Excellent adventure! From a technical sense, this was probably the best 14ner I've had the pleasure of climbing. In my short list of mountains, the sustained exposure on this peak (and traverse to Blanca) is unparalleled by any other mountain.
Little Bear proved to be a very challenging climb. We drove up the road and camped at about 10,400. Saturday got up and started hiking up to Como Lake at 7:30am. We continued on from Como and went up the West Ridge route. Thankfully there was plenty of snow on the way up which made the hourglass chute very easy to climb and the class 3 climbing to the summit was very fun. We hit the summit at about 2:15pm and thankfully the weather was very nice. My friend Gary thought it would be a fun trip to bring gear to camp so we caried 30 lb packs all the way up Little Bear with the thought of camping on the summit of Blanca.
now this is fear factor. great climb, other than the football sized missiles-from-nowhere that keep screaming all the way down the chutes.
Wow, this mountain wastes no time rearing up. The route is short, but easy is not a good adjective to describe it. The Hourglass had a good stream of water running down it, which made things a little interesting, especially on the way down, but there was a fixed rope to help with that. It was great climbing though! The backpack up the Lake Como road was not exactly gentle, either, but very scenic.
This was my second time to climb Little Bear, the first being the northwest face route, years earlier. After camping above Como Lake, we climbed Blanca and Ellingwood in the morning, and finished with Little Bear in the afternoon. After a clear start at noon, threatening weather arrived in the late afternoon. The gully had running water, so we stayed on the dry rock 50-100' to the left - a recommended route!
A good climb. Trough is known for loose rocks, and believe me they are loose. some water on the mountain makes it slippery in a few places. great view from top.
Im suprised to see little bear a popular climb.back in the summer of 76 i was living in Monte Vista. A budy of mine from Oregon had been doing a bunch of climbing around the Vista area.We hooked up with a group of climbers headed to Blanca.after spending a night at lake como we all headed up but the draw of little bear got our attention. Im not sure what route it was or is. there was snow field and a few ledges then steep huge loose boulders. rock fall cut out rope so we were down to 50 foot . 5 pitons and slings for swamies. we hit the ridge at about 400 feet below the summit. i remember it being a knife edge sharp and followed it to the summit. We returned the same way except for we rapped off the other side where we came up to a ledge... i think on the south east side of the mountain. We then found a huge crack in the mountain that lead to the como side of the mountain.down a snow field and back to camp.. its been a long time ago and im not sure of the directions but if anyone knows i would like to know.... My budy never climbed again..it scared the crap out of us both but for me it fueled me for a life time of climbing. firstname.lastname@example.org
It was a beautiful morning. Solid climbing and an early start allowed my partner and I to be on the summit by 9:30, and continue on to Blanca and Ellingwood. Great mountain!!!
My first CO 14er and on my way to Blanca and Ellingwood.
The west ridge route can be dangerous, however I climbed it with only one climber above me and is was some fun class 4 climbing with allot of loose 3rd class to the top! A early start, good climbing skills, helmet and a rope are reconmended!