All the way from the bottom as a day hike. That road is a mental slog. The summit ridge of Blanca is a treat, though. 6 total hours from bottom to top with Tanya, then went over to Ellingwood.
Didn't try to drive the road. It's a long hike. Camped just above Lake Como. My first 14er and it was a long, fun one.
My partner was too heavy and kept post holing in the crusty snow. I thought lite thoughts and made it to the steep, hard, snow ice with energy left to top out. I should have stayed on the summit longer. I didn't savor it.
I drove up from ABQ and met a friend from Denver. We hiked in the Lake Como road in the dark and climbed Blanca and Ellingwood the next day. This was when I realized that climbing 14er was hard work!
The road was the main adventure. Surely the worst 4wd road in the state
How sweet it is... now I'm hooked
Long slog up jeep road, then steep but easy
traversed from little bear. awesome, exposed route! move this one to the top of your to-do list.
En route to Ellingwood Point. Descended Ellingwood Point's North Ridge. 8 hours roundtrip from Lily Lake Trailhead. Trip Report
Wow- what a SNOW climb! We used our ice axes much of the way. The main trail was covered, so we were adventurous and axed our way straight up the face of Blanca... summiting from the middle of the face. The "ally" we climbed would be nasty nasty in the summer as it is a straight/narrow/steep scree gully.
This was simply one of the most amazing routes I've ever seen or done. Great rock, great exposure, and constant scrambling make this one an uberclassic. Loved every minute of it. The traverse took our group of four about 2 hrs and 15 minutes with good breaks here and there. For extra fun, make sure you climb the crux tower, it goes well.
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!