14 May 2001 - by Jim Ippolito
Saturday we climbed the Sawtooth in the northern Indian Peaks Wilderness
Area. We started at the Beaver Creek Trailhead (~9200') at 7am. The
trail is still fairly covered with snow, probably due to the last big
storm we had. We went up the class 3 East ridge as described by Roach.
The snow was very stable along the ridge with some nice drop-offs to the
South and North. The East face of the Sawtooth was totally covered with
snow and reached a maximum angle of 40 degrees. The 300' +/- climb from
the east ridge, up the face, and to the summit was exhilarating. We
summited at noon. The views from the summit of Mt. Audubon to the
South, lots of snow covered mountains to the West, and the Long's Peak
area to the North were awe inspiring. We glissaded the 300' back to the
ridgeline, and then dropped down the ridge approximately a 1/4 mile to
another glissade area. We glissaded another 300' down the North side of
the ridge to the drainage area containing the Buchanan Pass trail. The
entire drainage is still snowed in. We snowshoed out and back to the
trailhead by 4pm. The Sawtooth is a great, albeit long, climb.
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