Sunday, August 30, 2009

Ellingwood Point (14,049 ft.)

15 July, 2009: After some hmming and hawing around, we finally settled on Ellingwood Point as the only really feasible target for this week. We had really wanted to do a three-day trip and pick up this one in tandem with Little Bear Peak, to make one trip up the awful Lake Como Road do, but it was not to be.
We (Trisha, Cimarron, and I) left Colorado Springs in the middle of the night in Kritter, and got to the beginning of the awful road well before sunrise, prepared to see how far up we could get. It turned out to be about two miles. This helped, but it still left a long stretch of annoying hiking between us and the lake. We set off just before the sun rose.
Actually, there isn't much to tell about most of this hike. We took crampons and ice axes in case there was still snow, but we never needed them. It was a fairly easy (if long) trail hike up to the top of the basin, where we left the trail and headed left (north).
We followed the standard southeast ridge route, which actually involves traversing and side-hilling just below the ridge most of the way to the summit. It's steep, but the rock turned out to be pretty reliable. The weather was stunningly clear and mild, and we reached the summit just after noon. The view from this peak is astonishing (despite its being a rather low fourteener), including a dynamite view of our one remaining goal in the Sangres: Little Bear (see photos). Fourteener #44 for me, #42 for Trisha, and #2 for Cimmy!
The hike down turned into a death march, however, especially for Trisha. She had gotten new boots, hoping for better traction, but they proved to be too stiff and in need of breaking-in, and she really tore up her heels before we were done. She would have to take two weeks off from climbing as a result.
All the same, it was a great climb. Great scrambling, and a very satifsying summit. Pictures are at:

and there's a summit video at:

Long life and many peaks!


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