Route: West Face
Team: Ted, Christy
Having just skied down from the summit of Ellingwood Point, most of the climbing for Blanca was already done. From near the 13,000-foot mark, we switched out of ski mode and into climb mode, and although Blanca Peak is the 4th highest peak in the state, if you’re connecting it from Ellingwood, it’s pretty easy.
Christy and I took turns kicking steps up the snow-covered face. It was a beautiful day on the summit; there was a slight breeze, and it was very sunny. Good weather in May at 14K, with snow all around and skis on our feet, is about as nice a day as one can have, so we hung out up top for a while to enjoy it. The ski line faces west, so we had plenty of time to enjoy ourselves before the sun reached this route.
When we finally did, some more creative route finding was needed to weave a line off the top through ribbons of snow. Eventually, we made it to the more filled-in part of the lower face, and we cruised down past the high alpine frozen lakes and back to the tent.
Facing the hot, arduous walk back down the road to the truck wasn’t that bad this time after having such a cool day up above.