14er Ski Descents – Little Bear Peak – March 6, 2010
Route: Southwest Face/Hourglass Couloir
Team: Ted, Christy
After a huge drive from Aspen to Alamosa the long way (without Indy Pass), we opted to crash in a hotel. The next day was going to be long, so some better rest than we’d likely get in the back of the truck would be needed. We were up early, and drove from Alamosa to the Como Lake jeep road, and proceeded up in the dark at around 5am. I was pretty familiar with this road, and have driven it to varying points a half dozen times, but in the dark and with snow on it was a pretty gripping proposition. We fought the urge to park early, and made it up a couple miles, about halfway up the switchbacks.
From there we skinned the road, which I have to say, with light day packs and without the loose rock of summer, was actually easier than times past. We made good time to Como Lake, went up the couloir, and dealt with some snow-covered-scree across the ridge to the base of the hourglass. So far so good.
The couloir was well filled in with snow, so the rope and ice screws we carried weren’t going to be needed. Better safe than sorry. We were a little tired from the effort thus far, but still made it to the summit quickly. We signed in, clicked in, and skied dry, wintery snow back through the Hourglass, and down to the ridge. We racked our skis for the ridge back towards Como Lake Road, and at this point, were racing the sun. We made it back to the truck by headlamp, 12 hours after we started. Of course we weren’t done yet, and had a six hour drive back to Aspen, but with this hard 14er skied, Christy only had five peaks left on her list, and it wasn’t even spring yet. So we didn’t mind the drive home. It was a great day.