Prospector Campground - NF
Finally. Our day has come. We've been in Colorado now since April and we've been slowly adjusting to the altitude. We have done many short hikes and then lengthened them over the weeks adding altitude as we went. 10,000, 11,000, 12, and up to 13,000 feet elevation. Whew! Not easy. While we still felt winded almost every time, it did get a little easier.
We have great weather forecasted and we should not have to turn back due to thunderstorms which can move in quickly. Nothing but blue skies this early in the morning.
Sawtooth Peak is to the left and the summit of Mt. Bierstadt to the right.
There won't be many words to this. Just some pictures. Here are some stats though:
Mt. Beirstadt is a Class 2 hike.
The trailhead starts at 11,669 ft. of elevation.
The Summit is 14,065 ft. elevation.
The gain is 2855 ft. of elevation.
Total hike is 7 miles.
We're up at 5am with an hour drive to get to the trailhead. We start our hike at 7am.
You hike down into the marsh and over boardwalks before the creek and the climb starts.
Traffic jam getting over the creek as there is no bridge, just a few rocks. No one wants to get their hiking boots wet right off the bat. Some people did fall in. Not us.
You climb for a while through the willows.
Once you climb above the willows the trail never lets up. It's all steep from here.
We luck out that it is peak wildflower season on the slopes. Words can't describe it. Just gorgeous!
The sun rising over the ridge as we hike up.
This little guy was having no problems.
Marsh view down below.
Climbing up the grassy upper meadows. We had to hike on the weekend as Steve works during the week. Unfortunately, this leads to more people on the trail during the weekends.
Taking a breather.
Sawtooth in the distance.
Steve's turn to catch his breath.
As I'm huffing and puffing and only 1/2 way up, I find my self wondering if you can hike Sawtooth?
hike if you want a refresher. We made sure to drink a lot, take ibuprofen along the way and use protein gels.
The weather would go back and forth from cold to hot, breezy to very windy depending on where on the slope we were. Layers were important as well as sunglasses. The sunlight is extra bright up here.
Once you climb above the upper meadows, the fun part starts. The rocks and dirt are loose so you have to watch your footing and keep your boots laced tight.
Uh, where's the trail? Just follow the ants.
Crossing the last saddle brings you to the spine. The rocks turn to boulders.
See the hikers along the top? They look like ants.
We're running on adrenaline now! We want to make it to the top!
Once we clear the snowfields were almost there!
No trail anymore. You just boulder your way up.
360 degrees of total amazing up here!
WE MADE IT!!
Someone made a sign they brought up with them and let us use it for a picture too.
You will never meet as many happy people as you do at the top of a summit hike!
Everyone that was stopped along the way not sure if they could make it, tired, hurt, some not feeling well with the elevation, all happy at the top!
We also found our highest geocache at the summit!
Veni, Vidi, Vici !!
I have not felt this excited since hiking to the top of Flat Iron earlier this year!
Here's the link to that hike!
Two very happy hikers!
We could stay up here for such a long time, but as hikers know, going down doesn't mean it's easy. Sometimes it's actually harder! We knew we still had a long way to go, achy feet and all.
The views really help to distract from the sore while climbing back down.
And the blanket of flowers that go on forever.
Big, puffy, white clouds moving in, but no thunderstorms, yay!
We've had to turn around on many of our hikes because of storms before we made it to the top.
Another back-up at the creek. This time, many just walked through it not caring if their boots got wet as it was only another mile to the parking area and mostly flat until the very end.
A couple more shots from the bottom looking up at the summit!
We finish at 3pm. Not bad for our first 14er.
We had some soup, watched the sun go down then went to bed!
Just a slice of moon in the upper left corner.
What a great day it was!
"It's a round trip. Getting to the summit is optional, getting down is mandatory." - Ed Viesturs