Peak(s):  Little Bear Peak  -  14,037 feet
"South Little Bear" - 14,020 feet
Date Posted:  09/06/2016
Date Climbed:   09/05/2016
Author:  goingup
 SW ridge from Como Road (the legal way)  


^ click click ^


Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):

 Comments or Questions

Soul Crushing
09/07/2016 07:28
Your trip report literally crushed my dreams of climbing Little Bear! I so do not want to do the Hourglass and have been thinking at this alternative, and it looks so fun- NOT! It doesn't look quite as bad from Tobin Creek in the reports I have seen.... maybe risking the angry locals would be better than the 3000 cactus plants of death? Your reports are always entertaining, thanks for sharing.


I'm with T-man on this..
09/07/2016 08:04
Geez girl - you take masochism to a WHOLE new level. Great report as always. In my next life, I want to be half as tough as you are.


09/07/2016 08:57
The SW ridge is wonderful and completely demoralizing at the same time.
I never thought I'd be so thrilled to get above treeline, nor so utterly relieved to see treeline again.
Took me 2 attempts to get the summit successfully!

Your TR describes the experience well. Love your pics and humor, as usual! Especially liked Chris's next day at work pic!

Carry on!


09/07/2016 09:00
Tornoadoman ~~ no no no you should do it and then message me and tell me how awful it was. The worst part is from Tobin Creek to 10k.

Jay ~~~~ Looks like you like long creepy descents off steep waterfalls so ( :

Sunny ~~ I did not think we were going to get it the first time! WHAT A ROUTE!


Long Day!
09/07/2016 09:07
If it took you 16 yours, it would probably take me 24! I have seen your reports and you can move.... I would probably need to bivy somewhere.


09/07/2016 09:10
Tornadaman --- I was def. not having an A game day, more like a B-

Regardless the whole thing is just very time consuming.


Great TR
09/07/2016 10:19
Surely I saw you all up on the ridge line as I was driving home from Albuquerque via San Luis on Monday. My wife looked at Little Bear and the ridge line to Blanca, listen to my story about being stranded by darkness on that ridge on Labor Day in 1995, and she said "you mountain climbers are crazy!" I've descended the SW ridge of Little Bear, taken the route back to the Como Road. It brought a new definition to the word exhausted. Great job on a challenging climb!

Brian Thomas

this looks miserable
09/07/2016 11:34
Nobody I know has ever had anything good to say about this route.

Phill the Thrill

SW Ridge challenges
09/07/2016 11:59
Reading your report brought back memories. I climbed the SW Ridge via Tobin Creek 2 yrs ago (solo) and it was "an experience". I backpacked in and camped the night prior just below treeline, which certainly helped, but it was 17 hrs of climbing for me, and that talus just seemed to never never end. Congratulations on a successful summit and an entertaining trip report!


09/07/2016 14:50
@Mtnhigh -- I thought I saw you waving at us

@BrianThomas -- Congrats on finishing the 14ers! And miserable is my middle name

@Phill the Thrill WHERE IN GODS NAME DID YOU CAMP!!!!!!!!!!


Awesome Report!!
09/08/2016 14:15
This was a really fun read. Sounds like a hellish route - great work trudging through!

Tired just reading it
09/09/2016 16:46
Seems pretty fast considering. Scary moment about that section going out underneath you!

09/09/2016 21:15
Great write up. I encourage anyone who does not want to climb the hour glass in the summer consider the snow climb in the spring. I was pretty fresh to crampon/ice axing up couloirs and it didn't seem to bad when I we did it in May of 2014, the ice budge that often forms is the crux, just take your time. The worst part about it is hauling that gear up to lake como, although it was really cool to be up there with 3 feet of snow around the lake.

Phill the Thrill

Camping on SW Ridge
09/12/2016 14:08
@goingup - there are a couple of nice areas to camp, believe it or not, just below treeline on that seemingly never-ending SW ridge. This is a good option for people to keep in mind, to shorten the long day climbing that route. There is, however, NO WATER after Tobin Creek, as you pointed out, so take more water than normal. I ran low on summit day and was dehydrated by the time I returned to the creek.


Better to Look at than to Hike
09/13/2016 06:28
Congrats on making the route go! The ridge is a beautiful sight from the summit. Much better to look at than to hike. I'm with IanG, the hour glass in Spring on snow and take your suffering on the baby-head boulders of Lake Como Road.


09/13/2016 08:08
The funny thing is I want to go back and do LB's northwest face and the traverse over to Blanca. I'm gonna have to hike that road regardless

@Phill the Thrill You are brave, I wouldn't want to camp anywhere on that ridge.

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