Still had a lot of snow on the upper part of the mountain.
Did the traverse. On the section where you have to drop below the ridge and go up a talus field, I had a rock the size of a mini-fridge fall on my foot. I thought I had shattered it, but it was only badly bruised, thanks to my heavy leather boots I was wearing.
Still a ton of snow on the way up, with water running everywhere. An awesome hike!
Very high mountain, almost 7,000 feet down to the desert floor from summit. Very scenic area, lots of fun. Did along with Ellingwood's classic west ridge. Great day!
Road up to Como Lake with 4WD buddies through strong Hailstorm. Summited following day with Texer. Route was slick due to previous days hail. 14er #13
Deep deep snow and steep ice made the the climb considerably tougher than the standard summer route. We were forced to traverse several avy chutes 1 at a time to be safe. Some had run, some had not. In the end, we found the snow high up to be deep powder leading to a freezing summit. Somebody forgot to tell mother nature it was spring up there. Would have been an awesome ski descent. Back at the jeep around 9800' it was near 80 degrees.
A little snow and ice lead to some tricky footing close to the summit, but still a short, sweet hike/climb from high camp, beautiful day. LOOONG hike back down to Lake Como Trailhead.
What an awesome one-day solo ascent of Blanca and Ellingwood. Parked about one mile past the trailhead and began hiking at 7am. Summitted Blanca at 11:45am, the last 100 feet was a little more time consuming because of fresh ice and snow. Stayed about 150 to 200 feet below the ridge while traversing to Ellingwood. No snow or ice on Ellingwood. Some route finding issues on the way down Ellingwood. Hiked out and returned to the truck by 6pm. I love fourteeners in the Fall!
Climbed with Duane Gilliland on our Ultra-prominence trip to Colorado and Utah. Blanca was the highest peak in Colorado we hadn't climbed. Traversed over to Ellingwood Point before heading back to Lake Como. By the next morning the weather was threatening, so we figured we could bag Little Bear as a day climb on a future trip.
started at 4 to have it to myself and then went to Ellingwood
Good hike for the first one. As anyone can tell, don't try and drive up the road to far. If you're tired, the road down is full of ankle twisting rocks.
This ridge was a blast - moderately difficult but almost always very secure climbing. The exposure is thrilling, especially since you know you're not likely to fall - like looking out of an airplane window. After Little Bear, this ridge was a relief. Clouds, wind, rain, and snow sent me packing down back to Crater lake. I left Boulder at 1:15am, started hiking at 6:15am, and arrived back at my car a little before 10:00pm. I guess that counts as a long day.
Como Road tough even for an ATV. Large parking area at 7880 to Lake Como is 6.9 miles according to ATV odometer. The Climb from Lake Como to Blanca is Medium Talus for all but the first mile. Good worthwhile climb but definitely not a walkup. Thunder and snow on the peak sent us down hill after a few pics and signing the register. See my forthcoming trip report.
Continued on to Blanca from Ellingwood, staying as high as possible without having to do much scrambling. The weather held up and I made a nice leisurely descent back to my camp below Little Bear's face.
The fog was so terrible that we couldn't see anything from the summit. I wish we could have stayed higher on the Ellingwood-Blanca Ridge but the fog presented some route-finding problems. Ice was actually starting to form on the rocks as we were going down.
This was the rockiest trail I had ever been on. It was worth the view! Be careful climbing the Skree Field, my partner and I Lost trail several times.
Climbed as traverse-enchainment with Little Bear and Ellingwood Point. This full traverse with descent of Ellingwood's South Ridge was the way to go. Sick exposure and constant 3rd and 4th class all day.
My climbing partner said “One down 53 to go.” I took him literally and am on my way to completing the 14’ers.
Perfect conditions all the way from Crater Lakes up to the ridge - about 1500 feet of uninterrupted easy to moderate snow. Tons of fun.