Peak(s):  Blanca Peak  -  14,345 feet
Ellingwood Point  -  14,042 feet
Date Posted:  08/06/2007
Date Climbed:   08/04/2007
Author:  areedhay
 Blanca-Ellingwood  

We had been at Lake Como for a couple of days now, had made it up Little Bear the previous day, and had (shamefully) fallen asleep at 6pm. But, it was nice to wake up at 4:30 am and be completely rested and ready to climb. We started up the basin
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around 5am to low flying clouds and a bit of wind. We slogged up Blanca's flank, through some slippery boulders; to its lofty summit (the trail is obvious)
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The sight was spectacular. No body else in sight, low clouds around Lindsey and the ridges, and the Crestones to the North...it was just after 7am.
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Though we couldn't sign in (because the tube was busted), or see too much due to the clouds, the summit felt so high compared to the surrounding peaks.
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It was getting a little cold, so we decided to make our way across the ridge to Ellingwood.


We weren't too sure about the route, but the cairns were easy to spot as we descended the ridge from Blanca.
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It was easiest to aim for a large cairn that is placed at the lowest point on the saddle. From here we dropped on the left side of the ridge and began to traverse to Ellingwood. The only part that we almost missed was when the trail descends below a large gulley (look for a low cairn...almost looks like a decent route off the mountain).
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From here the trail winds back up close to the ridge and joins the South Face route...if you can call it a route...to the summit. The ridge route is well marked all the way to the summit on solid rock and barely touches the class 3 zone. Once on top, at 8:30 am, the temperature had increased significantly from that of Blanca's. I loved the view of Little Bear and Blanca, they looked so steep.
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We hung out on top for a while, snapped a ton of shots,
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and scree skied (which hurt the knees) down to the main trail below. For those of you who have ascended the standard route up Ellingwood, I'm in awe because I saw about 100ft. worth of actual trail on this side. It was fun coming down and talking to the many climbers heading up...some nice folks in the hills that weekend. We made it back to camp around 10:30ish and started the hike back down the nasty Como road. It was intense seeing beefed up Jeeps conquer some of the huge obstacles. I felt a bit puny seeing my little Pathfinder parked far below. But, it was better than hiking all the way to the bottom of the road...man that would hurt. Great time in a beautiful area!
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Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
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 Comments or Questions
Yog

I like the..
08/28/2008 00:37
..black & white shots, very artistic!



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