Little Bear Peak

One of the most technical and coveted 14er summits.

Alpine Climbing Difficult

Distance
4.6 km
Ascent
715 m
Descent
715 m
Low Point
3.6 km
High Point
4.3 km
Gradient
35˚
VIEW ON MAP
Little Bear Peak Map

Description

Thanks to a demanding Class 4 climb with extreme rockfall danger, Little Bear Peak is renowned as one of the most technical 14er summits in Colorado. In addition to the technicality, it's an objectively beautiful summit that provides a satisfying objective for climbers.

The hike begins by following the rough Lake Como/Blanca Peak 4x4 road, until eventually splitting off onto a singletrack trail.

After climbing through some talus and good rock, you'll approach the southwest face, where the climbing gets dramatically more difficult. Once you pass 13,300 feet, 14ers.com directs you to "locate the 'Hourglass' gully." You'll then climb this technical gully, following a fixed rope or two to reach the upper anchors.

The rest of the route to the summit "is loose and dangerous, and there's no obvious line," according to 14ers.com. Proceed with caution and carefully pick your line to the summit.

Due to the dramatic amount of loose rock on this climb, helmets are highly recommended.

Once on top of Little Bear Peak, it is also possible to traverse to nearby Blanca Peak, but this exposed, rocky ridgeline requires 2-5 hours of class 4 climbing and traversing (if you forgo ropes and protection). While coveted by Colorado climbers, this traverse is not mapped as a part of this adventure.

Sources: https://www.summitpost.org/little-bear-peak/150456 https://www.14ers.com/route.php?route=litt6&peak=Blanca%2C+Ellingwood+and+Little+Bear

Difficulty

Difficult

The beginning of truly technical terrain which might involve pitched climbing on rock and/or ice, exposed terrain and complex route finding in ascent and descent. Equivalent to AD, AD+

Extreme Exposure

4 out of 4

The majority of the route is "no fall" terrain.

Remoteness

4 out of 4

In the high mountains or remote conditions, all individuals must be completely autonomous in every situation.

Best time to visit

July, August, September

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area