Southwest Ridge - Class 3
From Colorado 150 we drove just under 5 miles on the Lake Como Road and slept in the back of my Toyota Tacoma. It rained... HARD... most of the night with thunder and lightning. We climbed Ellingwood's class 3 Southwest Ridge and then traversed the ridge to Blanca's summit. The rain from the night before made the Lichen on Ellingwood's exposed Southwest Ridge slick. This made the climb a little tougher than we had anticipated. It was much better once the sun had a chance to dry everything out. The route from the truck was 11 miles round trip and 5250 vertical and took us roughly 10 hours.
Partners: Kristi Henes, Solo
Kristi's 14er Finisher!
Here is a link for the GPX file from our trip.
From Colorado 150 we drove just under 5 miles on the Lake Como Road and slept in the back of my Toyota Tacoma. The route from the truck was 11 miles round trip and 5250 vertical.
Sunrise behind the Blanca Ellingwood Ridge from below Blue Lakes
High alpine lake between Lake Como and Blue Lakes
Heading to Ellingwood's Southwest Ridge Alex rock hops on relatively stable talus.
Alex scrambling ledges and gullies to the Southwest Ridge
Kristi traversing an exposed ledge
Our ridge run started where you see sun on the ridge behind Kristi.
There were a few knife edgey sections
Rainbows in the clouds above Pioneer Lake on the north side of the ridge
Kristi scrambling on the ridge with amazing views of Little Bear and the traverse to Blanca which we had done a few years back
Big exposure on both sides of the ridge. Alex scrambles
Still a long way to go we would climb the horn below/left of the summit
Kristi climbing to the horn
From the top of the horn we would climb the west face of Ellingwood to the summit
Alex close to the summit with Crater Lake below
Summiting Ellingwood Kristi completes the 14ers!!!
A little airy
Now THAT was a fun route! Would definitely do it again
Celebrating Kristi's finisher with Little Bear Blanca traverse
Little Bear Blanca Traverse... if you don't mind exposure this is a must do route
Left to Right... Lindsay, Blanca, Little Bear. The Blanca Group is pretty amazing
Kristi making her way down the class 3 ridge between Ellingwood and Blanca
Alex down climbing the Ellingwood Blanca ridge
The views of Ellingwood are amazing from Blanca... and we were there... so we decided to climb Blanca too!
You can really notice the 300 foot difference between Ellingwood (14,042) and Blanca (14,345) from Blanca's summit
Little Bear and the traverse to Blanca
A beautiful view of Lindsey and Huerfano from Blanca
Down climbing the Blanca's ridge
From the Blanca Ellingwood ridge... Huerfano (in the clouds), Iron Nipple and Lindsey. The lower section of Gash Ridge running between Lindsey and Blanca
and that's a wrap... now back to the truck. I will spare you pictures of the awful Lake Como Road