Climbed the Northwest Face and it was fun! Nice summit. Bailed on the traverse due to time and storms rolling in early on the prior days. The descent of the wet hourglass is intimidating!
After 4 hours of sleep, drove to trailhead from Alamosa (F in motel prep’ing for High Desert Museum interview). After getting to TH sign-in @ 4.44 & parking, realized day pack nowhere to be found. Thorough, frantic scouring of both front & back failed to locate it. Called F & she didn’t see it anywhere around motel either. Finally decided to drive back to Alamosa to see if it had perhaps fallen off of the truck by chance that I’d accidentally forgotten it on top of truck or something. En route saw it lying on roadway I’d accidentally turned onto before correcting self (along w/ camping pot). Had just prayed to St. Antonius for help finding it. No amount of recollection or logic could explain how it could have fallen out of the truck! Grabbed it & headed back to parking (8,000’, 1.8 mi. after turn-off). Left TH @ 5.52. Hauled ass to try to compensate for lost time. Encountered old man muttering to himself shortly before lake. Came across a group of 3 (above me) @ Hourglass & passed on 4th class on L (crux dripping w/ H2O from previous night’s rains). Summited to partly cloudy, but w/ swirling clouds in many places, @ 10.22 (4:30 after leaving car @ 8,000’). Left summit @ 10.33 for Blanca.
Found a scree slope to the North of the standard route which cliffed-out somewhere on the NW face (South of the summit). I missed the standard route turnoff in the dark. Stuck too high, almost every rock was rotten and pulled out with little effort. This reminded me of pulling books out of a shelf at the library! Very scary, and I'm lucky to eventually climb my way out of several hundred feet of nearly vertical climbing with so much rotten rock. After topping out, I dropped down and summited via the hourglass. Afterwards I took the LB-Blanca ridge (easy after my NW face fiasco) and also climbed Ellingwood Point.
as advertised. I think this is most difficult colorado 14er. The hourglass was wet and a fall could be fatal. The rope was in good shape and the slings looked good. I used it to come down. I wished I had my climbing harness with me. Even above and below the rope there is plenty of scrambling. I was solo on a sunday so no rockfall risk. Generally, if you stay on route above the rope (go left) there is not too much loose rock.
We thought we would get the better of this route with firm snowpack. What we endured was white out conditions, post holing and a 22 hour round trip ordeal. I'd come back to see is this is easier in better conditions if I didn't hate the Como Road so much.
Probably a little crazy as my first fourteener, but I've climbed plenty of fourth- and fifth-class stuff before. Quiet day (only one other party on the mountain) and decent weather for the ascent—overcast, but not windy. Two of us started up a little late from above Lake Como and reached the summit via the hourglass 4:50 later. Started to sprinkle snow flurries on the descent and was raining on our hike out to the vehicle. Next morning we noticed white on the tops of the mountains. Overall, a great trip!
Great conditions for November. Little Bear is very dangerous. Be aware of parties above you in the hourglass. Softball sized talus will rocket down the chute at about 100 mph. Roped movement might not be a bad idea. There was a fall fatality in 2010.
climbed twice, once via the standard hourglass and onto the blanca traverse, by far the best traverse and probably the best 14er route in CO, if you dont count longs diamond. the second time via a chossy couloir coming up from blue lakes and intersection the hourglass route just below its crux. probably 5.3, but not too exposed; it's a gully. in any case hourglass is trivial after that...
Attempt #1 2 weeks ago was cut short at 13,600 due to winds. This time made it all the way. Fun knife edge to SLB and fun traverse. Exposure was occasionally intense - especially since we had to test every rock.
Lots of work for such a "short" hike.
Third time up this mountain, but first time taking the SW ridge. Really fun scramble up to South LB and traverse to LB main summit. Third time on LB.
Finally successful on this repeat attempt. Went up with Stephanie Lynn, Britt Jones, Terry Matthews and Mike & Dina. Had great weather. The climb to South Little Bear was more intense than the traverse between the two.
We stopped at the entrance to the Baby Thunder Couloir roughly 15 minutes before the base of the Hourglass. Weather has deteoriated and the snow conditions were horrible...scary really.
Will be back for another go...maybe the SW Ridge.
Ascended via the Hourglass. Very wet. Not the most fun I've had - definitely a nail-biter. Read my Trip Report if you want to learn more.
I think doing this as a snow climb is the best and safest way to do it if you've got the game
Late June 2010 - Wasn't too fond of the hourglass. I felt secure climbing up/down it, but twice kicked off rocks that would've scared the hell out of anyone if they were below me. Usually I don't do that, but water was running down the middle of the hourglass, so I stuck to a higher and looser path.
Fun Peak! The rock in the Hourglass at that time was wet and polished smooth so I climbed some 4/low 5 rock on the left hand side of the gully. Going up was not bad but coming back down was a little scarier. Overall an awesome mountain!
Ropes were recently cut. So, no ropes in the hourglass. Ascent was wet, with storms hammering the area for the last couple days. Ridge to Blanca was dry. Turned back 1/4 into the ridge by marauding thunderstorms. Two joined 60m ropes made a perfect, quick rap out of the hourglass.
Poor hand and footholds in the hourglass gives this one the distinction of the scariest 14er I've done (37 so far, including Capitol). Hope it stays that way.