We drove to the dreaded Como Lake Road and parked our new ride at the first pull out. Our ATV got us up all but 2 miles of this jagged road. Unfortunately the gas tank was on the fritz, so we did not even pursue going all the way to the lake.
Rick reads the reports for our hike the next day. We still wonder if we'll be up for the hike up Little Bear, especially now with the extra mileage.
Here is a bird's-eye view of Como Rd . (the easy part)
As the sun goes down, the clouds build.
We snag this great camp spot in which we have views of the valley below.
We slept restfully which was nice. The day before we left for our trip we heard of bears up at the lake. We also ran into several hikers on their way down reporting bear activity. Food was taken (even when hung from trees), tents were ripped into, one bear would go right up to campers/hikers and go after food.
While we didn't need to use it, we felt safer having our gun for protection. We never did run into any of the bears.
We start our hike early on Thursday, July 28th.
Some hikers on the ridge up Little Bear.
The first glimpse of Ellingwood Point, one of the mountains we set out to climb.
We spot a buck in the meadow.
There are several, small high-alpine lakes all along the hike up.
Blue skies-- time to roll!
We near Blanca Peak and stop to soak in the landscape.
We got a little off course on the ascent up Blanca Peak and might have ended up in class 3 scrambles up some steep/loose scree. It wasn't too long though that we lost the trail.
Little Bear looms in the shadow.
Jen rests on Blanca Peak. She made it!!!
Views of the high lakes.
Our usual couple summit photo : ) This would be our 41st Colorado 14er hiked together. Blanca Peak
High altitude confidence rushes through Jen.
Rick crouches like a cougar ready to pounce his next target- Ellingwood Point.
Clouds roll in heavy, time to move on.
We decide to take the traverse over to Ellingwood instead of dropping down to the standard route which would have required several hundred feet of re-gain. We found the traverse to be easy and fun!
Here is an overview of the saddle between the peaks. We climbed down this ridge, staying to the left and up to the next peak.
Little Bear just begs to be climbed. Somehow it doesn't look any tougher than other 14ers, but we know it's deceiving.
On the saddle, Jen points back to Blanca.
Another look at LB, can you tell we're fascinated with her mighty powers.
Ellingwood's top came quickly.
A look back down to where we would have to climb to get off this mountain again.
Happy we got both mountains.
We made our 42nd peak together!!!
An old mine we spotted on our descent.
Jen climbs down with a fellow 14er hiker, Wayne. He would climb Little Bear the next day as his finisher (all 54 mts). We thought we might also join them, but with the extra miles down and back up Como Rd. and a spotty weather report (of possible snow, yeah, snow) we opted out of the Little Bear climb : (
What a gorgeous day in the mountains.
Rick feels great once back to the base of the mountain.
With the crazy weather reports we pack up, and stay in this spot an hour or so away, near Poncho Springs Pass.
We discover the next day that there are countless trails to ATV. With some duct tape provided by a hiker off Como Lake Rd. we patch the beast up and ride all day on Friday.
Great views of 13er mountains all around.
We hike around a little, and Rick climbs a tree (maybe this will be our next hobby).
Friday night we push on and camp above St. Elmo (an old mining town). Here we can ATV from camp up to Tin Cup pass and through lush meadows, high valleys, and along streams.
As usual, marmots come out to greet us. This one goes right for the wires- "don't even think about it, buddy!"
The ATV pulls through for us, making it up to 12,000 plus feet.
Can you say stunning!
Four wheeling roads cut along the mountain. Very fun!
Now the beast is in the shop getting fixed.