Sawtooth Ridge, Mt. Bierstadt/Evans combo Rock Climbing
My son and I standing on the slopes of Mt. Evans, ...
The Sawtooth is a great traverse between two Colorado 14ers. It can be done in either direction, but most people start by climbing Bierstadt first. The ridge is obvious, but there are numerous possibilities for variation. If you stay on route, you can keep the difficulties at class 3, but it is very easy to find yourself pulling class 5 moves if you get off route.
The most difficult climbing is found near the mid-point traversing around a large gendarme. We got off route here and had to pull some exposed low class five moves to get back on track. Closer to the Evans side, you will cross some large ledges which, although not difficult, slope towards an ever beckoning cliff that will make you want to move quickly. You then climb up a talus ramp to the top of the Sawtooth. From here, it's class 2 to the summit of Evans.
For a better description with pictures, consult 14ers.com
To get to Mt. Bierstadt, take the Georgetown exit off I-70. Drive through Georgetown, follow signs for Guanella Pass Scenic Byway. Drive 12 miles to the top of Guanella Pass. There are parking lots on both sides of the road. The upper one has restrooms, the trail starts at the lower lot. Give yourself extra time for driving this road. It is dirt, and unless it has just been scraped, the washboard will loosen your fillings.
Weather station 4.6 miles from here
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|Comments on Sawtooth Ridge, Mt. Bierstadt/Evans combo
By Nate Muncy
From: Thornton, CO
Jul 4, 2014
When heading to Evans from Bierstadt, you will eventually have to cross over to the North (ish) side of the Sawtooth. There are several trails, so try to stay low. We took the highest one and burned time by having to downclimb some low grade 5th class terrain. Cairns are aplenty on the south side of the Sawtooths, but I'm not sure all are official or even good ideas; if I head back, I will be tempted to remove the cairns marking the higher path for the safety of less-experienced hikers/climbers.
From: Northglenn, CO
Jul 4, 2015
Please (anyone/everyone) do not remove the cairns on the ridge proper. That is the actual 3rd class route, and a very good route at that. If climbers choose to skirt the ridge by taking the lower trail on the south side of the ridge, that is totally cool, but staying on the ridge is the actual route, and the cairns are placed perfectly. As of this morning, they are there :)