZERO tracks from people, which makes this route AWESOME!

The scariest part for me was the next mile to the peak. There is a lot of picking your way through boulders where falling is pretty much certain death. But the views overlooking frozen lakes, seeing other mountain peaks are unmatched, things you won't see driving up. Additionally, a storm started brewing on the way down, and we got to enjoy the snow while trying to climb down rocks. We got all 4 seasons in 7 hours!

The peak was a bit overcrowded with people who drove to the top, but a fantastic trip and view!

My GPS Tracks on Google Maps (made from a .GPX file upload):

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
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Comments or Questions
Round Trip time?
07/05/2021 19:35
Hey - good info. Thanks for the post. I did this one last year in September solo with my chocolate lab. I returned via the normal road (18+ miles back), as I didn't want to hike the willows back in the dark. Yeah, I wussed out!
What amount of time did it take you to summit? And the return trip back?
Thanks again for the info, lovely pics!

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