• Date - 11/11/2003
  • Elevation - 12,350'
  • Route - Mount Bierstadt Trail
  • Miles - 3.0
  • Elevation Gain - 1,059'
  • ACME Mapper - Link
  • CalTopo - Link
  • Partners - Jerry Cook, Thomas Milinowicz, Daisy (Dog)


The three of us never had intentions of reaching the summit of Mount Bierstadt given the forecast and weather conditions.  We simply wanted to take advantage of Veterans Day and get out while we had the opportunity.  We left Highlands Ranch, Colorado, around 7:00 and watched the weather slowly deteriorate as we made our way to Guanella Pass above Georgetown, Colorado.  The wind and snow were blowing severely when we jumped out to assess the situation at the trailhead.  Since we had driven all the way to the trailhead, we decided just to go as far as we felt comfortable to get some fresh air and let Daisy run around a bit.  After we dropped down into the Scott Gomer Creek area, the wind died down, but the snow was still falling heavily.  We crossed the creek and started heading southeast on Mount Bierstadt's western slopes.  After visiting with one individual who decided to turn around shortly up the trail, we decided to try and at least make it to the ledge at 12,350'.

As we hiked up, the weather got noticeable worse and the wind was also stronger.  The guy we passed on the way up warned us about the return trip as we would be heading directly into the wind.  We reached the ledge in extremely poor visibility and decided we had better get down fast.  The wind chill was extremely low and the snow stung our faces when we turned around.  After taking a few photos and dropping a couple of hundred feet, the weather improved slightly and we enjoyed our hike back to Scott Gomer Creek.  Unfortunately, as we ascended back up to the trailhead near the pass, the wind picked up again and the snow was falling more and more.  On the way home we stopped off in Idaho Springs, Colorado, for some lunch and a pitcher of Butthead Beer from a local brewery.


Trailhead Conditions

Tom and Jerry

The Sawtooth and Mount Bierstadt

Poor Weather Conditions