Support 14ers.com
Buying gear? Please use these links to help 14ers.com:

More info...

Other ways to help...
 Peak(s):  Little Bear Peak  -  14,037 feet
 Post Date:  04/18/2011
 Date Climbed:   04/16/2011
 Posted By:  Mtn_Topper

 Taking a beating on the Bear   

Exiled Michigander provided an excellent account of the day on Little Bear so I really don't have that much to add. I think I would have done things a little differently if I did it again though I likely would still have failed to reach the summit. I parked about a mile past the lower parking area and started on the trail just after 5pm on Friday. My goal was to make it to Lake Como to camp for the night but decided to stop at the cabins at 7:20pm about 2/3 of the way up since it was getting dark .

I slept for maybe 3-4 hours and decided to get going at around 3am, which was about the same time Stiffler_from_Denver and Exiled Michigander passed by. In retrospect, I feel this was too early a start for me. I lost out on some possible rest and ended up at Lake Como at the worst possible time. When I got to Lake Como, the moon had just set and it took with it valuable light. I spent 20-30 minutes wandering through the trees looking for the route. It was windy, cold, dark and lonely. I love being up in the mountains alone but this time in the trees was no fun for me. At that moment wished I'd started an hour later and had better light.

I made to to the bottom of the gully leading to the west ridge just as dawn started to break. I made slow progress up the gully as I kept post-holing in the lower 3/4. I was feeling pretty cold and tried when I reached the ridge at around 7am, so I took a quick break to gather my strength, take in my surrounding and shoot a few pictures. Image
View of Lake Como from west ridge of Little Bear
Image
The summits of Ellingwood, Blanca and Little Bear from west ridge


The wind was really howling as I slowly made my way along the top of the ridge. This wasn't particularly difficult terrain but it also was definitely not the place to slip or lose one's balance. When I reach the point where one would begin the traverse over to the Hourglass, I was feeling a bit uneasy about the snow-covered terrain I'd have to cross. Given the conditions and that fact that at that moment I was alone, I made the hard choice to turn around at around 8:30am and battle Little Bear another day.

The trip down the mountain was exhausting but uneventful. The weather on the descent was perfect and made turning back even that much more painful. I made it back to my car just before 2pm. If I did it again as a spring climb, I think I would leave from the base late at night rather than trying to camp. The camping did not benefit me the way that I had hoped the the heavy pack was no fun to haul of that road. I am not looking forward to going up the Lake Como Road again but it is unavoidable if I'm going to take another crack.



Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
 


  • Comments or Questions (1)
Johnson


Thanks to you too.     2011-06-02 08:57:39
Thanks for your perspective and thoughts on your experience. I, myself, like hiking from time to time solo but I never enjoy it if I feel lonely. There is definitely a difference! Climb another day!!



   Using your forum id/password. Not registered? Click Here


Caution: The information contained in this report may not be accurate and should not be the only resource used in preparation for your climb. Failure to have the necessary experience, physical conditioning, supplies or equipment can result in injury or death. 14ers.com and the author(s) of this report provide no warranties, either express or implied, that the information provided is accurate or reliable. By using the information provided, you agree to indemnify and hold harmless 14ers.com and the report author(s) with respect to any claims and demands against them, including any attorney fees and expenses. Please read the 14ers.com Safety and Disclaimer pages for more information.

© 2014 14ers.com®, 14ers Inc.