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      Close to Heaven… Down to Earth


Sierra Blanca II

“This small group of photos commemorates a Wednesday well spent. We were up and out early, early enough to be walking past the trailhead signs at 7:30 am. This year we had a much better idea of what we were looking for and there was much less snow in the way of us finding it. And we couldn’t have had a nicer day. The climbing was much easier because we found the trail. Crossing the Huerfano wasn’t bad at all. Then we easily found the bottom of the trail beside the stream coming out of the valley leading to the Iron Nipple.”The hill was steep but the sun wasn’t on us yet. For that matter, everything had a thin coating of ice on it for the first couple of hours. Climbing alongside the stream was really beautiful. The streambed was full of Columbines, Lupens, Shooting Stars, and other wildflowers. Then the trail finally crossed it and continued on up the hill on the other side. The path led out onto a flat ridgetop with incredible views of Blanca’s north face and the whole valley. This was at about 11,700′. Then the trail continued on southeast, leading out into a small bowl with pools of water and piles of rock.”We followed the trail up a ramp finally, leading to the top of the Sierra Blanca ridge at about 13,040′. Then we climbed through some more talus and up onto the top of the ridge leading onto the northwest shoulder of Mt. Lindsey at about 13,100′.”

For the continuation of the climb please see Mt. Lindsey.

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spires in the morning
Spires in the morning
looking north
Looking north in the Huerfano Valley
California Peak
California Peak, 13,848′
Ellingwood Peak
Blanca Peak & Ellingwood Peak
Iron Nipple
The Iron Nipple
ramp to Mt. Lindsey
The ramp to Mt. Lindsey
Huerfano River
The Huerfano River
Nipple Creek
Nipple Creek
Iron Nipple
Looking up at the Iron Nipple
Sierra Blanca ridge
The ridge at the top of the Sierra Blanca