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 Peak(s):  Blanca Peak  -  14,345 feet
Ellingwood Point  -  14,042 feet
 Post Date:  07/31/2006
 Date Climbed:   07/29/2006
 Posted By:  chrisjferraro

 Blanca to Ellingwood from Como   

Me and my climbing buddy for the weekend, Zac, headed out from Denver Tech Center area around 4pm. We headed down 25 and over towards Alamosa, and parked the car (subaru outback) about 1.8 miles up the Lake Como road (I think). We headed out up the road at 8:25p and arrived at our camp spot just below the lake at 11:45p (~11700'). It wasnt really a campsite, just a little spot in the side of the trail with room to pitch a tent (we were really tired). We woke up about 515 the next moring with ambitions to climb Little Bear's NW face. But there was a cloud on little bear so we elected to do Blanca and Ellingwood. We left camp at 635 and headed up into a low cloud toward the basin below Blanca. At around 13000 feet, the sun poked over the ridge and the cloud started to clear. From here it was a straight forward climb up to Blanca. We had a nice leasurly hike and summited at about 855. We hung out with some other friendly hikers on top until 945. We then headed down the ridge and up to Ellingwood. We took the trail from the saddle that traverses a little ways below the ridgecrest. This route was easy-cheesy, Roach ranks it class 3 but I thought is was class 2. The route was obvious and we summited at 1055. We had Ellingwood to ourselves, and stayed there until 1130. We then headed down the southwest ridge. We stayed pretty much on the ridgecrest the whole way and found it to be enjoyable class 3 climbing with minimal loose rock, but some exposure in places. We took the ridge to a gully above the small unamed lake at the top of the waterfall that we passed by on our way to Blanca. We descended this gully without much trouble, it was steep but the rock was reasonable. It was an easy hike from the bottom back to camp. We arrive back at camp at about 200p. The cloud hung on or around Little Bear all day long, but otherwise it was a very nice day.

The SW ridge on Ellingwood is awsome. We were going to ascend this way, but decided that since we were still in a cloud at the cutoff point during our ascent, it wasn't a great idea. I would definitely recommend using this ridge, either for an ascent or descent (although going up is probably more fun). It was the highlight of the day.

Times:
320 to camp
220 up Blanca
110 traverse
230 down

 


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