ellingwood

Continuing from Mt Blanca traverse to Ellingwood Point…made the summit, said goodbye to the climbers I met as they dropped off the backside of the mountain, and I started down back to the car.  Clouds were starting to form so I tried to keep moving.  It was very hard to find/stay on the trail and I ended up too far south/high on the mountain.  Very steep descent with a lot of loose rock with clouds looming made for a nerve racking afternoon.  Also had some hikers higher than me on the mountain so had to stay on guard for loose rocks coming down.  (Really wish I had my helmet now!)  With a lot of thunder in the sky, started to consider finding a place to hide and let the storm pass.  Came across this cool crevice I dropped into.

 

 

 

Blanca and Ellingwood (87)

 

 

Decided to keep moving and fortunately made it back to the trail and off the loose rock before the storm really hit.  VERY LUCKY with the timing.

Blanca and Ellingwood (91)

 

As I got on the trail and back on a Class I route, hail started to come down.  (Again, wish I had my helmet!)  Had a little over a mile to get back into the trees and get a little protection from the storm.Blanca and Ellingwood (94)

 

In the trees, I caught back up with my hiking buddy from the way up who was hiking for his 62nd birthday.  He had fallen and hurt his knee on the return from Blanca so he was moving fairly slow.  Made it back to the Jeep and gave him a ride back to his truck saving him the 3-4 miles with a bad leg.

Blanca and Ellingwood (106)Blanca and Ellingwood (102)

 

One of my favorite days on the mountain so far.  Beautiful area and very challenging hike!