While Kim’s brother Chip was in town, we also went for a hike on Saturday morning/afternoon. Kim and I have been wanting to hike a 14er (mountain peak over 14,000 feet) for awhile. We figured that Chip was probably in better shape than us, so he should be able to hike this high and far despite not being as adjusted to altitude as us. I chose Mt. Bierstadt from this list of the easiest 14ers based on it being close to Denver and one of the shortest hikes listed.
We arrived at the trail-head on Guanella Pass around 10:30 and started the hike. According to the route description the hike is seven miles round-trip, so I figured we could reach the summit in an hour and a half. The hike starts off fairly flat for the first mile or so. After that it quickly picks up and gains a lot of elevation very fast. The hike was definitely tiring but not impossible. We made it to the top in around two hours.
The view from the summit was awesome! We took a nice half hour break at the top, and then decided to start heading down after that when we saw some storm clouds rolling in. The last place you’d want to be in a storm is at the top of one of the highest mountains around. The hike down also took us about two hours to complete. I was thinking it would have been faster, but the steep descent is not very easy.
I used my iPhone to track our hike, which can be viewed here. I had to update a number of the points, which appeared far off of the trail. I’m assuming that this was due to a weak GPS signal at the time of the snapshot. I may try another software package the next time we are out hiking. I already have a few other applications downloaded to my phone. Below are pictures I took along our exhausting hike.