| BLANCA GROUP
This is my first trip report. Nothing fancy, no pics..I hope this may help those who are thinking about attempting these peaks. Exposure, danger etc etc is all TOO SUBJECTIVE so what I report is my opinion..so take it for what it is worth..
Como Lake Road
Long and Rough on the ascent, straight from Hell on the descent. Go to your happy place and make it happen.
Little Bear Peak. West Ridge Route. Climb Date: Tues. Aug. 10.
Thanks to Bill and James Scott for the info on Little Bear Peak, most helpful.
The gully taking you to the west ridge is Loose and Steep. Take your time. Once to the ridge the rock is solid and well marked with limited exposure IMO. At the hourglass we thought of and prayed for Kevin Hayne and ourselves. I climbed to the far left of the Hourglass which had running water. There was a little area about 20' into the climb where I had to make a move that was a little dicey, smooth rock, limited holds but it was over within a few seconds and I was on more stable rock and it was over. I was about even with the old anchor rock but to the left of it. There is a blue half rope (tied together) on a higher anchor rock, the sling looked new but did not care much for how it was wedged in sharp corners of the rock.
I have read the thread about the ropes in the hourglass etc. I want to be self sufficient in the mountains or anywhere for that matter so if you are attempting Little Bear, come prepared with all you will need and prepare for the worst.
The summit push is loose and rocks knocked surely funnel down the hourglass. Made the summit and wanted to rap down using my own gear and left nothing behind, thanks to the group behind us who grabbed my sling and rap ring. PRE SHE ATE CHA...( We anchored off of the old anchor rock that looks weathered and has some cracks in it..choose wisely). Carried out a few ropes from where Crossfitter cut and left what he could not remove.
This route was not at all what I had thought. IMO it was "easier" than expected, either because I had made it a monster in my own mind, my skill level has increased or it is just not that difficult.
Blanca Peak. Northwest Ridge Route. Climb Date. Wed. Aug. 11.
Good Route, well marked. More like class 3 IMO. I felt it had more exposure than the Little Bear Route.
Ellingwood Point from Blanca taking the Class 3 Ridge. Climb Date. Wed. Aug. 11
This route was very fun, route finding was easy and I felt it had more exposure than both Blanca and Little Bear. We did get off route for the whole descent and had to scramble for an hour. While off route..we would find a few Carins that lead to no where. This was frustrating but we finally got back to the "split trail" above Crater Lake and made it down without issue.
Mount Lindsey, standard route. Climb Date Wed. Aug. 12
In Fort Garland we ate at a steak place...cannot remember the name but it was really really good. From there we found a road (CR560) ??, it was at an intersection on the westside before La Veta Pass, great road and cut off at least an hour as it intersects with FR580 by all of the ranches. Another rough ride to the Lily Lake TH but made it slow and steady in a King Ranch Ford F250.
This route is very scenic and was really enjoyable, I felt like I was in the first "RANBOW" movie with the tight trail, creek and mine entrance.. Route was straight forward and easy until we reached the saddle that leads to Lindsey's North Face Route. Both Roach and 14ers say this route is the "most difficult class 2" route on any 14er. MOTHER OF PEARL. It is loose and loose and loose and steep. IMO it is the most exhausting route and had more exposure than any of the routes in this report. I was attempting to scramble on either side of the route but eventually would end up on the route from Hell. I don't know how long ago either Bill or Roach have been on this route but IMO it is not even close to a class 2 route. More like a Class 3+ and surely class 4 in some areas. At the time, I wish we had taken the optional SW class route in Roach's book.. Anyway, made the summit and back home without incident.
Overall we had great weather and enjoyed all that God has provided. We sucked some marrow from life and looking for more.
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