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Ascent of Blanca Peak on 2020-09-22

Climber: Fred Brown

Other People:Solo Ascent
Date:Tuesday, September 22, 2020
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:4x4 Vehicle
Peak:Blanca Peak
    Location:USA-Colorado
    Elevation:14345 ft / 4372 m

Ascent Trip Report

Lake Como Road starts out as a wide dirt road but turns into a HC 4WD road less than two miles in. I drove up it about 5.1 miles to a parking area in the trees in a stock 4Runner equipped with off-road tires. There are multiple parking places along the road on the way up but mostly for one - two vehicles. Much of the road is not too bad but there are places with rock outcrops/boulders that have to be negotiated. The road is narrow in places so is best suited for less than full size vehicles.

The hike: The Lake Como road/trail to the saddle between Blanca and Ellingwood is generally easy to follow. Once the road ends there's an obvious trail marked with cairns. The trail ends at the saddle, elev. 13800'; from there its a steep climb up the ridge to the HP.

Noticed that the western shore of Lake Como is a popular camping place. Didn't see any campers beyond that. Cellphone reception (AT&T) was good from the lake.

About the parking area: The upper parking area I drove to is located at: N37.5619, W105.5496, elevation about 10230'. Its sheltered with fire rings and sufficient space for at least half dozen vehicles. Cell phone reception too with AT&T. No water. After you make the final hairpin turn, head up the hill and look for the parking area entrance on your right. Lake Como is about 2.5 miles away.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:4215 ft / 1284 m
    Total Elevation Loss:985 ft / 299 m
    Round-Trip Distance:5.9 mi / 9.5 km
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Maintained Trail, Open Country, Stream Ford, Scramble
    Gear Used:
Ski Poles
    Weather:Pleasant, Calm, Partly Cloudy
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:4215 ft / 1284 m
        Gain Breakdown:Net: 4115 ft / 1254 m; Extra: 100 ft / 30m
    Loss on way in:100 ft / 30 m
    Distance:5.4 mi / 8.7 km
    Route:Lake Como Rd - Trail to Saddle - Up Ridge
    Start Trailhead:Lake Como Road - Upper Parking Lot  10230 ft / 3118 m
    Time:4 Hours 
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:885 ft / 269 m
    Distance:0.5 mi / 0.8 km
    Route:Ridge to Blanca Trail
    End Trailhead:Blanca Trail with rough cutoff to Ellingwood Point  13460 ft / 4102 m
    Time:1 Hours 
Ascent Part of Trip: Blanca - Ellingwood

Complete Trip Sequence:
OrderPeak/PointDateGain
1Blanca Peak2020-09-22 a4215 ft / 1285 m
2Ellingwood Point2020-09-22 b682 ft / 208 m
Total Trip Gain: 4897 ft / 1493 m    Total Trip Loss: 4897 ft / 1492 m



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