Peak(s):  Blanca Peak  -  14,345 feet
Ellingwood Point  -  14,042 feet
Date Posted:  12/26/2021
Modified:  01/02/2022
Date Climbed:   09/03/2021
Author:  NEArbpro
 Lily lake Blanca trip   

I arrived at Lilly lake trailhead late at night so I camped at the trailhead and started hiking in the morning. I followed lily lake trail until the trail split and since I had hiked lily lake trail before I followed the river so I could check out the old mine. After spending some time checking out the mine and searching the surrounding area for other abandoned mining tools and equipment I followed the river basin up until finding a suitable camp site in the trees below lily lake. After a good night's rest and some breakfast I scrambled towards Ellingwood points north ridge until the scree nearly turns into a wall. I have climbed the east face of the north ridge twice and there is no marked route but by starting farthest south on the saddle and following the most obvious route it may not exceed class 3 but many routes up this face would likely be rated higher. The face has some exposure and is full of loose rock. Once gaining the ridge follow the ridge towards summit keeping the ridge towards your left as I approached obstacles near summit I worked around towards the west avoiding some steep terrain with lots of exposure this kept it a comfortable scramble until I was on the summit. I dropped down Ellingwood towards Lake Como and took a break and Cooked a meal before climbing Blanca peak. I returned towards Ellingwood point and found a spot flat enough to sleep around 13200. The next morning was 1000ft to Ellingwood after reaching summit again I decided I didn't want to down climb the sketchy east face of the north ridge with my heavy pack and pounding headache, In fact altitude was kicking my butt and I just wanted to drop elevation fast. I took the north west ridge following that route to south zapata lakes and followed that trail taking a few breaks to eat and rehydrate. Needing to get back to my truck I decided my best route was to drop elevation until I could find the trail heading up the north fork of South zapata creek for California peak. The trail for California peak was poorly marked and had no traffick making a beautiful hike. I decided to break off trail and head east at a waterfall somewhere around 12000. This may have been a mistake but I haven't taken the rest of the trail so idk the climb was lose rock unstable ground steep and long before flattening out a bit into a high alpine prairie. I climbed to about 13400 then kept the same elevation heading north until I found a suitable place to drop back down into the upper Huerfano Valley from here I took the most direct route traveling north east to the lily lake trail head. I came out of the trees only 80 yards from my truck as an afternoon storm brought some light rain. Seeing as how the trail head was packed full of campers for the holiday weekend I quickly changed my clothes grabbed my snacks for the way out and started down the 4x4 road back to town.

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
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Comments or Questions
sounds like
12/27/2021 16:14
Quite the adventure.

not a trip report
12/28/2021 21:23

12/28/2021 23:05
Yes it was quite the adventure very enjoyable but I wish I would have spent a night by the north fork of zapata and taken an extra day or an additional night at lake Como to do big bear as well. Maybe I need to read the rules again should I post elsewhere or why isn't this a report. Weather was as expected for time of year great when the sun was out light rain storm in the evening with some sleet at high elevation. Go out and experience it. It's great!

Big Bear
12/31/2021 08:15
Tell me more. I want to climb this peak.

Big bear
12/31/2021 08:48
I mostly posted this because I couldn't find any info about summiting Ellingwood point from Lily Lakes. You have to be comfortable with quite a bit of exposure once you started sending the East face on the Northridge. You're likely to encounter low class four from lily lake but there seemed to be a last traffic because this doesn't seem to be a common route. For less exposure and an easier route I would suggest the northwest ridge from zapata lakes.

Text is nice, but...
01/02/2022 13:15
...I would loved to have seen some photos, especially coming up from Lily Lake. **EDIT** PICTURES!! Thank you. They look great. Love that area of Colorado.

Great trip report
01/16/2022 19:10
The pics were nice too. Thanks!

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