Peak:  Blanca Peak (14er)
 Route:  Northwest Ridge
 Range:  Sangre de Cristo
 Posted By:  BillMiddlebrook
 Date of Info:  04/27/2013
 Date Posted:  04/28/2013

Hauled ski gear up the Lake Como road on Friday and skinned to 13k on Saturday only to find Blanca devoid of snow. Snow conditions were firm with a fresh 1-2" of powder from the previous night making for a nice ski back to Lake Como and down the road another 1/4 mile. The road has partial snow-coverage above 10,000.

Images 1-3 were taken near Crater Lake and show the lack of snow on the face. #4 was taken from much lower (later in the day) and shows the lack of snow on the summit and drop-in to the face.

Comparing these photos to the snow conditions in

from Carls 2010 trip report, its clear the current conditions are very thin.

Photos (click for slideshow):
Image #1Image #2Image #3Image #4

 Comments or Questions

That sucks.
04/28/2013 17:55
I guess what I was looking at last week was just a thin layer of new snow barely covering all the rocks. Sorry to get your hopes up.


04/28/2013 19:27
That's the way it goes. Usually I'm going in for a ski after someone else has played guinea pig but this time it was ME. Ha

Exiled Michigander

Yes, the Bill Middlebrook!
04/28/2013 22:29
Can't believe I bumped into you on Friday on Lake Como Road near the cabins and didn't recognize you! I would've turned around and helped you carry up your skis to the lake if I knew it was you!!!

Exiled Michigander

04/28/2013 22:30
BTW, you have more hair on your head than your profile photo suggests. I have less.


04/29/2013 14:03
Hey Bill, do you think Blanca is hikeable/snowshoeable right now? I'm a novice to this mountain, but maybe I could follow your tracks? Thanks!


04/29/2013 14:45
Exiled Michigander: Yeah, tis the season for longer hair! Since it was snowing and I didn't want to melt snow for water, I camped at the stream crossing just above the cabins. It cleared out after 8:30pm and was great skiing up there Saturday, with 1-2 inches of overnight powder.

LizWeiss: Yes, it would be a good hike with snowshoes right now but that area will probably receive more snow later this week. With the solid freeze coming before this weekend, it should be pretty stable up there and have a firm layer under the fresh. And you won't see my tracks since the wind filled them in soon after I was up there - and the new snow coming. Lot's of snow between 11,800' and 13,500'.

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