Wasn't as difficult as I feared. Saw Bighorn sheep up close! I kept the effort fairly easy the whole way and felt really good on top of Blanca so I decided to go bag Ellingwood as well. Decided to shortcut down a ridge and the SW Coliour of Ellingwood which was dangerous and a mistake, but I managed to get out at just the right spot to avoid being completely cliffed out. Caught Brit and Journey with a little over 3 miles to go. The terrain from Lake Como to Blanca is incredible. Hot at the start and the end, and never got cold on top surprisingly.
Wore Correct Toes on the way down...much better stability.
Scrambled the enjoyable SW ridge to the top. Continued to Blanca. Unseasonably warm.
Kessler and I hiked the 4wd road to Lake Como. It was a rather hot and tedious hike. We found a nice campsite at 11,960 feet and set up camp there.
In the morning we climbed Blanca Peak and Ellingwood Point. The views were a bit smoky. Blanca Peak was OK, but Ellingwood Point was just a choss pile. The ridge between the two was fun though.
Since we got back to camp fairly early we explored a bit around the basin.
In the morning, we climbed Little Bear Peak. The first talus slope was tedious and not fun at all. Then it was an OK traverse over to the Hourglass. The Hourglass would be the best part of the climb, but it is plagued by rockfall. In the Hourglass we met three people. Two were headed down and one was headed up. The person headed up wanted to join us since he was solo. We then joined up and climbed the rest of the way to Little Bear Peak. We were off the standard route a little and ended up climbing a short 5th class wall.
We met two girls at the summit. They were doing the traverse. After resting at the summit, the thee of us headed down. We were glad that there weren't more people on the mountain because of the rockfall danger.
The final gully descent was just as miserable as the ascent. If I ever did it again, I'd do it as a snowclimb.
After packing up, Kessler and I walked back down the 4wd road and headed for home.
1st 14er in probably 8 years. From Zapata Falls TH
Traversed solo from Blanca; dayhike from low on the Como Road
Enjoyed this approach and the interesting scramble up to the upper mountain. Dodged lightning storms on the way to the summit and probably spent the least amount of time on a summit I think I've ever had. Took the summit pic proof and was out of there just as it started to storm again.
Wonderful trip with Brent and Michael
Started around 5:30AM. Trail was completely dry most of the way to tree line with some spots of a couple inches of matted down snow. Not much snow above treeline. C2 certainly requires an ice axe and crampons. Ridge to summit was sketchy due to some lingering snow. Near perfect weather conditions as well. Got back around 3:30PM.
Climbed 14,345 ft. Blanca Peak with Matt today! We started our climb from 8,300 ft. on the hideous Lake Como road. Camped at Lake Como around 12,000 ft. Started our climb up Blanca around 6:30 AM and we made the summit around 10:30 AM. I summited 14,042 ft. Ellingwood Point after, 10 more to go! We then had to hike back down the Lake Como road. Matt and I agreed hiking up and down this road was the hardest part of the trip. Overall a great trip! Approx 18 miles round trip with 7000 ft of elevation gained.
In Seprtember 1997 we were trained up, camped above Como Lake ready to climb Little Bear and traverse until swirling storm clouds unleashed.
#1 7-5-17 With Brent & Lana. Interesting climb between Blanca and here. Followed mostly a cairned route below the connecting ridge. As on Blanca, we enjoyed the summit by ourselves! Fabulous views, of course. Followed a different route down to join the Blanca approach trail at 13,150. If you can imagine, a Jeep had pulled a trailer up to Blue Lakes where a group of Mountain Slavs was camped to shoot a documentary of some kind.
Fun first couloir climb, good snow in the morning still. Camped at S. Zapata Lake with marmots and mosquitoes. Long hike out with heavy packs, especially for first backpacking trip in a year. Awesome weekend. F'in marmots.
Harder than little Bear due to much hail.
From Lake Como after summitting Blanca just before. Did the ridge traverse between them.
South Face from 8800', still some nice fall colors. Ascent with MR, last portion was steep talus. No snow or ice today. Weather held despite delayed start of 9:00 AM. Good day overall. Hike back down Blanca road to the vehicle, as always, seemed too long.
About 1:30hr coming off the top of Blanca Peak. Although a 14-er, Ellingwood Point is much shorter, looser rock, and has a 300' gendarme to go around. Stayed the ridge-line up to the register and then the lower variation shortcut down to trail back to lake Como. Long 16hr day car-to-car for 2 summits.
First 14ers on the year. Little Bear via the Hourglass, the Traverse, then over to Ellingwood and down the ridge- all around the cirque! The Traverse is not nearly as bad as it's made out to be.