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 Peak(s):  Little Bear Peak  -  14,037 feet
 Post Date:  08/03/2010
 Date Climbed:   07/28/2010
 Posted By:  djrunner

 Little Bear is a BIG bear with fuzzy balls   

One of Little Bear's Big Fuzzy Balls
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Kim, Mike, and I all met up at the base of Lake Como Road. Kim drove her 4runner nearly to the first jaws. Definitely further than anyone else that day. On the way up we met Mike who was flying solo, so he asked to join us on Little Bear. It is safer to go with a group. Of course we obliged. We camped at the lake and went to bed early for an early start.
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We left camp around 4:45 AM. Even though it is a short distance, we wanted to plan it so we get to the hourglass with enough time for it to dry out, but early enough to be off the mountain before any storms approach.
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Immediately our helmets were on. In the first gulley, rocks are loose and easy to send down.
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Once on the south side of the Bear we could see the low cloud ceiling. We were hoping this was just morning fog which would burn off. It was the same pattern as my Mt. Lindsey trip report the day before. The clouds just swirl throughout the mountains. One minute it is clear, the next foggy.
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When Little Bear finally became visible, we realized we had a lot further to go still. This dampened our moods, but we kept pushing.
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Finally we made it to the HOURGLASS! We knew that the ropes had been cut out recently, so we hiked in ropes and gear. When we got there we assessed the route. There was water, but there were dry spots as well. Then we saw the fixed rope already there. Someone must have recently put up the new rope. We climbed to the anchor and checked it out. Figuring we did not have to make any decisions till the way down, we dropped off our heavy gear and headed up the rest of the way. We were very careful because two climbers were close behind us.
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Right before we summitted, Little Bear flipped me off!
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Group shot on top. 8)
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Head stand. This is a lot scarier than it looks, because all I can see is the valley way down there.
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Little bears on top of Little Bear.
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Soon we began our descent.
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As soon as we got to the narrow part of the hourglass, fog rolled in. This made me extremely nervous. This is a scary portion already. Remove visibility and who knows what can happen!
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The fog did not stick around for long. Kim checked the rope and her and Mike decided to belay in and use it as a safety. We packed all of Kim's gear and headed down one at a time. I attempted to hold on the rope just to be safe, but it ended up being easier to stay on the right side (facing down the mountain) and down climb. One of the Mike's had already made it down this way. I found enough holds to safely descend the hourglass. At one moment I was freaked myself out and had to build my confidence back up, but no one else really seemed to have problems. Other than that we all did fine. Down climbing is never as easy as climbing. We all made it out unscathed and cleared the way for the next couple of climbers waiting.
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A look back at the now cloud covered Little Bear.
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When we reached camp we found one of our food bags had been sabotaged. We hung it too close to the tree. It would be a great story to say that a little bear had gotten into it, but it wasn't a bear. Instead it was a squirrel/s. We rehung the food between two trees. We did not have any more incidents after that.
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Little bear standing by Little Bear.
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Hanging by the lake, cooling our feet off. Blanca and Ellingwood tomorrow.
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Little Bear looking at Little Bear back at the car the next day (after climbing Blanca and Ellingwood).
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Final shot of the trip! Mike taking a picture of Kim… Um… What is he taking a picture of?
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Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
 


  • Comments or Questions
Perea


Image #30     2014-04-18 13:27:32
Mike you should be ashamed of yourself!


emcee smith


Come on...     2010-08-04 05:59:25
it's not that often a beautiful woman asks you to take pictures of her in unusual positions.

DJ, Great report and great trip.


thatguy

that couple behind you     2010-08-04 07:35:08
We were that couple behind you. Still kicking myself for not driving up the road as far as you all did. Glad you guys put a report up and got some good pictures. I was too chicken to pull the camera out while in the hourglass.
dave


Presto


Entertaining read ...     2010-08-04 08:46:22
I could ”barely” make it through this report, but I decided I'd grin and ”bare” it. Nice shots! Happy trails!


SkiAndClimb


Great TR....and a question     2010-08-09 10:28:46
Tnx for the TR.
Did you find the Rope and it's anchor in good condition? Was the rope clean for a rappel, or were there knots in it???


djrunner


Rope     2010-08-09 20:48:09
The rope appeared to be in good condition. However, as has been argued in the forum for a long time, ropes in the hourglass should not be trusted. Two of the hikers in our group belayed into the rope and semi-rapped down. They mostly just down climbed, because they did not trust the rope 100%. However, it seemed to be in funtioning condition. The hourglass is a scary place to be because of the climbing and the rocks which may fall at any moment. If dry, it can be climbed up and down easier. Pay attention to the weather and if in doubt, bring your own ropes and gear. That is what we did, and just didn't end up using it. I hope this helps.



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