Peak(s):  Little Bear Peak  -  14,037 feet
Date Posted:  07/16/2008
Modified:  07/18/2008
Date Climbed:   07/16/2008
Author:  ursidae

 Dogs climbing Little Bear...  

LB from bottom of Lake Como road, 6h to summit. This road is very hard on your feet and knees, long stretches of rolling river rock and side sloping angle.

Mosquitoes and biting flies all the way from the bottom to the ridge, repellant recommended.

As has been pointed out previously the first gully when leaving Lake Como road is less then amusing. The right side is the best bet.

The faint trail from the first gully to the hourglass is gnarly but well cairned. The trail splits which makes it easy on the return trip to take the lower section (not sure where it went since we climbed up to the proper trail), look for the cairns and stay on the higher option.

There is a small sheet of snowy ice below the hourglass but easily avoided (we went around the snow on the right side, ascended hourglass on left, narrow section on right).

Hourglass center is wet, the narrow section is very wet. There are small areas with ice in the wet part however avoidable. With the exception of the narrow section the hourglass is steep but has good slabby rocks with plenty of hand and footholds. The narrow section, due to the water, limits you to climb up the sides where holds are small and further apart. That part is very steep and difficult for your average hiker. Then there is the rockfall danger, it‘s like being in a pinball game where you are the quadruple bonus target.

Above the hourglass we went mostly straight up but angling slightly left on slabby rocks avoiding the morass immediately to the left. We shortly thereafter turned right and went up a narrow red gully about halfway where we exited on the right by a cairn, then we followed cairns to the summit via a left circling route.

The condition of the permanent ropes and anchor is iffy, see pictures below. Frayed and torn, looks like marmots chewed on some areas. We set up separate belay for the downclimb since we had reason (see below) to spend absolute minimum time in the hourglass and wanted to basically just run down.

Met two other climbers when we started down, unfortunately they brought dogs which brought on a sense of severe urgency during the down climb of the hourglass. Dogs have a tendency not to be concerned as to what they kick down nor do they call out any warnings.




Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):

 Comments or Questions

Did you summit Blanca on Tuesday 7/16/08 at 10am?
07/18/2008 15:09
If you summited Blanca on Tuesday 7/16 around 10 AM and took pictures of Little Bear at that time I would be interested to know if any of them show two guys in yellow helmets on the summit of LB, and if so would you share them?

We saw a group summit Blanca while we were having breakfast on LB so figure there might be a long distance shot of us on someones memory card. (We brought two cameras but suffered one technical malfunction and one photographer malfunction...)

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