The Sawtooth

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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