- Class 3
- Exposure 3
- 4,300 ft elevation gain
- 11.3 miles
- Front Range
- Closest town: Georgetown/Idaho Springs
- Guanella Pass TH – Guanella Pass to Sawtooth Ridge
- Bierstadt west slope, Sawtooth Ridge traverse, Evans west ridge, return via gully to Guanella Pass
Drove from Denver this morning, on the trail at 5:30 AM, Mount Bierstadt summit at 7:30 AM, far side of Sawtooth Ridge at 9 AM, Mount Evans summit at 10:30 AM, and back to my vehicle at 12:30 PM. A 7 hour loop, which my mapping app claims only 5 hours are actual moving time. So I need to work on speed and endurance haha.
Today was an adventure. I turned a 10.25 mile trail with 3,800 feet elevation gain into an 11.3 mile route with 4,300 feet elevation gain. How or why you may ask… Because the only consistent part of today is that I was never on-trail. With my impeccable attention span and focus, I managed to get off track along every segment of the route. And I lost my favorite hat in the gulley on the way down. The exciting part about today are that my camera battery was fully charged and my phone didn’t die before mapping the route. Not to mention that I now have two more 14ers under my belt with two more planned for tomorrow. I am definitely a bit sore in the feet and knees, so tomorrow will be the real test of endurance. My hiking/camping knowledge is coming back quickly and I am quite enjoying the use of 14ers for Colorado Trail training and reconnaissance. Lessons learned today: I possibly need to reevaluate my hiking shoes, I should give thoughtful consideration to hiking poles for the Rocky Mountains, always properly secure gear to pack, and I need to work on more clothing/layering combinations as I overheat quickly allowing cold wind on damp clothes. In all, my gear selections need serious evaluation and refining.