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Little Bear Peak Climber's Log

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KieferNW Ridge  Sucess!
Date Climbed: May 24, 2006

Kiefer

The keyword for this mountain is route-finding! Had perfect weather though, mountain to myself. Ice in the hourglass in the AM and a veritable stream in the PM. BE CAREFUL! It is MUCH looser above the hourglass than what you might have read. If you take your time, this is actually an enjoyable climb.
Posted May 27, 2006 11:39 am

shknbkevia nw face, descent of hourglass  Sucess!
Date Climbed: May 13, 2006

shknbke

Easily the most difficult route on any mountain I have done, but I am not much of a rock climber. Very airy ridge indeed. I was testing the hand and footholds! We hoped to have a nice snow climb in the hourglass but the lack of snow made us go with the n.w. face.
Posted May 17, 2006 5:56 am

TMup NW face down Hourglass  Sucess!

TM

Seeing climbers heading up Hourglass we picked the NW face. Fun climbing, though pretty spicy for those not comfortable with big exposure and loose rock with some actual climbing moves. For those OK with the above, a fun time (though it wouldn't be fun to get stuck there in bad weather, to put it lightly). Very cool mountain and area, as we were hiking out 2 hour lightning/hail downpour was pretty epic. Almost as epic as the drive up!!
Posted Apr 10, 2006 5:43 am

Mountain JimFrom Blanca via the South ridge  Sucess!
Date Climbed: Jun 23, 1969

Mountain Jim

We climbed Blanca first from Como Lake, then descended south into Blanca Basin and climbed up the South Ridge of Little Bear in a snow storm. Descended the Hourglass Couloir and worked our way back to Como Lake.
Posted Mar 14, 2006 7:27 pm

1mverticalRoute Climbed: West Ridge Route Date Climbed: August 4, 2004  Sucess!

1mvertical

We were the only group on the mountain this day. The scramble up to the West Ridge was not too bad, except for the fact that we were a bit confused by what the obvious notch was. Once that was sorted out, it was pretty straighforward.



I would argue that the hourglass is in fact the best climbing on the route. Easy 4th class, just dangerous in terms of rock fall potential. The section above the hourglass seems much worse, especially if you get off route.



This would be awesome with late May/June snow.
Posted Nov 23, 2005 5:06 pm

jwproulxRoute Climbed: Up W. Ridge/Hourglass, then to Blanca Date Climbed: 3 September 2005  Sucess!

jwproulx

I climbed this solo. The gully up to the the ridge was one of the worst scree slopes I've ever been on. The climbing in the hourglass was somewhat interesting but slippery, scary, and loose. Above the the hourglass it was even worse. The route-finding was very complicated, especially since I was alone. It took me 4:30 from Como Lake to the summit.



This climb was far more difficult that Capitol Peak, Pyramid Peak, or N. Maroon, and, I think, less aesthetic in both the scenery and the climbing. The West "Ridge" route is a snow route, not a rock route. Climb it in May, not September.



If you choose to climb this route in the summer, BRING A HARNESS, a sling, and a 'biner (or ascenders) so that you can self-belay the section with with a fixed line.
Posted Sep 6, 2005 7:14 pm

bc44caesarRoute Climbed: Northwest Face Date Climbed: 28 Aug 2005  Sucess!

bc44caesar

Began from a camp below the face. I chose to climb the inital wall to the right of the two distinct black water marks. I think I chose a poor route initially because I found myself in some very exposed and difficult climbing. Once above this I continued more or less straight up towards the first prominant notch below Little Bear's summit. There was plenty of loose rock around, but it is avoidable. Test every hold! Roach's guide mentions that the most difficult and exposed climbing is right below the ridge, however I would say most of the climbing is pretty consistent. The route alternates between hiking up steep and loose boulder fields and 4th class slabs. The final climb along the ridge is airy and exciting.



I reached the summit after about 1hr 40min from my camp and decided to traverse over to South Little Bear. I stayed on the ridge for a short while and then decided to drop down on the west side and traverse across boulder fields until the final scramble to the summit. The views of Blanca and the Blanca traverse were great. On the way back I decided to stay directly on the ridge which involved a lot of 3rd/4th class scrambling. The ridge isn't very well traveled and quite loose. On one steep 4th class downclimb I nearly pulled out a big screen TV sized block on top of me!



Rather than going all the way back to the summit I intersected the West Ridge route above the hourglass. Three fellows from NE/KS were deciding to turn around so I went with them to avoid being in the hourglass with them above me. That was a good idea because they knocked rocks down with every step. Once we were below I raced back to camp, packed up my stuff and headed back to my car.
Posted Aug 29, 2005 10:58 am

RC ColaRoute Climbed: West Ridge Date Climbed: August 15, 2005

RC Cola

Altitude sickness in my climbing partner caused me to miss this peak. Weather seemed pretty bad anyway, but I will be back for this one.
Posted Aug 17, 2005 1:56 am

doumallRoute Climbed: West Ridge/Hourglass Date Climbed: August 7th, 2005  Sucess!

doumall

Fear factor trump card for Colorado's 14ers. Water running down hourglass required class 5 moves to avoid. Tons of fun. 50th 14er!
Posted Aug 8, 2005 1:39 pm

mconnellRoute Climbed: West Ridge Date Climbed: May 2004  Sucess!
Moderate snow climb at this time of year, with no sign of any rockfall except one rock on the traverse below the hourglass. If you want to climb L.B. when it's relatively safe and easy, do it when there is good snow cover.
Posted Jul 23, 2005 9:09 pm

umbra altaRoute Climbed: Hourglass/Bowling Alley Date Climbed: August 2003

umbra alta

Climbed the Hourglass on the way to the Little Bear/Blaca/Ellingwood Point traverse. 4th classed the left side of the hourglass to avoid some water. We stayed on the ridge crest between Blanca and Ellingwood as well as descending Ellingwood's south ridge for zero relief from exposure all day. I would definitely recommend this variation to anyone as long as the weather and your stamina is holding. Took a rope but didn't need/couldn't use it.
Posted Jun 22, 2005 2:31 pm

hhsilleckRoute Climbed: West Ridge / Hourglass Date Climbed: May 28, 2005  Sucess!

hhsilleck

Climbed up perfect snow with my fiancee Sonya (ColoradoSonya). A little ice in the crux in the hourglass - we carried a rope and a couple of pickets and lowered Sonya through the crux on the way down. No rockfall at all - if safety is your priority, consider a late spring ascent.
Posted Jun 2, 2005 1:20 am

bakcastRoute Climbed: Hourglass Date Climbed: July 2000  Sucess!

bakcast

This is a fun mountain, especially descending without protection! There was too much water in the hour glass, so we down climbed a section just to the west of the gulley. Climbing this with my dog made me realize how much more skilled any four legged creature is than a human when descending exposed terrain.



And what's more, we even ran into Britney Spears (okay, a photograph of her)on the summit!
Posted Jan 5, 2005 7:49 pm

MishRoute Climbed: West Ridge Date Climbed: July 25, 2004  Sucess!

Mish

Maybe the most harzardous of any of the 14ers, especially with verglas in the Hourglass. Although dangerous, it was a very fun climb overall.
Posted Sep 15, 2004 4:09 pm

kovarpaRoute Climbed: West Ridge Date Climbed: September 3, 2004  Sucess!

kovarpa

I pretty much climbed this peak by accident - I originally just wanted to hike up Blanca but then saw the approach through the gully up to the ridge - really, really fun route but got into some sketchy stuff on the descent when I stayed too high on the ridge. I stayed on the ridge proper a lot of time and the exposure was really something. I also climbed to the peak to the south - does it have a name or is it just part of the Little Bear? The traverse to Blanca looked fabulous, too bad I had too little time...
Posted Sep 8, 2004 1:05 am

jwclimbsRoute Climbed: Northwest Face Date Climbed: August 21, 2004  Sucess!

jwclimbs

Excellent adventure! From a technical sense, this was probably the best 14ner I've had the pleasure of climbing. In my short list of mountains, the sustained exposure on this peak (and traverse to Blanca) is unparalleled by any other mountain.
Posted Aug 23, 2004 11:09 am

RyanSRoute Climbed: Southwest Ridge Date Climbed: June 5, 2004  Sucess!

RyanS

An interesting and exhausting day. Please refer to the southwest route for details on this new approach to Little Bear. A trip report is available here (be warned, there's some redundant information b/w this report and the route page, however there's more pictures than what I've posted on SP).
Posted Jun 7, 2004 3:02 am

xskier77Route Climbed: West Ridge Date Climbed: June 5th, 2004  Sucess!

xskier77

Little Bear proved to be a very challenging climb. We drove up the road and camped at about 10,400. Saturday got up and started hiking up to Como Lake at 7:30am. We continued on from Como and went up the West Ridge route. Thankfully there was plenty of snow on the way up which made the hourglass chute very easy to climb and the class 3 climbing to the summit was very fun. We hit the summit at about 2:15pm and thankfully the weather was very nice. My friend Gary thought it would be a fun trip to bring gear to camp so we caried 30 lb packs all the way up Little Bear with the thought of camping on the summit of Blanca.
Posted Jun 7, 2004 2:47 am

DaveCRoute Climbed: hourglass Date Climbed: july 01  Sucess!

DaveC

now this is fear factor. great climb, other than the football sized missiles-from-nowhere that keep screaming all the way down the chutes.
Posted May 21, 2004 9:05 pm

sbkelleyRoute Climbed: West Ridge Date Climbed: August 2003  Sucess!

sbkelley

Wow, this mountain wastes no time rearing up. The route is short, but easy is not a good adjective to describe it. The Hourglass had a good stream of water running down it, which made things a little interesting, especially on the way down, but there was a fixed rope to help with that. It was great climbing though! The backpack up the Lake Como road was not exactly gentle, either, but very scenic.
Posted May 12, 2004 6:36 pm

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