Photo by Will Gallagher, uploaded by Willg
|Range/Region:||Sangre de Cristo Range|
|Best months for climbing:||Jun, Jul, Aug|
|Year first climbed:||1874|
|First successful climber(s):||Gilbert Thompson and Frank Carpenter|
|Nearest major airport:||Colorado Springs, CO, Albuquerque, NM|
|Convenient Center:||Fort Garland, Blanca, or Alamosa, CO|
Thanks to Terrill Thompson for adding this peak.
Blanca Peak is the fourth highest mountain in Colorado. It is the dominant mountain of the Sierra Blanca, looming majestically over the surrounding plains of Southern Colorado.
Its neighboring peaks are Ellingwood Peak and Little Bear Peak (both fourteeners), Colorado's 43rd and 44th highest mountains respectively. The peaks are connected by long sharp ridges with spectacular rock faces. Most climbers try to supplement their Blanca climbs with a half-mile traverse to/from Ellingwood Peak on a high connecting ridge.
All of South Central Colorado is a special place - remote and vast. Time seems non-existent here. Visiting Tibetans have commented on the scenery's reminding them of their homeland. The mountains are rugged and sudden, and feature some of the best climbing in Colorado in the Sierra Blanca and Sangro de Cristo ranges. Additional description courtesy aaron a. abeyta:
While the easiest way up the peak is via the north ridge, there are several very technical routes on the south side. Blanca is the fourth highest peak in Colorado and the highest southern peak in the u.s. to find a higher peak to the south, you would have to travel to the volcanoes of Mexico. some interesting features of this peak include an almost sheer south face and two neighboring 14,000 ft. neighbors (Ellingwood & Little Bear). Usually Ellingwood and Blanca can be bagged on the same day, but to reach little bear via the knife edge ridge does require technical skill and equipment (ropes, harnesses etc.). in my opinion it is the most beautiful of Colorado's peaks. i am especially intrigued by the ridges which connect the three peaks. they seem to extend, almost symmetrically, like two arms defining the sky and the sheer walls which fall to either side. the peak is a sacred mountain of the Navajo. to me it is a sort of promised land. no cliché intended, but Blanca defines the valley it looks over. for a spirit to leave the valley, it would need to cross over Blanca's white peaks. so in that sense it is a promised land because it is the gate to that place we seek when climbing. adios. be well.
Thanks to Terrill Thompson for this description.