The Sangres are a narrow linear range in the southern part of the state containing 9 14ers, including several of the hardest. The mountains also generally require long approach hikes as well. I've climbed 3 of the 14ers.
Blanca Peak is the 4th highest peak in Colorado, and has two significant satellite peaks, Ellingwood and Little Bear. It's a long trek for a one-day hike, but poses no major difficulties by its easiest route. I climbed it in August 1999.
Here is the daytime view from 2WD vehicle parking; you
are seeing about 6000 vertical feet here, and none of the
summits are actually visible. There's a camper barely visible
on the left edge of the frame, about one-quarter of the way
up from the bottom; keep that in mind.
Parking down in the desert you get a depressing view of the
lower road on your way down. I'm about 3 miles from my car
at this point, which is probably somewhere in that cloud shadow.
Here is an extreme close-up of the previous photo. Remember that
camper? I think it's one of the white splotches along the road at
the bottom edge of the cloud shadow. I believe I'm parked right in
the middle ot that cloud shadow. With a long lens, I probably could
have could have obtained a conclusive detection of my blue car.
For my climb of Blanca, I gained 6500ft and hiked 7.3 miles in 6
hours to reach the summit. Here I am forcing a smile in the fog
at the summit.
This is the easiest 14er in the range, but is still a long hike if you are driving a normal car. Its main attraction is the tremendous view you get of Crestone Needle. I climbed it in July 1995.
Speaking of which, here is the tremendous view, from the south
slopes of Humboldt. The famous technical route, the Ellingwood
Arete descends the blunt ridge angling to the right from the
summit all the way to the trees. Part of the traverse to Crestone
Peak can be seen extending off the right-hand side of the frame.
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File last modified: 08 January 2005