To fully be a Coloradan one must have climbed a fourteener, or so it seems. I decided to finalize my residency requirements by climbing Mount Bierstadt, must notable as a fourteener for being close to Denver and a relatively short hike. The “short” aspect was critical in this case, as a winter storm warning was posted beginning at 5:00 pm, so it was prudent to be off the mountain before the storm hit.
The trail head at Guanella Pass, around 11,600 ft, had seen around an inch of snow on the ground from the preceding night. However, with the temperature right at the freezing mark and the sun out, it was perfect weather for hiking in a t-shirt, and in fact it could nearly be perceived as a fall day. The top of the mountain was a totally different story, with numerous snow drifts more than knee deep and wind blowing bitter cold snow. The temperature dropped substantially, and with sustained winds of at least 25 mph, the perceived temperature at the top was sub zero – but definitely worth it, for the experience of being on top of the world, and almost a part of the weather itself.