Little Bear Peak  
Condition Updates  
 
Route: West Ridge and Southwest Face
Posted On: 2020-10-19, By: Peak200
Info: Submitted on Sunday Absolutely completely dry , no water in the Hourglass , teeny tiny amount of ice in one little area Slight amount of wind , 0 people the entire day Loose and sketchy above the hourglass and on the Gulley approach above the lake: The hourglass was Not as tough as i imagined but above the hourglass was tougher ; rope looked good but there was no reason to use it 
4 3
 
Route: Tobin Creek
Posted On: 2020-10-12, By: angry
Info: 4wd required to reach Tobin TH. Bushwhack was much ado about nothing. The talus goes on forever and is very tedious. Winter route scouting, bring on the snow! 
3
 
Route: West Ridge
Posted On: 2020-10-05, By: CaptainSuburbia
Info: Route was clear to summit. Traverses to Blanca and Hamilton were also snow free. Descent off Blanca standard had patches of icy snow. Felt ok without spikes though. 
2 2
 
Route: West Ridge and Southwest Face
Posted On: 2020-09-30, By: Slawson405
Info: LB standard is clear the whole way minus some ice in the very middle of hourglass which is avoidable. Traverse over to Blanca is clear. Winds were good on our outing. 
 
Route: West Ridge and Southwest Face
Posted On: 2020-09-28, By: wintersage
Info: Ascended via the Hourglass, traversed over to Blanca Peak, and then descended from Blanca's standard route. Mostly dry, patches of snow in the gully are avoidable. Hourglass had a few icy sections from the stream of water in the middle but it was also avoidable. The ridge over to Blanca was dry as well but extremely windy. 
2 1
 
Route: LB>Blanca Traverse
Posted On: 2020-09-28, By: sailingstar22
Info: We had perfect weather for tackling this traverse. 99% snowfree with only one small sketchy section after Captain Bivwacko. I stopped and got the snow off my shoes before continuing. Traverse took 3hr 30mins for us with a few breaks after the saddle (there really aren't many solid break options beforehand). Read all the detailed Trip Reports you can find and try your best to keep your head. The first third is by far the most technical and mentally taxing; once you are on the highway, it's relatively smooth sailing. The two reports we referenced the most (a 2013 one on this site and Virtual Sherpa) named the Catwalks as the crux, but my partner and I found these sections to pale in comparison with the beginning of the route, which gives you no time for warm up and a precarious downclimb to access the ridge. Overall, a great day in the mountains, and glad to have this one under my belt! 
 
Route: West Ridge and Southwest Face
Posted On: 2020-09-28, By: sailingstar22
Info: Minimal snow in the gully, mostly avoidable. The ground seems to be frozen in the mornings, which helps reduce the amount of loose scree. Slight trickle of water in the hourglass. Really enjoyed this route and there were not many climbers on the day so rockfall was minimal. Generally, though, everyone was careful on the way up and down, so it was frustrating to see how avoidable rockfall could be if you are conscious of it. I guess this route gets a lot of inconsiderate, inexperienced, or just plain old clumsy climbers (which is why we opted for a chilly weekday). 
 
Route: West Ridge and Southwest Face
Posted On: 2020-09-26, By: ericd01
Info: No snow, no wx, & no smoke. This was a sweet September 10hr solo climb with an acceptable level of class-4 risk. Bring a helmet, gloves, step lightly, and hug the rock! Lower loose talus in the gully was more of a concern than considerate pro climbers going up thru hourglass. Just say'in, Go President Trump!! 
 
Route: West Ridge and Southwest Face
Posted On: 2020-09-26, By: DenverDave
Info: There is minimal snow in the gully leading up to the ridge, and it is not a problem at all. Did not need traction or axe. There was a little stream of water trickling down the center of the hourglass but it was easily avoidable. 
 
Route: West Ridge and Southwest Face
Posted On: 2020-09-21, By: GeorgeS
Info: The only snow or ice is in the 12k-12,600 gully. Ice was avoidable and snow was actually great for punching a foothold into. No ice or snow at all in the hourglass. Brought but didn't use spikes, did not bring and did not need ax. Clear, calm, lonely (not complaining!), beautiful morning at the top. 
1 4
 
Route: West Ridge and Southwest Face
Posted On: 2020-09-06, By: Marshall
Info: Little Bear to Blanca traverse then to Ellingwood. Backpacked to the lake from pretty low because that road is tough! Lots of people going up Sat and backing up traffic on the 4x4 challenges. I started early so I could be the first one up and people wouldn't be kicking rocks at me. The first gully kinda sucks in the dark because it's loose, but the general route is pretty obvious and becomes real obvious once you get to the saddle. There are good ropes set up in the hourglass, but I didn't need to touch them. There is no reason to send rocks down in the hourglass if you are careful and comfortable climbing. I stayed on solid rock the whole time except for a few steps and never sent a single rock down. It might be more challenging to be that careful coming down, but it's worth it to save someone from an accident. Summited in 1:45 from the cairn marking the gully turnoff and started for Blanca at 7:30. The traverse was intense because of all the exposure, but it was a lot of fun. I stayed on the top of the ridge the entire way and did not drop below the gendarme 2/3 of the way across. This works if you are comfortable climbing it directly along the ridge line and directly up he gendarme, but I haven't seen others report it this way. There may be a reason for that. Traverse took 2.5 hr. Blanca to Ellingwood traverse was fine and pretty obvious the whole way; it took less than an hour. The hike back to Como was in great shape. 
 
Route: West Ridge and Southwest Face
Posted On: 2020-09-05, By: ColoradoBruin
Info: Was one of 10 people climbing Little Bear today. I will echo what others have said that communication with the other parties to coordinate climbing through the Hourglass is essential. I chose to wait an hour for 2 parties to clear and was glad i did. No rockfall in Hourglass and had summit to myself. I also saw two people climb the Hourglass without helmets on - not a good idea. 
 
Route: West Ridge and Southwest Face
Posted On: 2020-09-05, By: Moogie737
Info: Entire route was dry. We found it difficult to find cairns leading through the boulder field below the notch in the dark. The entire traverse from the notch to the base of the Hourglass is well cairned. Only one other person was in the Hourglass and we coordinated with him for a safe and rockfall-free climb/descent. We only used the multi-chained rope on the descent and then only for security's sake. It was in good shape. A tiny stream of water was flowing but we avoided it easily. 
 
Route: West Ridge and Southwest Face
Posted On: 2020-08-30, By: Clint the climber
Info: We were the first party up the hourglass today and we were damn glad we didn't have anyone above us, there's a nasty bit of loose rock above. The rap anchor and rope situation is a mess. The anchor is a nightmare with no equalization and the worst "piece" is the only load-bearing one. The ropes are nearing the end of their lives and about half of the rope in the hourglass was 5 or 6mm. On our way down a couple of people sent a shower of rocks down from the choke in the hourglass, sending my partner and I running to side walls as football-sized rocks whizzed past us. This route lives up to the hype. 
 
Route: West Ridge and Southwest Face
Posted On: 2020-08-30, By: Wimyers
Info: On our way down the hourglass a rock from way up nailed me in the hamstring - ouch! Made for a painful descent but we're counting ourselves lucky, as my climbing partner's head was on the other side of my leg. Very possibly would have been fatal. If I ever find myself heading up this peak again, it'll be via the SW ridge. The gully is just so crowded these days that it's nearly impossible to avoid other groups. 
 
Route: West Ridge and Southwest Face
Posted On: 2020-08-28, By: Araujo38
Info: I hate to say it but with so many more people climbing 14ers now a days this dangerous peak is getting even more dangerous! Having climbed all the 14ers and the hard ones several to many times I do believe this 14er's standard route is the most dangerous of all because climbing with people above you is a total Russian roulette and there are more and more people climbing this peak! Even though we climbed on a Monday there were at least 8 other people (from 3 groups) climbing. To lessen the danger after talking to other teams about their planned times we left our camp near Lake Como at 3:30 am and climbed most of the route in the dark. Seeing that we were way ahead of other teams we slowed down and took our time so we wouldn't climb the hourglass in the dark. After a good break and having just enough daylight we went for the Hourglass and summited a few minutes after 7am. On the way down, I extended the fix line with a 40m 7.8mm rope to cover the crux move that is right at the most narrow part of the hourglass. The thicker white rope above that was in good condition on Monday. So anyone going for Little Bear these weeks should have a pretty new rope on the lower part of the hourglass. Of course being that the hourglass gets so much rock fall and that is a thin rope, just because it's a newly added rope doesn't guarantee it will be in good shape. As always approach with care and inspect all ropes! After we passed the hourglass on our way down big rocks came crashing down as it so often happens! I have been through the hourglass 4 times with different people (3 summits) and every time I have seen rock fall. I have been hit, luckily a very small rock on the arm. Others have been hit and injured and people have died on this route (not people in my teams luckily!). I would not recommend climbing with people above you on this route at all. I know that's getting harder and harder to do because of so many more people are climbing this peak nowadays but you have to ask yourself if getting the summit is worth taking that kind of gamble with your life. Very personal choice but worth thinking about it. 
8
 
Route: West Ridge and Southwest Face
Posted On: 2020-08-23, By: jslove1
Info: Perfect conditions, and yet sketchy as ever. I saw a smashed helmet come out of there and was told that a bruised shoulder and lost tooth came with it. Helmet mandatory. That broken one saved a life. Avoid crowds. 
 
Route: West Ridge and Southwest Face
Posted On: 2020-08-18, By: nquesnel
Info: Very little water running down the hourglass. The base of the hourglass was a shooting gallery with a group a head of us. We stayed to the left side of the hourglass and found the rock quality to be quite good. We did the traverse to Blanca and had a great day. 
3 1
 
Route: West Ridge and Southwest Face
Posted On: 2020-08-17, By: ablock0
Info: 4 or 5 people in the Hourglass at 7am on a nice Saturday mid Aug. Was a bowling alley when I got there and headed back to the West Ridge but skirted above it's class 5 cruxes, fun alternate! Very exposed class 4 on some loose stuff, not for the unitiated but a fun bypass and warm up for the traverse. 'The HourPass?' Blanca traverse is bone dry and was non windy, air quality was great until the afternoon, perfect day out! 9hr RT from 10.1k 
1
 
Route: West Ridge and Southwest Face
Posted On: 2020-08-15, By: PikaSteve
Info: Hourglass nearly dry—drips less than an inch wide. Lake Como road all dried out and creek crossings low. 
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