Peak(s):  Blanca Peak  -  14,345 feet
Little Bear Peak  -  14,037 feet
Ellingwood Point  -  14,042 feet
Date Posted:  06/14/2012
Date Climbed:   06/13/2012
Author:  Headwall5
Additional Members:   Mike Abernathy
 Awesome Trip!  

After leaving Pueblo at 3:30AM on 6/13/12, we arrived at the bottom of Lake Como road with the sun still not quite up and headed toward the lake.
We set up camp at the lake and decided since the weather looked great that we would try for Little Bear.
We scrambled up the talus/scree gully and went across the ridge until we reached the infamous hourglass.
Luckily we only had one climber above us and a newish rope in the hourglass. We checked the full rope along with the anchors and it was in good condition. We summited Little Bear at 1:50.
mike on little bear

me on little bear

We headed back down from Little Bear to camp.
We woke up at 3:30AM again on 6/14/12 so we could get some cool light conditions on the southwest ridge of Ellingwood Point.
this route is exactly as awesome as everyone says it is

We summited Ellingwood Point at 7ish.
mike on elllingwood point summit

me on ellingwood point summit

Then we headed over to Blanca.
We summited Blanca at 8:40AM.
mike on blanca

me on blanca

We went down Blanca, packed away camp, and got to the car at about 3:00PM. (Como road is exhausting)
Awesome couple of days! Oh and the conditions on all the routes we did up there were in complete summer condition.

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):

 Comments or Questions

06/15/2012 02:26
I went up to Lake Como during the Fall and that road up is soooooooo long. That's insane that you guys did the whole road and the 3 peaks.

I'm hoping I can get to your level one of these days. Congrats gentleman!


06/15/2012 02:35
we didn't do the road and the peaks in the same day, we did an overnight up there, but yeah that road is exhausting, im going to be hibernating for the next couple days to recover. lol


Public Service Announcement to potential readers:
06/15/2012 02:42
Don't ever use an existing rope in the Hourglass. Ever. As in ”Never”. Little Bear is absolutely nothing to mess with.


Rope in Hourglass
06/15/2012 02:40
We checked the anchors as well as the rope for the entire length up, the rope was in good condition and the anchor was set well with several different runners around a stable rock. The old rope was in terrible condition but the new one that was in there was solid.


Impressive couple of days
06/15/2012 02:45
Congrats on some fine summits by fine routes. The SW Ridge of Ellingwood is worth the Como Road slog in itself. I agree though, for anyone reading this...don't touch those ropes.


+1 on Never using the Hourglass rope
09/24/2012 15:44
I used it as a very brief handhold on the ascent in March, took 5 steps, and immediately dropped it. The entire upper third of the rope was tattered and was just asking to break. Just because it looks good at the beginning choke of the Hourglass doesn't mean the rest of the rope is in the same condition.

You know your abilities - trust that instead of an unknown piece of gear.


06/15/2012 03:49
Congrats on completing one of the most challenging 14ers in Colorado, in addition to two other notable ones. Getting those three peaks with only one trip up that road must be nice.

I have to echo the others though. You describe the rope as ”newish” in your photo caption. The difference between ”new” and ”newish” doesn't have to be very significant to cause trouble. Those ropes get slammed by rockfall, ice, and water from precipitation, don't trust them.


Thank you
06/15/2012 04:04
Thanks for all the congrats everyone, I only used the rope on the descent after checking its quality for the entire ascent and checking the quality of the anchors. After this review I knew it could support my weight. I understand that those ropes go through a lot and that the difference in it's quality today and tomorrow can vary dramatically due to whether and other environmental conditions. I only used it because the day I climbed the Hourglass it was in condition to support me. I am not saying that anyone else should use it. Thanks again everyone.

Brian Thomas

dress for success
06/15/2012 19:10
I wanted to dislike this TR for using the rope in the hourglass, but you get mad style points for the bandanna, shades, necklaces, and those purple pajama pants! And the crooked license plate just has that je ne sais quoi that I love in a TR...


Rappel Rings?
01/24/2013 16:52
Just curious, I've read of people putting Rappel rings in at the top, were they still there?


06/18/2012 04:11
Nice work! We saw you guys on the way up Como Road- we were in the black truck at 10,000 ft and just getting started when you came by. Pretty sure we saw you two again on Little Bear's summit when we were on Ellingwood Point. You guys guys put some serious miles in on a hard road.

Did you meet the friendly marmot on Blanca?

You guys looked more than able and knew what you were doing so let's leave everyone's opinion on the rope for another forum. All's well that ends well.


farcedude and Stevo
06/18/2012 23:09
farcedude: There weren't rappel rings, the ropes secured around a rock with runners.
Stevo: Yeah I remember you two, you commented on the music we were jammin to, and I didn't see any marmots on Blanca but there were plenty of friendly marmots around our campsite.

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