| Little Bear to Blanca Winter Traverse
As per Page 115 in Roof of the Rockies:
FA: Joe Merhar and Dale Norton, 1931
FWA: Charley Mace, solo, 1981(first and possibly only)
Matt Bruton (aka Bruton)
Micah Morgan (aka MountainMicah83)
Route: (Times are approximate)
1/28/2011 - Car at 8,800’ to Cabin at Como Lake 11,750’- 2.5 Hours
1/29/2011 - Como Lake 11,750 to crest of West ridge of Little Bear circa 12,000’- 2 Hours
- West ridge circa 12,000’ to base of Hourglass around 13,300’- 2.5 Hours
-Base of Hourglass to Little Bear Summit, 14,037’ – 1.5 Hours
-Traverse to Blanca Summit 14,345’ – 4.5 Hours
-Descent to Cabin at Como Lake 11,750’- 3.5 grueling hours of post-holing.
1/30/2011 -Como Lake to Car at 8,800’- 1.75 quick hours
Matt and I have been talking for quite some time about getting this climb done in winter and have held off and been patient for several reasons to include skill level, partner comfort, snow conditions, and weather. Our plan was to do the route in summer first to have a good feel of what we were up against but our planned attempt was quickly changed this past summer when Kevin Hayne passed on the same route the week before up Little Bear. Out of Respect, we decided to avoid the area and go get Capitol.
Matt has been a technical rock climber for about eleven years and about the point we met about 2 years ago after hour wives, who were high school Pals back in the day, introduced us. Almost immediately we were best bros that felt like we were had been friends since grade school. We had many similar interests to include mountain climbing and snowboarding. I expressed interest in learning more technical rock skills from Matt and he began to teach me the ropes, so to speak. I really had a desire to learn due to my love of the alpine and within one summer, I was a pretty solid 5.10 rock climber. While pushing myself on harder peaks and 2 other of the great 14er traverses (Bells, and Crestones) in Summer, and pushed my snow climbing skills in winter and spring. This past year especially, I began to bump my climbing up from just sport climbing with fixed bolts for protection to trad, or traditional, type of climbing where you place your own gear in the rocks and your partner picks it up as they second behind you. We have been practicing those skills on all types of adventure climbing throughout southern Colorado and our summer road trip ending at the fun 6 pitch Monkey Face west face variation route in Smith Rock, Oregon with our friend ImNotHeySean this past summer.
for the remainder of this stellar report, see my blog HERE
This was Freedom of The Hills at it's Best. God has made us a very beautiful playground to enjoy.
See you at the top!
Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):