Memorial Day 2012: Denver Botanic Gardens and Mt. Bierstadt
Last Monday (Memorial Day) was spent with the family touring the Denver Botanic Gardens. It was kind of like a zoo, for flowers. I got some nice shots with the camera and we had a good time together. An album with some more photos can be seen here.
Since we had gotten an early start, we made it back home around 3 in the afternoon. Everyone was pretty beat from walking around slowly in the sun, but I was getting antsy to go do something more. I tried to talk Malcolm into going for a run or ride. Too tired was the response. I was starting to gear up for a mountain bike ride, when I had a thought. “How about a fourteener?”
He wasn’t too tired all of a sudden.
The weather was awesome. A little windy and slightly cold, but the perfectly stable atmosphere made for a great window of opportunity. We ended up going from couch to summit in 3.5 hours.
The road up to Guanella Pass is paved now and is very nice. You gain altitude in a hurry as you leave Georgetown behind.
I’d never been up Bierstadt via the traditional (and VERY popular) route. The only other time I had summited this peak was during my Circling the Abyss run a few years back where I came up via the south ridge.
We started our climb just as the last of the weekend hikers were coming off the mountain. It was all ours for the rest of the night.
The climb itself was very straightforward, just a little snow here and there to negotiate.
It was cold and windy when we topped out, so we didn’t stay too long. It was much more tolerable a few hundred feet lower down.
The evening light was spectacular, and I got a great shot of Malcolm as we started the descent. I wrote more about that in my Friday Foto post a couple of days ago.
We stopped halfway down and I set up my mini tripod to take some photos of the beautiful sunset.
We pulled out our headlamps, but didn’t ever turn them on. The light of the moon was plenty bright to get us back to the car. From there it was back down the mountain and home by 11:30. What a great way to spend the evening!