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.
Nice hike in -- great boulder climb up
Spectacular mountain but quite frustrating to see the four-wheelers heading into the high-alpine beyond Como Lake road. Traversed to Ellingwood later in the day.
2004 caught in some bad weather. headed back to camp waited out the storm. busted back up about 4pm at full tilt. summited and ran back to camp before dark. 1998- alot of snow. very tiring because of all
I started in the scrub just above the desert floor at 1:30am hiking by the light of the full moon (very cool). Went up and did Blanca and back in one long day, tired but happy. Hey, it's good to be 50!
Excellent adventure! The ridge is a "Must-Do" classic for anyone who craves exposure.
**Be in good climbing shape, and well prepared for the long ridge. During my traverse (2hrs), one party of two and a roped party of 3 had to exit the ridge under siege of a fierce hail storm. I passed them at the 1/3 point and reached Blanca by the time they were 50%. I reached the lakes before the hail began. Their slow travel and underestimation cost them a dangerous descent. They were fortunate to reach the lakes without injury (or worse).