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 Peak(s):  Ellingwood Point  -  14,042 feet
 Post Date:  01/15/2012
 Date Climbed:   01/14/2012
 Posted By:  oldschool

 Where's the snow?   

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. Image
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. Image
Almost to Lake Como
Image
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. Image
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. Image
Summit ridge..almost there.
Image
On top!


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 ) Image
On the way down....nice day.
Image
Mike (oldschool)
Image
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.



Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
 


  • Comments or Questions (8)
awilbur77


Thanks...     2012-01-15 15:17:28
... for the TR. I am planning on hitting EP and Blanca on 1/28 or 1/29, this is helpful.


Dancesatmoonrise


Yes!     2012-01-15 17:34:22
Thanks for a good trip, Mike and Bobby.

And congrats, Mike, on your first Sangre summit.
After the loose rock on Ellingwood, you're going to love the solid conglomerate on the Crestones and Kit Carson.


summitbound


nice job     2012-01-15 19:01:07
And fantastic weather. Far cry from last weekend. Way to get it done!


d_baker


3 specks     2012-01-15 19:41:56
That's about what you looked like crossing Como Lake at 10am-ish.
We were a bit higher on a Bear at that point. ;)
Nice day-tripping, gents.


MtnHub


Very nice!     2012-01-15 20:06:08
Congrats on what looked like a fine day for a climb with some excellent company! Beautiful pics! Thanks for the post!


EmmaM


Nice seeing you on the trail!     2012-01-15 22:41:51
The weather was equally as cooperative and enjoyable for our hike!


RJansen77


Awesome!     2012-01-16 07:35:11
Great seeing you guys at the lake, we appreciated your conditions beta quite a bit. Had a fun day yesterday, albeit a bit breezy on top of Blanca.


desertdog


Down in my neck of the woods     2012-01-16 15:04:23
Looked like a great day. Thanks for the pics!



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