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Ascent of Blanca Peak on 2018-09-08

Climber: Denise Mclellan

Others in Party:Denise Mclellan -- Trip Report or GPS Track
Date:Saturday, September 8, 2018
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Blanca Peak
    Location:USA-Colorado
    Elevation:14345 ft / 4372 m

Ascent Trip Report

We had a 4X4 Jeep Cherokee but given the reports did not drive much further than most others ie the 2WD car park. The upper half of the pebbly, steep specialist 4X4 track to lake Como would be very challenging, though the lower part ( ie <30000ft) might be more doable and there are a reasonable number of parking / turning places. We walked up ( 4 hour walk) and arrived at Lake Como just as light was fading and camped in one of the many wild campsites in the woods. Noone seemed very worried about bears but there are said to be bears.
The following morning we left our tent at 05:30, first light, and followed the rough track to the upper lakes and then an obvious path after that. The path up the steep corrie wall to the col initially looks impossible but frequent cairns mark the route to a large cairn at the col when we reached the sunshine. It was then an easy scramble right to the obvious Blanca summit with cairn- 3 hours from tent. Views were superbly clear.
We returned to the Col and ascended the adjacent Ellingwood Peak (90 minutes). There is a cairned path along the ridge which descends around some awkward pinnacles. Again there were superb views and lots of people. We followed the obvious ridge back to the lakes, an easy fun scramble although the last part was an awkward lose gulley. We returned to our tent at 14:45 and the car at 18:00- not a pleasant track to descend on foot. An excellent ascent! We camped wild at the base before visiting the nearby Great Dunes National Park the following morning.
Summary Total Data
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail
    Nights Spent:1 nights away from roads
    Weather:Cool, Breezy, Clear
sunny clear day



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