It almost seems like cheating to call these climbs since Dec 21 as winter ascents. There is very little snow and the ascents have the flavor of spring or early fall climbs.
Headed to Alamosa on Friday afternoon, stopped in Gunnison, and then got to Alamosa about 5:30 or so. Drove up to about 8800 ft....didn't want to go any further.
Jim (Dancesatmoonrise) and Bobby (muzik83) joined me the next morning...they parked at about 8000 ft so they hiked up to my truck. We started at 8:00 am from 8800 ft.
Jim and Bobby
The track was in and good. We made good time to the lake with nothing special but awesome weather. Usually I wear my BD Mercury mittens this time of year but I had on my Marmot gloves that are sort of spring type things and I was so warm. Pleasant day. Sunny and beautiful skies.
Almost to Lake Como
Crossed the lake and took a line up the left side of the valley instead of the normal route. We had minor postholing issues and most of the snow was bullet hard. We followed a track up to the upper basin and took basically a direct line up to the summit, trying to stay on the rocks as the snow was either soft and we would sink in or hard as ice. No crampons or snowshoes....used microspikes.
Up the left side of the Basin
Made good time and spent a fair amount of time on top. Usually this time of year the wind is howling so you get off the top but we lingered. Thought about and talked about going to the top of Blanca but decided to head down.
Summit ridge..almost there.
Casual descent except for some spicy glissades! The hardness of the snow and the fact I had no ice axe made for some fast running. All came out ok though. ( I must admit I had thoughts of David and his accident while glissading as I was picking up speed and heading in a not so safe direction )
On the way down....nice day.
Lake Como and beyond....
Got back to the truck at 7:30 pm.
The lack of snow is alarming and the snow that is in place is icy and tricky.
Always good to get a new summit and this was my first Sangre de Cristo summit.