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Easier walkout, Willow Creek or Lake Como?

Colorado 14er peak questions and conditions should be posted here. 14er Trip Reports
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Easier walkout, Willow Creek or Lake Como?

Postby HikerGuy » Tue Sep 18, 2012 3:23 pm

Looking for opinions...which is the easier walkout (given assumptions below), Willow Creek or Lake Como?

- start at Willow Creek 4wd TH at 8,850 elevation
- or start at 8,800 feet on Como Road (could probably push that another 1,000 feet to Jaws 0.5?, but sounds like it's not worth it)
- backpack to and camp in vicinity of either Willow Lake or Lake Como night before
- climb either Challenger & Kit Carson or Blanca & Ellingwood via standard routes and walk out same day
- ideal weather, sunny and clear (ie. sometime this week)

Thanks!
Troy

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Re: Easier walkout, Willow Creek or Lake Como?

Postby wildlobo71 » Tue Sep 18, 2012 3:28 pm

Willow Creek, by a factor of 10.
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Re: Easier walkout, Willow Creek or Lake Como?

Postby gdthomas » Tue Sep 18, 2012 3:35 pm

Willow Creek. The WC trail is much easier on your feet/legs than the Como Lake road.

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Re: Easier walkout, Willow Creek or Lake Como?

Postby HikerGuy » Tue Sep 18, 2012 3:38 pm

That was my suspicion, but keep those opinions coming and/or I might never visit the Como Road :lol:

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Re: Easier walkout, Willow Creek or Lake Como?

Postby summitwolf » Tue Sep 18, 2012 3:54 pm

WC for sure !
"The mountains have rules. They are harsh rules, but they are there, and if you keep to them you are safe. A mountain is not like men. A mountain is sincere. The weapons to conquer it exist inside you, inside your soul."

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Another option...

Postby Jay521 » Tue Sep 18, 2012 3:56 pm

You can also do Ellingwood and Blanca from the Zapata Falls TH and avoid the Lake Como road. I did this a couple months ago and it does make for a long day but is definitely doable. Geojed wrote up a nice trip report here:

http://14ers.com/php14ers/tripreport.php?trip=12100&parmuser=geojed&cpgm=tripmain&ski=Include

although there is one error - the Zapata Falls CG charges $7 a night. He is also a faster hiker/climber than I am as it took me almost 16 hours to do the route. But then I have a few years on him...
Last edited by Jay521 on Tue Sep 18, 2012 3:59 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Easier walkout, Willow Creek or Lake Como?

Postby altidude » Tue Sep 18, 2012 3:57 pm

I will say that Como Road is definitely worse, but the Switchback Lake, er, Willow Lake approach is a grunt.
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Re: Another option...

Postby HikerGuy » Tue Sep 18, 2012 4:02 pm

Jay521 wrote:You can also do Ellingwood and Blanca from the Zapata Falls TH and avoid the Lake Como road. I did this a couple months ago and it does make for a long day but is definitely doable. Geojed wrote up a nice trip report here:

http://14ers.com/php14ers/tripreport.php?trip=12100&parmuser=geojed&cpgm=tripmain&ski=Include


Thanks for the trip report link, I will check it out. I am familiar with that trail/trailhead having done California Peak a few years ago.

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Re: Easier walkout, Willow Creek or Lake Como?

Postby reinselc » Wed Sep 19, 2012 12:26 pm

Willow lake is about 1000x prettier too.

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Re: Easier walkout, Willow Creek or Lake Como?

Postby MtHurd » Wed Sep 19, 2012 12:51 pm

Willow Lake. Como Lake Rd. blows.

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