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West Face
Route

West Face

 
West Face

Page Type: Route

Location: Colorado, United States, North America

Lat/Lon: 37.57770°N / 105.4859°W

Object Title: West Face

Route Type: Basic Snow Climb

Time Required: A long day

Difficulty: Class 2, Moderate Snow

Route Quality: 
 - 3 Votes
 

 

Page By: hhsilleck

Created/Edited: Jun 2, 2005 / May 18, 2010

Object ID: 165314

Hits: 4621 

Page Score: 74.01%  - 4 Votes 

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Approach

From the Great Sand Dunes National Park, head South on Colorado 150 for around 13 miles to the poorly marked Como Lake Jeep "road". Alternately, reach the Como Lake Jeep road by heading North on Colorado 150 for about 3 miles from the junction of Colorado 160 and 150, about 25 miles east of Alamosa. Follow the Como Lake Jeep road to the Como Lake camp area (about 5 miles from the 2-wheel drive trailhead). This road is incredibly rough, and even many 4wd vehicles will not make it up. Unless you are a 4wd enthusiast, this route is probably best done parking at the 2wd area at 8000 ft and packing in, using a high camp at Como Lake.
In spring, the terrain above the lake is likely to be snow covered. Make your way through the forest heading north-east below the Little Bear - Blanca ridge, passing the Blue Lakes and then Crater Lake. The route to this point is the same as the standard Como Lake / North Ridge route.

Route Description

Instead of following the trail up to the Blanca / Ellingwood saddle, head to the climber's right up the long snow slope all the way up to just below the top of the South Ridge. The route gets steeper as it climbs to a maximum of around 30 degrees near the top. Once on the South Ridge, scramble on rock about 75 feet north to the summit. Descend either the ascent route or the rocky North Ridge (Class 2). Round trip from Como Lake is approximately 3.75 miles, 2550 feet elevation gain.

Essential Gear

Ice axe and crampons. A rope is not likely necessary if you are comfortable on moderate snow slopes.

Miscellaneous Info

This route is not recommended after the snow melts out.

Images

Close up detail of the West...Blanca Peak west face...Blanca Peak West Face,...Snowy slopes of BlancaSummit of Blanca PeakDuchess on the SW slopes of BlancaMap generated with TOPO...
3D overview of West Face...