Peak(s):  Little Bear Peak  -  14,041 feet
Blanca Peak  -  14,350 feet
Date Posted:  09/11/2008
Date Climbed:   09/06/2008
Author:  Cthulhu 2008
 Little Bear - Blanca Traverse   

Talked my buddy John into doing Little Bear with me, but he was only interested on the condition that we did the traverse over to Blanca. As the hourglass was icy on the way up, that helped our decision to launch on the traverse.

We started at the bottom of the road at 3:00 am and hiked by headlamp. The sun came out as we were headed up the scree to reach the low point on Little Bear's west ridge and we caught up to another party on the ridge. Once we gained the top of the hourglass, we waited for a bit for the other party to clean the hourglass before we moved on as we didn't want to risk sending any debris down their way. With the delay, we gained the summit of Little Bear around 8:30.


We ate a second breakfast (like good Hobbits) and launched with some trepidation at 9:00. Here is John heading down the ridge.


The toughest part to me was the first downclimb. This part was fun.



This part was rough (maybe there was an easier way?)


Once the downclimb was done, the rest of the route was pretty straight forward. We stayed on the ridge where possible and did simple traverses like the following when needed. We stopped once for a quick lunch break.


Unlike the knife edge on Capitol (that I scooted across), this one was walkable.


But did have some good drops on the north...


and south sides.


Once past the knife edge, it was a joyful stroll up to Blanca.


Upon Blanca, we ate another lunch and enjoyed the view of the traverse.

Our total time for the traverse was just under 3 hours. After lounging on the summit, we headed back to the 2WD trailhead. The return trip was a bit slow as we were tired and we stopped to talk with all the folks camping at the lake and hiking up the road. Our total time was a bit over 13 hours and we made it to Walsenburg in time for the 2nd quarter of the Gator game.... Go Gators ! ! !

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
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Comments or Questions
Cthulhu 2008
09/12/2008 13:37
This was my first of the four traverses, but I‘m hooked now. Also this was my first trip report, but the traverse was too much fun not to share.

Pick a weekend with good weather and have fun!

09/12/2008 17:03
Sounds like you had one hell of a time! You finish the Wilson group yet?

-DJ Cotton Cramp

Cthulhu 2008
09/12/2008 17:07
Yo DJ Cotton Cramp!

Did the Wilsons in August. Just have Crestone Peak left, so hopefully I can get up there before the snow hits. Becca (with 2 shoes) has her 50 miler in Steamboat tomorrow, but I‘ll be watching the weather every weekend thereafter.

Moonlit Meadow

10/22/2008 10:35
On nabbing a way-cool traverse! I‘ve had my eye on this for awhile. The pictures are good especially the one of you looking over towards Blanca.
Good trip!

trip report
07/21/2009 17:41
Thank you for the TR. Thinking of doing this this weekend. How is the hike up Little Bear? After the traverse to Blanca, do you go back over the ridge? Back to Little Bear and down? 12/13hour day? Thanks!

Cthulhu 2008
07/23/2009 21:11
Lynnie, we came down the standard route on Blanca. Going back over the rigde would be a long, long day. We started at the end of the 2wd road and did the long road and the peaks in one outing, so if you backpack in, it should be a much shorter day. Have fun.

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