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little bear blanca traverse in winter?

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little bear blanca traverse in winter?

Postby altitudesick » Tue Oct 02, 2007 11:34 pm

any one done this? ive seen some trip reports of capitol in winter so just curious as to the other. looks like fun.

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Postby CO Native » Wed Oct 03, 2007 7:54 am

If you're going to attempt that I really hope your profile is missing some details of your experience. That route when dry in the summer requires a fair amount of experience.

I've never seen a trip report of this traverse being done in the winter.
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Postby thebeave7 » Wed Oct 03, 2007 8:18 am

I agree with mr native, that would be one hell of an undertaking. I have friends who are competent climbers/mountaineers and they said it was draining during the summer. I'd image a winter ascent would be long, and slow. May even need tools, definitely roped up the entire way, not to mention any weather comes in you are screwed(not many bail out points).
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Postby Kevin Baker » Wed Oct 03, 2007 8:48 am

Uh, climbing Capitol in winter is just a bit more serious than Grays and Torreys in winter. You should be well versed in assessing avy terrain as just getting to K2 is a serious undertaking. Then you have to belay across the knife edge over cornices, many of which will probably be overhanging. To top it off, you pretty much have to stay on the ridgecrest all the way to the summit as traversing the summer route across the face would be a death wish.

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Postby crestedbutteskier » Wed Oct 03, 2007 8:58 am

The difference is Capitol's knife ridge isn't anywhere near as sharp as Littlebears. There is room to maneuver on one side or the other on Capitol, where you basically have to be right on top of the ridge for 90% for Littlebear.

I'm sure there are plenty of people who could do it, but it would be long, tedious, and dangerous.

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Postby altitudesick » Wed Oct 03, 2007 2:19 pm

im a longs ways off ever thinking about doing this. just a curious question.

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Postby gme » Wed Oct 03, 2007 2:49 pm

One thing people often forget about winter climbs is the short hours of daylight at that season. It's one thing to do an approach like the trail to Longs Peak in the dark, it's quite another to be up on Blanca-LB fumbling around in the dark.

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Postby Layne Bracy » Wed Oct 03, 2007 2:56 pm

The ideal time for a winter traverse of LB-Blanca might be in mid-March(longer daylight) in a dry Sangres winter like '05-'06. Who knows when that'll happen again!

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Postby Jcwhite » Wed Oct 03, 2007 3:11 pm

Kevin Baker wrote:Uh, climbing Capitol in winter is just a bit more serious than Grays and Torreys in winter. You should be well versed in assessing avy terrain as just getting to K2 is a serious undertaking. Then you have to belay across the knife edge over cornices, many of which will probably be overhanging. To top it off, you pretty much have to stay on the ridgecrest all the way to the summit as traversing the summer route across the face would be a death wish.


More serious than grays and torreys, yes. But I think you hyped it up a bit more than is necessary.
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Postby shanahan96 » Wed Oct 03, 2007 7:38 pm

Layne Bracy wrote:The ideal time for a winter traverse of LB-Blanca might be in mid-March(longer daylight) in a dry Sangres winter like '05-'06. Who knows when that'll happen again!


layne,

your basic idea here is solid. the main problem i encountered in the sierra blancas that winter was ice buildup on bare rock, which was plentiful along ellingwood point's southwest ridge that march. there were ways(tricky, but doable) to avoid it, but i wouldn't want to be on the traverse under those conditions.

hopefully dwight will jump in here. ken mentioned that he started the traverse during their little bear winter climb, but turned around fairly quickly because of whatever he saw out there.

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Postby altitudesick » Wed Oct 03, 2007 8:20 pm

could you imagine bivying up there in the middle of blizzard conditions? my idea of epic.

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Postby Andy » Wed Oct 03, 2007 9:26 pm

There sure are a lot of dads on this board! Jeesh. :roll:
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