Peak(s):  Blanca Peak  -  14,345 feet
Ellingwood Point  -  14,042 feet
Date Posted:  06/30/2013
Date Climbed:   06/30/2013
Author:  CDR242
 Blanca and Ellingwood Combination  

After having tagged Little Bear last fall, it was high time that I got back and tackled Blanca and Ellingwood. I found three unsuspecting souls to join me and we gathered up Saturday morning for the drive down and pack into Lake Como. We were able to get to about 9,500' in my slightly modified suburban. The road seems rougher than last year, but maybe my wallet was talking, my "new" job doesn't pay so well and breaking my daily driver isn't in the cards. We did see a fairly stock jeep all the way at the end of the road (well past Lake Como), but I digress.

We packed in just past Lake Como and settled in on one of my favorite spots, just in time too. Mother nature opened up her fury with a fairly spectacular display of thunder, lightning, rain and hail. The storm dropped the temperature by 20 degrees F almost instantaneously. So what time is it when the weather is crashing all around you? It is most certainly Ramen Noodle Time!!!


The storm moved on and we had a fairly quiet night with lows in the upper 40's and very little wind. The skies cleared and a moon shined most of the night. We arose early and began our summit attempt, leaving camp at 5:15am. There was sufficient natural light that we could extinguish our headlamps. The deer in the area were not expecting anyone so early as we walked up on two does whom were clearly awaken by our presence.


During our ascent, the weather was looking less than desirable and I was concerned that our summit attempts were going to be thwarted. We pushed on towards Blanca's summit, reaching our goal by 7:15 am. The wind was a bit nippy and the clouds were beginning to show significant movement, although they hadn't selected a clear course.


We decided to descend to the saddle and do a final weather check. A wise choice, the weather cooperated perfectly and the sun was beginning to show through. The clouds headed south to the Spanish Peaks allowing us to continue on. We selected the traverse, an awesome choice! Different sources claim this to be Class 3, I would say Class 2 with one 15' section of Class 3. All very doable!


Our efforts were rewarded with an easy summit of Ellingwood. The down climb gave us a bit of a route-finding challenge, rather than spend too much time with it, we opted to traverse back over to the Blanca trail, the route was too awesome to do just once anyway. As we hit the 13,000' mark, the clouds began to appear once again. We knew that this was to be just the beginning, for once, NOAA was right. By the time we reached our trusty 4x4, dark clouds had engulfed the massif. On our ride home, we did hit some rain on LaVeta Pass and could see a huge storm hitting the Sangre de Cristos and another separate storm pounding the Spanish Peaks.

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):

 Comments or Questions

Awesome Weekend!
07/02/2013 01:38
Thanks again for putting this together. You got some cool pics of it all. -Mike

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