Author, Trip Leader,
and Slide Show: Francesco Grilli
Zilman, Bart Daly, Jeff Click, Ron Morgan, Tianshu Li and Francesco
We left Los Alamos on Friday at 9.30
am, picked up Anton in Pojoaque, and drove to Alamosa, Colorado,
where we had lunch. Then we drove to the "trailhead", which is the
point your car can reach on the dirt road to Lake Como. We parked
our cars (a Nissan Pathfinder and a Toyota Tacoma) on the second
switchback (about 9,500'), after which the road becomes much worse
(thanks to Jason Halladay for the advice!).
Hiking on the dirt road proved to be not very relaxing, because of
the unstable stones on the ground: every step required attention in
order not to slip. We reached Lake Como at 6 pm, approximately 3
hours after having left the cars. We set camp, enjoyed the view of
the lake and of the mountains around, prepared and ate dinner, and
went to sleep.
Saturday we woke up at 4 am and left camp at 5:10 am. The trail
continues up the valley, passing numerous lakes; the highest one,
Crater Lake, was still frozen. The "trail" to Blanca Peak (a faint
trail marked with cairns) initially climbs up the boulder field on
the face and then reaches the northwestern ridge, which leads to the
summit. If one stays slightly below the ridge line, there is no
significant exposure. We reached the top at 8.20 am, had a snack and
enjoyed the view of the surrounding peaks.
descended below the saddle between Blanca Peak and Ellingwood Point,
where our party split: four of us decided to climb Ellingwood Point,
the other two hiked down toward the tents. Again, the "trail" goes
up a boulder field, reaches the ridge and follows it to the top.
From the point where we separated, it took us one hour to reach the
summit. For the descent, we chose a more direct path to the base of
the peak, taking advantage of two snowfields to speed up the
descent. Once reached our camp, we took some rest, packed the tents,
and descended to the cars in the afternoon heat. We had dinner in
Alamosa and we arrived back in Los Alamos at 10 pm.
was a successful trip in a very scenic place and we were blessed
with perfect weather. It is a pity that the beautiful basin of Lake
Como is accessible by monster vehicles like