After my failed attempt to make a snowy ascent of Mt Bierstadt a few months ago, I’ve had it in my head to return and give it another go. I got the opportunity to meet up with some buds in Denver for the weekend with a plan to tackle one of Colorado’s 14ers.
In planning for this second attempt of Bierstadt, I took the learnings I had from before and made sure we had snowshoes!
After a casual breakfast and drive to the trailhead, we got on the trail around 9:30am. Equipped with some extra layers and trail grub, we started up the snow-covered trail. An hour and a half in to our climb and we were clear of the trees and had a clear view of the summit.
Luckily for us, we hit the weather lottery and got a cloudless, fairly warm, sunny day in the mountains. The down side to this is the three of us are paler than average. SPF 50 is worth its weight in gold!
I had forgotten how much the altitude effected me. I felt like I was gasping for air from the first step. As the trail got steeper and the air got even thinner, our pace slowed and break frequency increased.
Austin was crushing it and made it to the summit at around 1pm. I was an hour behind. The summit was windy and cold, but the feeling was amazing! With legs burning and face freezing, I snapped a couple pics and started making my way down.
Unfortunately, Sarah was feeling considerable discomfort and elected to not attempt the summit.
We regrouped just shy of the summit and descended. The snow had softened quite a bit since the morning and even the snowshoes couldn’t keep up on top of the snow all the time.
Back at the car at 6pm. An extremely exhausting, will-testing, and absolutely fantastic 8.5 hours in the mountains!
Round 2 of David vs. Bierstadt goes to David!