Peak(s):  Little Bear Peak  -  14,041 feet
Date Posted:  03/03/2009
Modified:  11/25/2009
Date Climbed:   03/01/2009
Author:  doumall
 Little Bear Winter Summit Ski   

Standard Route from Lake Como
Crew: Maverick Manley, doumall

Sunday morning, Prakash and I climbed up the standard route north couloir into a blamy winter morning.

Upon reaching the west ridge we found sun.

We stuck to the ridgeline for some ski boot scrambling.

This mountain is guarded by thick walls with archers firing rocks and often times even moats filled with Avalanches. Little Bear demands respect.

Prakash boots across the face over frozen snow:

Approaching the Hourglass:

I got to lead some alpine ice (AI2) setting one screw in the process.

Prakash cleaned, showing some well developed climbing skills.

Free, he kept his rhythm going, continuing up into the poop your pants terrain.

Yes, its that steep (in these conditions):

The route curved away out of sight from the picture shown above. I didn't realize the entire snowfield had water ice under it and climbed half way through with a whippet and a mountaineering axe. Realizing my folly, I found semi descent footing to trade the whippet for an ice tool and immediately calmed down and finished the pitch. Prakash in the mean time had zipped up it with no problem. Looking down this terrain:

We opted to forgo the rotten snow climbing and jumped on rock to gain the summit ridge.

Once on the summit ridge, I felt vindicated for my ski carrying efforts by the snow seeping down the 50 degree slopes from the summit.

Prakash finishes a stout winter ascent with the depressingly dry southern Sangres behind:

Blanca sporting a lenticular cap

After our standard Jet Boil hot noodle summit slurp, we ramped up the endorphins for the descent. Straight off the top!

I got to make some nuts in your throat jump turns down the uber steep strip of snow. Those familiar with this ski descent know what I am talking about.

The Dav Shot, with Prakash working it!

The pic above is supplemented by the one below to fully disclose the snow continuity through here. Can you spot Prakash?

Below that I had to link patches together to get down into the mellow bowl area, where the skis came off.

At the bottom of the bowl, I clicked back into the Dynafits for some hair ball... well just check out Prakash down climbing this stuff.

Having wet snow slough off the ice beneath my feet was the primary reason I opted to ski with the ice tool. All of two jump turns were had through here, the norm was to get a quality pick and then sideslip a few feet.

Standing in the same spot as above, this pic shows the angle a bit better.

We rapped the Hourglass, Prakash first:

My turn:

Soggy turns below the gnar were the first time I could relax in quite a while. The sun put our day to rest:

The upper route marked, altered from a photo by RyanS's on summitpost:
blue climb
red ski
green boot

Comments or Questions
was wondering
03/04/2009 15:42
how you were going to navigate your way down that route on skiis. Slim pickens.

Those were some sweet shots of the route up Ellingwood with LB in the background as well. Hard to recognize Prakash w/o the beard. Good stuff.

03/04/2009 15:53
Glad you found enough snow to make it worthwhile, good work guys. I was hoping to see a photo of a skier on that sheet of ice in the hour glass, just kidding, that section right above looked dicy enough.

Tight turns
03/04/2009 15:55
That is a sweet report, thanks for sharing that. I‘m really looking forward to LB

Climb the Rock?
03/04/2009 17:01
Sarah, we did see your anchors. You rapped three times right? There was another anchor 60 meters up from the hourglass anchor which had a DS (dwight sunwall?) sling on it.

The only thing I can think of is the solo climber without crampons climbed the rock instead of the snow/ice.

03/04/2009 17:45
there you are, on the ice, either you added it later or I missed it the first read. We did use that anchor 60 meters up, but the two slings there looked fairly new so we used them, I generally don‘t mark my slings anymore, but, matters not.

03/04/2009 21:57
Excellent report!! I as well had to take a double take at Prakash with no beard!! Very impressive climb, congrats!


Chicago Transplant
Nice one
03/04/2009 22:54
Quite the accomplishment, its nice to live vicariously once in a while, can‘t say I will be following in your footsteps anytime soon. The ”Bald Spot” on Beaver Creek didn‘t have any icy rappels this weekend

03/05/2009 05:25
You guys sure know how to get it done.


03/05/2009 07:20
You got some really good shots that show how steep the entire face is. Conrats on the ski! Takes cojones!

It takes big bag
03/05/2009 17:19
to ski that line. Any time your setting screws and skiing its a day of great work. Thanks for sharing.

How can you guys ski..........................
03/05/2009 20:52
with BALLS THAT BIG!!!!??
I‘m impressed.


right off the bone
03/08/2009 03:00
way to work it to off the bone, great read

Appreciate all the comments
03/08/2009 12:25
Steve, bigs sticks spread the legs

03/09/2009 23:19
Do you think you guy‘s could do something a little more exciting on the weekends? Try to live life a little. Nice TR.

round trip time
04/29/2009 20:26
What was the round trip time for you guys lake to lake? Aweswme TR, I hope to do this some day.

07/13/2009 02:15
Well written with great photos - LB can be a tough undertaking in any season. I‘m impressed!
As Chicago Transplant says, it‘s nice to live vicariously once in awhile!

Round trip time
08/05/2009 21:00
Schralp, our round trip time was pretty miserable I think, hard to remember that far back now. The downclimb Prakash faced from the summit through the hourglass took a while. I am guessing 7-8 hours from the lake, RT. In favorable conditions it could be done in 3-4 hours.

Maybe I‘ll poop my pants then...
11/30/2010 17:28
... surely that will teach them? Good shit dude. I'm glad we didn't prematurely burn the mountain down with our sweet campfire.

EDIT: My report‘s up as well...

Great job guys!
11/30/2010 17:28
Did you see our sketchy frozen block anchor about 30m above the big Hourglass anchor? We wanted a belay to climb down that "poop in your pants" part. I can't believe the solo trip report writer last week felt OK going up that without crampons

That was quite a nice fire you had Saturday night. It was really tempting to warm up by it for a few minutes but we figured we'd better get back to the truck before we fell asleep. Sorry I didn't chat more - I was zombified at that point.

Way to go, Joe!
11/30/2010 17:28
Congrats on another big ski! I hope to ski the Hourglass route in May, if there's enough snow.

Damn Joe
02/05/2011 00:22
I got a few butterflies just reading it, great weekend for you and Prakash eh? Tick tick goes the list . . . congrads on getting some harder ones out of the way!

Well done!
05/02/2011 14:23
You really earned that ski descent. Didn‘t realize how easy we had it last May with plenty of snow in the hourglass. PM me next time you guys are looking for a partner.

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