Climbed in conjunction with Ellingwood Peak. This was memorable as my 10 month old puppy Sopris' first fourteener. Damn she made me proud. She turned into the best mountain dog I could imagine.
I left a pair of boots next to the trail ~11,000ft, on return only 1 was there. These had medically necessary orthodics in them. If anyone came across a single boot, please post me.
I loved this traverse! We were on the ridge crest for all but one small section, peering over the 1000' drop into Huerfano Basin. I have a trip report is available here.
Climbed this mountain for the 3rd time with another high camp at the Blue Lakes. For such a low grade, low class mountain, Blanca will make you break a sweat! especially if you hike the Como Lake trail as I have done 3 times. The climb up was a great scramble. Lorena (my girlfriend) and I made it up rather quickly. We also had to get down quick as the clouds and static electricity were getting bad! Seeing hair stand on end is not my idea of a safe environment.
A group of 4 of my friends decided to road trip it to Blanca during our Labor Day break at Texas Tech. Pam (bottom left) flew in from Houston to meet Vic (bottom right), Ricardo (top right) and myself (top left). The trip was quite an adventure. The Como Lake road almost "ate" Vic's little Mazada truck he had at the time. We were slow coming down the mountain as Ricardo and I were acting "guides" for Vic and Pam. After breaking our Blue Lakes camp. We found ourself hiking the Como Lake Road very very late! The plan was for Ricardo (climber from El Salvador) to "run" down the mountain and get the truck and meet us to eliminate part of the descent. It didn't work as planned. In Alamosa at midnight we found out there was no where to eat so we just went to the bar and fed ourselves beer. The drive back to Lubbock was great the next day!
My friend Robert and I managed to tag Blanca's lofty summit during the 4th of July weekend in 1998. I can't remember the actual day I stood on top, but it was in and around that range. I remember part of the massive crowd at the summit was a dog. There were these odd high altitude flies bugging climbers at the summit as well. Great climb with good views. Its a good scrambe and a great introduction to basic exposure as the North Face of Blanca affords steep views! while staying safe just below the ridge line on the saddle up to the summit.
Tough slog with 40 lbs. packs and knee deep snow. we made it to crater lake decided to set up camp and summit next morning. that night it snowed about a foot and we were surrounded by avalanche prone slopes so we decided to pack up and return home.
Got a late start, at about midnight. Ran into a mountain lion, but at least it wasnt hot. Camped by the lake, it was an easy hike up the next day.
We dayhiked this from as high up as one can drive a '71 Volkswagon Squareback. Not far... It made for a long day. Some crazy miner up above Blue Lakes came after us with a rock pick and accused us of claim jumping. He couldn't get it through his head that we were there to climb something.
Long tedious day but it was a beautiful day. - read my trip report.
Definitely the most exhilirating 14er summit to date. Would highly recommend the traverse from Little Bear to Blanca for anyone interested in fun 4th class scrambling accompanied by short easy 5. moves, and an extraordinary view down below.
This was a fun trip. We took a friends jeep which is not altered and basically winched it up the long road to the lake. It took us 6 hours to get the jeep up to the lake. This road is rated as 9 when it comes to 4x4 roads and there are no 10s. You must either winch your vehicle or have an altrered vehicle to make it. The local town does a lot of 4x4 rescues on this road. We camped at the lake and summited Blanca. There was still snow and chunks of blue ice in the water basins above the lake. My friends went on to do Ellingwood and I went down Blanca alone as the lightning was getting too close for my comfort. They lucked out, the storm passed and they summited Ellingwood. (Darn it.) If you have to walk the road rather then drive, go early as the road is long and it is entirely exposed in the hot sun.
Solo Ascent w/ Ellingwood Point. Awesome mountains! Blanca was a great summit, however, i had to backpack from the 2 wheel drive parking in the middle of the day, NOT recommended!
Also did Ellingwood, but the ridge to Little Bear looked too scary. Started from near the bottom of the road. I had tried this yesterday but was turned back by storms at 13000 ft.
The damned backpack in was harder that the climb!
but finished the climb in snow in August. got a bit slick and bailed out of there. still need to get back to Little Bear.
I climbed this route from a high camp above Como lake. From there it is a solid class 2 climb and you have plenty of time to traverse to Ellingwood Point.