I started hiking at 5 AM just 2 miles from the highway were the forest starts, after six hours of torture I stood on the rocky summit of Blanca. Ellingwood, Little Bear, Lindsey, Spanish peaks and the icy lakes down below looked awesome!
Got back to my car by 2:45 after 20 min at the top.
That nasty road tored up my knees (not to mention my trail runners).
4 wheeled for a while up the road, hiked in and did ellingwood and blanca. Great weather, set up a bivy and climbed little bear the next day via nw face.
For as high as this mountain is and steep as the North Ridge rises, this was a surprisingly quick climb. A few snowfields lower down lingering. The shallow bands of cliffs had ice in the AM and water in the PM. Had the WHOLE MOUNTAIN to myself!
Great views of Ellingwood and Spanish Peaks. Perfect weather.
Started up at 9:12AM from back down on the road, reached Como Lake at 11:15, reached the summit at 3:03PM, back to the truck at 6:35PM. A long day but beautiful weather and scenery everywhere. My 22nd 14'er........sweet!!!
Awesome climb. We climbed the snow route that ascended to just right of the summit. I ended up climbing a small chute that topped out on an exposed section of the end of the blanca/little bear ridge and somehow my partner ended up on the other side of the ridge - made for some sketchy exposed moves, but lots of fun. With the hike in and the great line, Blanca is a spectacular climb. If the weather had been better, we might have bagged Ellingwood and Little Bear as well, but it's a great reason to head back to Como some other time.
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.