Little Bear 2024

Colorado peak questions, condition requests and other info.
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greenonion
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Little Bear 2024

Post by greenonion »

Just thought I’d post a place we can discuss this year’s any-encompassing dialog on Little Bear, should anyone else also need the info. E.g: conditions on different routes, weather, routes themselves, whatever, if anyone wants. I’ll probably bump here and there depending on how the summer season develops, beginning in a possible snowed in hourglass attempt in midish May.

Anyone been up LB recently or are going soon? Seems like soon there was a trip planned. Wondering how recent conditions are looking in the hourglass and the rest of the route up above.

Anyone else feel free to add on or use this post as needed for your possible Little Bear 2024 needs. (Yes, here we go again :mrgreen: )
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Istoodupthere
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Re: Little Bear 2024

Post by Istoodupthere »

West Ridge Route…First off I’m not trying to encourage people to do LB if they don’t have that kind of experience. That being said, I felt it was a bit overhyped, at least as far as the hourglass goes. If you’re ok with exposure, I thought the hourglass was actually pretty enjoyable. Plenty of good hand and foot holds as long as you take your time and look for the best route. No need to use the rope in IMO. Find a nice mid-week day in late-summer or early-fall when there won’t be many people out there so you don’t have to worry too much about rockfall. I’d argue that the gully (steep and loose) and the section above the hourglass (route finding and loose rock) were comparably challenging. Although when I went, the gully had some ice and I went too far left at first above the hourglass.
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justiner
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Re: Little Bear 2024

Post by justiner »

Sorry to fanboy about the Southwest Ridge route more than I do, but it does trade in the rockfall of the Hourglass, for some ridge exposure - which I ultimately think is worth it. Last Winter, I made it a little goal to find a good way to the ridge with minimal bushwhacking - I popped up a trip report with some general directions, a GPX file, and a camping suggestion to help people who don't want to deal with the Lake Como Road,

https://www.14ers.com/php14ers/triprepo ... trip=22476

I can't imagine ever wanting to do the Hourglass in summer conditions again - I don't trust strangers above that may have minimal mountaineering/climbing experience enough and any utilizing any rope found in there is IMHO f'n suicidal. I was really hoping that the West Ridge Direct (or more direct) could pan out to be a viable option for those that want to keep it < Class 5, but I'm not yet convinced. I found sticking to the ridge fairly committing. A hoot - but committing.

I'd like to get on the NW Face just for fun-sies though.
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greenonion
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Re: Little Bear 2024

Post by greenonion »

justiner wrote: Sun Apr 21, 2024 9:06 pm Sorry to fanboy about the Southwest Ridge route more than I do, but it does trade in the rockfall of the Hourglass, for some ridge exposure - which I ultimately think is worth it. Last Winter, I made it a little goal to find a good way to the ridge with minimal bushwhacking - I popped up a trip report with some general directions, a GPX file, and a camping suggestion to help people who don't want to deal with the Lake Como Road,

https://www.14ers.com/php14ers/triprepo ... trip=22476

I can't imagine ever wanting to do the Hourglass in summer conditions again - I don't trust strangers above that may have minimal mountaineering/climbing experience enough and any utilizing any rope found in there is IMHO f'n suicidal. I was really hoping that the West Ridge Direct (or more direct) could pan out to be a viable option for those that want to keep it < Class 5, but I'm not yet convinced. I found sticking to the ridge fairly committing. A hoot - but committing.

I'd like to get on the NW Face just for fun-sies though.
Thanks Justin. Those other two routes are plan Bs for later season, if May conditions for hourglass don’t work out. Now through May or early June I’m interested in conditions of snow in and above the hourglass. I’ll start looking at other routes later if needed.

Starting to realize I’m inadvertently publishing my intentions to a degree for LB. So be it, but not intended. For now, interested in snow in May in hourglass.

Where is jibs, I could use a thread manager?!
treefrog2005
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Re: Little Bear 2024

Post by treefrog2005 »

Was up there on 20-21 April, 2024. Look for trip report or peak conditions report very soon. The theme of this peak seems to be trade-offs (between different routes, seasons, etc.)!
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greenonion
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Re: Little Bear 2024

Post by greenonion »

Am dusting off this thread hoping for either recent conditions or any that might be seen within the next couple of weeks. For now, mostly interested in the hourglass and the amount and quality of snow in, and above it. …as well as the road in, approach gully from Como, and the traverse over to the base of hourglass.
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Cygnus X1
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Re: Little Bear 2024

Post by Cygnus X1 »

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daway8
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Re: Little Bear 2024

Post by daway8 »

greenonion wrote: Sat May 25, 2024 4:25 pm Am dusting off this thread hoping for either recent conditions or any that might be seen within the next couple of weeks. For now, mostly interested in the hourglass and the amount and quality of snow in, and above it. …as well as the road in, approach gully from Como, and the traverse over to the base of hourglass.
For the road, see my trailhead update here on Lake Como https://www.14ers.com/php14ers/threport ... cnum=10207

For the other conditions, besides the CR mentioned above I included a few possibly useful tidbits in my Ellingwood CR https://www.14ers.com/php14ers/peakstat ... cnum=29052

I now need to go back for lap 2 on Blanca but right now am leaning towards waiting for things to dry out more and do the LB-B Traverse.
seannunn
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Re: Little Bear 2024

Post by seannunn »

Istoodupthere wrote: Sat Apr 20, 2024 8:35 am West Ridge Route…First off I’m not trying to encourage people to do LB if they don’t have that kind of experience. That being said, I felt it was a bit overhyped, at least as far as the hourglass goes. If you’re ok with exposure, I thought the hourglass was actually pretty enjoyable. Plenty of good hand and foot holds as long as you take your time and look for the best route. No need to use the rope in IMO. Find a nice mid-week day in late-summer or early-fall when there won’t be many people out there so you don’t have to worry too much about rockfall. I’d argue that the gully (steep and loose) and the section above the hourglass (route finding and loose rock) were comparably challenging. Although when I went, the gully had some ice and I went too far left at first above the hourglass.
I am curious as to what your thoughts are on descending the hardest portions. My brother and nephew said that the climb wasn't bad but the downclimb was one of the toughest things they have ever done. That seems logical to me since it is usually much harder to downclimb class 3+/4 terrain because you can't always see where you are putting your feet. Was that your experience on the hourglass and above?
(Little Bear may be on my agenda for 2025 if the Elks go well in a couple of months here.)

Sean Nunn
"Thy righteousness is like the great mountains."

--Psalm 26:6
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randalmartin
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Re: Little Bear 2024

Post by randalmartin »

I climbed it in April 2021 and definitely would say that the downclimb of the hourglass, particularly the upper section was difficult in part because It was a layer of snow over ice. Was definitely a downclimb facing in.
Little Bear Hourglass Downclimb.jpg
Little Bear Hourglass Downclimb.jpg (139.96 KiB) Viewed 1279 times
seannunn
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Re: Little Bear 2024

Post by seannunn »

Yes that looks tough. I will definitely not be climbing it in April.
Hopefully no significant snow or ice in August/early September 2025.

Sean Nunn
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--Psalm 26:6
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greenonion
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Re: Little Bear 2024

Post by greenonion »

randalmartin wrote: Mon May 27, 2024 7:36 pm I climbed it in April 2021 and definitely would say that the downclimb of the hourglass, particularly the upper section was difficult in part because It was a layer of snow over ice. Was definitely a downclimb facing in.
Are you on the upper section in the photo? And the choke, or narrow section of the HG, is below you and to the left (looking down) of the rocks? Trying to get a sense of the steepness of the middle/narrow section.
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