Peak:  Ellingwood Point (14er)
 Route:  South Face
 Range:  Sangre de Cristo
 Posted By:  emily_m
 Date of Info:  09/13/2020
 Date Posted:  09/14/2020

Snow above 12,800, significant above 13,100ish. Far less snow here than on Blanca (and thus far easier than Blanca), but itstill made navigating through the loose rocks more challenging. In late morning the snow was pretty soft and wet, I imagine it would be icy in the early morning. The sun hits it well, so I expect most of the route will melt out in the coming week if the weather remains sunny and warm. As long as repeated freeze-thaws don't produce a huge amount of ice, you could probably get by without microspikes, especially after 10am on a sunny day. Snow was annoying for figuring out which rocks were stable and large enough to stand on, but postholing wasn't much of a problem. It was also easy to follow previous climber's tracks. Cairns were very prominent. Forgot to take photos of this route, but added one from Blanca's ridge that shows the general snow condition on the mountain.

Traverse to Blanca has a significant amount of snow (see images), but was easy to follow with well placed cairns. Microspikes were necessary, and having softer late morning snow was helpful. I needed to hold onto the rocks with each step to make sure I wouldn't slide, but overall felt safe on the route. There is more snow on the traverse than on Ellingwood's standard route, so expect it to stay snowy/icy for longer. Still not quite as much snow as on Blanca. I ended up going a little lower than the actual route when meeting up with the main Blanca trail below Blanca's ridge, as following the existing tracks was easier than postholing in 1-2 feet of snow. Still saved some elevation loss between the 2, and likely took a similar amount of time as descending the standard route entirely.

Photos (click for slideshow):

 Comments or Questions

09/14/2020 11:27
Thank You so much for the report. Planning on doing these two later this week or first part of next week.

Thank you!
09/14/2020 11:45
Heading to do these on Thursday this helps a lot. Thanks!


Appreciate ya!
09/14/2020 15:04
Hey thanks a ton for the photos and added color. Doesn't look like we've got sandal weather here, but to be fair, I haven't put microspikes on em yet... think I'll just wait a few days and bring em just in case.

09/14/2020 16:26
Thank you for posting this.

Very useful!
09/15/2020 11:35
Been hoping for a report... we're planning traverse for this wkend. Super useful. Thanks so much!

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