Peak(s):  Blanca Peak  -  14,345 feet
Ellingwood Point  -  14,042 feet
Date Posted:  06/24/2012
Modified:  06/26/2012
Date Climbed:   06/17/2012
Author:  djkest

 Islands in the Sky  

Islands in the Sky

Ellingwood Point (14,042') and Blanca Peak (14,345')
From Lake Como Road- starting at 9200'
Ellingwood's SW ridge > Blanca ridge traverse
13 miles RT; 5700' of Elevation Gain

In 1856 the "Sierra Blanco" mountains already attracted the attention of explorers for their impressive appearance. The Sangre De Cristo range in Southern Colorado is an amazing testament to God's creation. These beautiful, rugged mountains seem to rise right of a a hot, dry, high altitude desert. The surrounding area is very flat, like the sea, and the mountains rise up sharply and abruptly from this plain You turn off from the highway around 7800'. From this point you will travel through at least 3 different climate zones before reaching the summit.

This was our first overnight trip and we tried to use our time as efficiently as we could. We left Colo Springs at noon and were back at 4PM the following day. It was a great trip and good training for many hikes to come.

Many more pics (50+) and descriptions follow:
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If you are thinking about doing this route:
The SW ridge is a very nice route. There is some loose rock but not much. The exposure isn't very bad except for a few constrictions- I feel the 4/6 rating is warranted. The climbing isn't ever really "tough" but some of the narrow sections can be a little awkward. The views are of course excellent and I feel that this is good "training" for those with class 3 experience. I would not recommend this route as an introduction to class 3 climbing. The crux of the route is the "knife edge" that you encounter early on and after that it's generally a little bit easier. IIRC there is no "false summit" and the last little bit of scrambling is of trivial difficulty. Recommended with caveats.


 Comments or Questions

so it was hot as balls in Denver this weekend
06/25/2012 03:40
and pictures of your campsite and ice on the lake made me very envious.


Bears? Bugs? Beets?
07/05/2012 21:38
Did you notice any bear activity at the lake? Also, did you find it to be 'buggy', ie. a lot of mosquitoes?

Thanks for sharing, I'll be up there this weekend and just wondering what the camp situation is like.


Bugs, bears, etc.
07/05/2012 22:20
Didn't see any evidence of bear activity. We did have some rather aggressive marmots near blue lakes around 12,200'. Vigilance is required. We also saw a herd of elk crossing above Lake como right at dawn.. amazing.

The bugs were pretty bad at Lake Como and at Blue lakes. Biting flies, skeeters, moths, etc. Bring some long pants and shirt, at least.


07/06/2012 16:15
I'm going up this afternoon with my buddy for a 2 night, 3 14er trip.

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