Vlog: Hiking Bierstadt Mountain, Colorado Rockies

Two months before I hiked this 14er, I didn’t even know what a 14er was!  I was planning a Denver trip to see a concert at Red Rocks with my friend and Colorado native, Kristi Jackson when she mentioned that during our five day visit we should hike a 14er.  After some research and excitement I agreed this would be the perfect 100 Percent experience to add to our itinerary.  A 14er is a mountain exceeding 14,000 feet.  There are actually 89 peaks in the United States over 14,000 feet and I have not climbed any of them so I was eager to get at least one checked off the list. Bierstadt Mountain is a non-technical 14er and a perfect starter hike of this size.

Living in Portland at almost sea level and having gained the majority of my hiking experience below 10,000 feet I was nervous about how the altitude would affect my body.  Fortunately I was with someone very experienced in high altitude hiking and we were extremely prepared.   See the 14er hiking tips below that ensured we had a challenging yet invigorating and safe experience.

One quick month of circuit and cardio training and a lot of protein smoothies later we were in Denver about to wake up at 4am to head to the trail. 

Watch our Vlog to see the highlight reel of our trek to the top of Bierstadt Mountain and my first 14er in the books.

14er Preparation Tips

Prior:

  • Engage in a training schedule that prepares your body physically and mentally.  I suggest the detailed REI Training Schedule for Climbing 14ers.

  • Purchase and break-in hiking boots that meet the needs of your selected hike. 

  • Purchase additional equipment gear needed for your selected hike.  14ers.com has a great gear checklist.

  • Plan to go with an experienced person.

  • Bring a map and compass/GPS.

  • Check the weather the night before and morning of your hike.

  • Drink plenty of water days before your hike especially while acclimating to higher altitudes.

  • Review 14ers.com for in-depth mountaineering safety and complete details of your Colorado hike to clearly plan your route.

    During:

  • Start hiking at or before dawn and make sure your route and schedule has you back below tree line by early afternoon (ideally noon) to avoid the risks of thunderstorms which can roll over the mountains quickly without notice.

  • Take your altitude herbs up to three days before and the morning of your hike.  I recommend both Chlorophyll tablets and Sun Country Altitude Adjustment tablets.

  • Stop often for water and energy burst snacks such as Stingers.

  • Know the symptoms of altitude sickness and turn back if necessary.

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1 Comment

  1. soumendra
    September 2, 2016 / 2:05 am

    Very well written n a great video …n don’t stop you have higher heights to reach. Best of luck

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