Peak(s):  Blanca Peak  -  14,345 feet
Date Posted:  06/08/2016
Modified:  12/23/2016
Date Climbed:   06/08/2016
Author:  14erboarder
 boarding blanca standard rt   

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Mid-june. Our favorite time for 14er baggin. This would be my second attempt. I was turned out on a late march attempt due to weather. We initially tried for Lindsey but the landslide had not been cleared from the road yet. pretty drive though. We did not start very early because we didn't know how the four wheelin would go and the light would make it safer. an hour before dawn we began the 4x4 road in a stock jeep Cherokee. It is tough goin. With my very skilled off-road driver (travis the "travelar") we made it to the first boilerplate slabs just before some cabin remains. I do not recommend this if you care about your vehicle very much. There were a few patches of muddy snow on the north face Holbrook canyon.
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no traffic
We geared up at dawn and began the march. It was snow free until the lake como area.
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lake como- mid june
At this point we split the boards and skinned up the drainage. Staying mostly to the north side of the valley. We would pack up planks and hike up the steeper headwalls. It was still worth bringing touring gear. Once we cleared the first headwall it was evident that blancas face had sufficient snow.
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lookin good
All sun until then. As the snow softened our pace slowed.
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crater lake basin
Once at the bottom of the face we picked a line left of center. A combination of moderate snow climbing and scree hiking.
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scree rib center face
This valley is beautiful A true mountain world, high above the dessert. As we ascended the face clouds began to roll in on the ridges, but clear skies were still around so we pressed on.
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toppin out near ridge
Near the ridge it steepens and a good place to park our butts had to be carved out of the snow. We topped out only 50ft or so from the summit but the remaining distance was snow covered ledges. With careful steps we made summit. A few pics were taken and a quik retreat was made. The winds were strong and the clouds continued to thicken. A summit ski descent could have been contrived by picking over the snow ledges if you wanted to risk it. we didn't. back at our man made ledge we assembled boards. In traditional mountain fashion the clouds began to break.
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the fun begins
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my feet, doin what they do
The snow was a great smooth corn. It is a very fine face for turns. It is not a consistent run back to lake como. We had to stop and hike the lake bowls at each bench. Short, steep, good runs down the headwalls. Stay high north side before lake como. We did not and ended up sloggin around the lake through willows. Thouroughly soaked and tired we made short work of walking the road back to jeep.(pronounced heep). After a glorious day in that valley I now consider blanca the king of mountains. It is big, steep, intimidating and fun. A very worth while adventure. If you seek a great run on a great mountain, this is it. Thanks blanca. (P.S. I have no time or patience for adjusting photos. sorry)
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the king


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lake como- mid june

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lake como- mid june

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