Route Description: Standard route
Data: Guanella Pass was not being plowed for the first time this winter. Drove up as far as we could which was around 10,830 ft. Began skinning on the road around 2:40. Summited around 6:15 (14,060 ft). Left summit to ski around 6:45. Reached car around 7:45. Skied all the way to the car from summit. Total vert climbed and skied: About 3200 ft. Total time: just over 5 hrs
Relevant Links: TGR Trip Report
Beirstadt is one of those easy mountains. It seemed ashame to spend an entire day climbing and skiing this mountain, so when Frank suggested we should do it after school one day, I thought that was a great idea! I was able to get out of school a tad early and meet Frank in Golden. From there we drove to Georgetown and then up Guanella Pass. The pass was still closed due to snow cover, so we drove up to the snow line.
By the time we left it was 2:40 pm. We figured it would probably take us 3-4 hours to climb Beirstadt. That meant that we could potentially be finishing in the dark. So we made sure to bring headlamps.
We began skinning while it was snowing, which made us leary. Our friends Chris and Pam had been up Beirstadt the day before in a complete white-out. They weren't able to see where to go up or where to go down, but they still were able to their way up and down the mountain. I had visions of these conditions in my head, but thankfully the snow let up. We were left with beautiful skies, full of looming clouds everywhere. The looming clouds seemed to stay in their places, far away from Beirstadt. But they did provide a fantastic scene along with the evening light.
With the beautiful scenery, we were able to make good time to the summit. I was able to skin all the way to the summit, while Frank chose to boot pack for the last 30 minutes or so. When nearing the summit we could see footprints of a mountain goat or bighorn sheep that had itself reached the summit earlier that day.
We were able to ski from the summit. The evening was getting darker and darker. Clouds also moved in during our ski, which made the scene quite dark, hence why our ski photos look dark. When we reached the bottom of the mountain the sun had come back out from behind the clouds. I guess we should have waited a few more minutes before skiing!
We followed the Guanella Pass road all the way back to the car, skiing the entire way. We reached the car at 7:45 pm, just as it was getting dark.
After packing up, we headed down to Georgetown and enjoyed a great dinner there at the Red Ram Rathskeller. I kind of felt in a daze, amazed that we were able to ski a fourteener after school. What a great way to knock off another fourteener!
Picture of the Line
Photos courtesy of Frank Konsella.
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