Blanca Peak

Date to Climb: July 11, 2009

Date Climbed: July 12, 2009

Elevation: 14,345

Range: Sangre de Cristo

Latitude: 37.57740, Longitude: -105.48570

Route: Northwest Face ll, Class 2

Ellingwood Point

Date to Climb: July 11, 2009

Date Climbed: July 12, 2009

Elevation: 14,042

Range: Sangre de Cristo

Latitude: 37.58251, Longitude: -105.49250

Route: South Face ll, Class 2

Round-Trip Mileage: 6 (for combo from lake)

Pre-Climb Comments

Both of these peaks are difficult class 2. The common routes start from a connecting saddle. Jake will do the routes if possible. If we have a sitter, he might only do one route, which will be easier on his paws.

Post-Climb Comments

After climbing Shavano (and Tab) we went to Salida and rested. Nick, Jon, and Laura left us, but Robin joined us for a few days. We said our goodbyes and as they headed back to Tennessee, we headed to Lake Como.

Jon Laura Nick

Laura, Nick, Jon

By the time we finally started up the road (trail) it was 4. The sun was at the correct angle to bake us and our heavy backs zapped our energy. It was another one of those 4WD roads, only worse! Walking on the road was slow because the road bed was filled with fist size and larger rocks which rolled with each step. Poor Robin was not acclimated, not used to carrying a pack (especially a heavy one), and not used to the heat and dust of the road.

Lake Como was a great place. When we arrived mosquitoes were lined up anxious for new blood. Quickly we set up camp and ate. It was after ten before we got to bed. What a day!

It was 6:30 before we were walking the next morning (the 12th). Lake Como was close to the climbs, so the approaches were thankfully short. The trail wound through the unique towers and boulders before it finally reached a saddle between Blanca and Ellingwood. The ridge to Blanca was obvious, but the traverse to Ellingwood looked terrible. We did Blanca first.

Jake was climbing with us, so we chose the easiest path for the dog. He climbed easily to the summit as we followed. Robin was as happy as ever that she summited. She had only been in the mountains for two days, her stamina was pretty remarkable.

Blanca approach

Mount Blanca Approach

Back in the saddle we eyed the traverse. Robin was going to take Jake back to camp, it was going to be too hard for him. We started walking toward the ridge and found cairns to follow. Soon the route unfolded and with ease we crossed the ridge to Ellingwood.

Ellingwood Point

Ellingwood Point

On the summit was a group of guys from Colorado and Kansas having fun. We discussed our future climbs and saw both groups were planning on doing Little Bear the next day. Soon, we were off and returning to camp. We caught up with Robin and Jake, who were walking slow and taking pictures.

Ellingwood Ridge

Descending the Ridge

Back at camp we spent the afternoon playing with the dog and dealing with the hot afternoon sun. Wait a second, we are not really complaining about the heat, we are only looking for shade.

It was a good traverse and highly recommended.

Mount Blanca - July 11, 2009 summit check

Ellingwood Point - July 11, 2009 summit check