Little Bear Peak

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Little Bear Peak
Little Bear Peak from southwest ridge, Feb 2012.JPG
Little Bear Peak from the Southwest Ridge
Highest point
Elevation 14,037 ft (4,278 m) [1] [2]
Prominence 377 ft (115 m) [2]
Parent peak Blanca Peak [2]
Isolation 0.96 mi (1.54 km) [2]
Listing Colorado Fourteener 44th
Coordinates 37°34′00″N105°29′50″W / 37.5666715°N 105.4972339°W / 37.5666715; -105.4972339 Coordinates: 37°34′00″N105°29′50″W / 37.5666715°N 105.4972339°W / 37.5666715; -105.4972339 [3]
Geography
USA Colorado relief location map.svg
Red triangle with thick white border.svg
Little Bear Peak
Location Alamosa and Costilla counties, Colorado, United States [3]
Parent range Sangre de Cristo Range,
Sierra Blanca Massif [2]
Topo map USGS 7.5' topographic map
Blanca Peak, Colorado [3]
Climbing
Easiest route exposed scramble (Class 4)

Little Bear Peak is a high mountain summit in the Sangre de Cristo Range of the Rocky Mountains of North America. The 14,043-foot (4,280 m) fourteener is located on the Sierra Blanca Massif, 8.8 miles (14.2 km) north by east (bearing 6°) of the Town of Blanca, Colorado, United States, on the drainage divide separating Rio Grande National Forest and Alamosa County from the Sangre de Cristo Land Grant and Costilla County. [1] [2] [3] Little Bear lies 0.96 miles (1.54 km) southwest of Blanca Peak, the ultra prominent fourteener that is the highest point of the massif.

Contents

Mountain

Like the rest of the Sierra Blanca Massif, Little Bear is composed of pre-Cambrian granite estimated to be approximately 1.8 billion years old. Along with nearby Blanca Peak and Ellingwood Point Little Bear rises nearly 7,000 feet above the San Luis Valley to the west and south. The peak sits atop a long ridge separating two glacier-carved valleys.

The connecting ridge between Little Bear Peak and Blanca Peak Little-bear-traverse01.jpg
The connecting ridge between Little Bear Peak and Blanca Peak
Looking down on Como Lake from the summit of Little Bear Lake-Como01.jpg
Looking down on Como Lake from the summit of Little Bear

While Little Bear itself has little more than the minimum 300 feet of prominence to qualify as a separate peak, it is notable for being one of the most technically difficult and dangerous of the fourteeners to climb. The upper part of the standard route leads through a 300' section known as the Hourglass: a water-polished granite slab famous for the amount of rockfall. [4] There is another technical route that climbs the northwest face of Little Bear from above the Blue Lakes and gains over 6,200 ft in elevation. The easiest climbing routes on the mountain are on the eastern side, rising out of the private property in Blanca Basin.

The connecting ridge to Blanca Peak is one of the most challenging outings of its type in the state. Experts say the traverse is easier going from Little Bear to Blanca but once a climber commits to the traverse, he's committed to the end. There are only a couple places down off the rock that are reasonably safe and they drop into Blanca Basin.

Little Bear is bisected by the boundary between the Rio Grande National Forest to the west and private property to the east, and is on the border between Alamosa County and Costilla County.

Historical names

See also

Related Research Articles

San Luis Valley

The San Luis Valley is a region in south-central Colorado with a small portion overlapping into New Mexico. The Rio Grande with headwaters in the San Juan Mountains about seven miles east of Silverton, Colorado flows through the San Luis Valley and then south into New Mexico. It contains 6 counties and portions of 3 others. The San Luis Valley was ceded to the United States by Mexico following the Mexican–American War. Hispanic settlers began moving north and settling in the valley after the United States made a treaty with the Utes and established a fort. Prior to the Mexican war the Spanish and Mexican governments had reserved the valley to the Utes, their allies. During the 19th century Anglo settlers settled in the valley and engaged in mining, ranching, and irrigated agriculture. Today the valley has a diverse Anglo and Hispanic population.

Sangre de Cristo Range American mountain range

The Sangre de Cristo Range is a high, rugged and narrow mountain range of the Rocky Mountains in southern Colorado in the United States, running north and south along the east side of the Rio Grande Rift. The mountains extend southeast from Poncha Pass for about 75 mi (121 km) through south-central Colorado to La Veta Pass, approximately 20 mi (32 km) west of Walsenburg, and form a high ridge separating the San Luis Valley on the west from the watershed of the Arkansas River on the east. The Sangre de Cristo Range rises over 7,000 ft (2,100 m) above the valleys and plains to the west and northeast.

Sangre de Cristo Mountains Mountain range in Colorado and New Mexico, United States

The Sangre de Cristo Mountains are the southernmost subrange of the Rocky Mountains. They are located in southern Colorado and northern New Mexico in the United States. The mountains run from Poncha Pass in South-Central Colorado, trending southeast and south, ending at Glorieta Pass, southeast of Santa Fe, New Mexico. The mountains contain a number of fourteen thousand foot peaks in the Colorado portion, as well as all the peaks in New Mexico which are over thirteen thousand feet.

Blanca Peak Mountain in Colorado, United States

Blanca Peak is the fourth highest summit of the Rocky Mountains of North America and the U.S. state of Colorado. The ultra-prominent 14,351-foot (4,374 m) peak is the highest summit of the Sierra Blanca Massif, the Sangre de Cristo Range, and the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. The fourteener is located 9.6 miles (15.5 km) north by east of the Town of Blanca, on the drainage divide separating Rio Grande National Forest and Alamosa County from the Sangre de Cristo Land Grant and Costilla County. The summit is the highest point of both counties and the entire drainage basin of the Rio Grande. Below the steep North Face of Blanca Peak two live Glaciers once developed, until extinction sometime after 1903. North & South Blanca Glaciers were located at 37° 35N.,longitude 105° 28W. Blanca Peak is higher than any point in the United States east of its longitude.

Crestone Peak

Crestone Peak is the seventh-highest summit of the Rocky Mountains of North America and the U.S. state of Colorado. The prominent 14,300-foot (4,359 m) fourteener is the highest summit of the Crestones and the second-highest summit in the Sangre de Cristo Range after Blanca Peak. The summit is located in the Sangre de Cristo Wilderness of Rio Grande National Forest, 5.0 miles (8.1 km) east by south of the Town of Crestone in Saguache County, Colorado, United States.

Mount Lindsey

Mount Lindsey is a high mountain summit on the Sierra Blanca Massif in the Sangre de Cristo Range of the Rocky Mountains of North America. The 14,048-foot (4,282 m) fourteener is located in the Sangre de Cristo Land Grant, 10.8 miles (17.4 km) north of the community of Fort Garland in Costilla County, Colorado, United States.

Kit Carson Peak

Kit Carson Peak is a high mountain summit of the Crestones in the Sangre de Cristo Range of the Rocky Mountains of North America. Officially designated Kit Carson Mountain, the 14,171-foot (4,319 m) fourteener is located 5.2 miles (8.4 km) east by south of the Town of Crestone in Saguache County, Colorado, United States. The name Kit Carson Mountain is used for both the massif with three summits, or to describe the main summit only. The mountain is named in honor of frontiersman Christopher Houston "Kit" Carson. The Crestones are a cluster of high summits in the Sangre de Cristo Range, comprising Crestone Peak, Crestone Needle, Kit Carson Peak, Challenger Point, Humboldt Peak, and Columbia Point. They are usually accessed from common trailheads.

Humboldt Peak (Colorado)

Humboldt Peak is a high mountain summit of the Crestones in the Sangre de Cristo Range of the Rocky Mountains of North America. The 14,070-foot (4,289 m) fourteener is located in the Sangre de Cristo Wilderness of San Isabel National Forest, 11.9 miles (19.2 km) south-southwest of the Town of Westcliffe in Custer County, Colorado, United States. The Crestones are a cluster of high summits in the Sangre de Cristo Range, comprising Crestone Peak, Crestone Needle, Kit Carson Peak, Challenger Point, Humboldt Peak, and Columbia Point.

Crestone Needle

Crestone Needle is a high mountain summit of the Crestones in the Sangre de Cristo Range of the Rocky Mountains of North America. The 14,203-foot (4,329 m) fourteener is located 6.9 miles (11.1 km) east-southeast of the Town of Crestone in Saguache County, Colorado, United States. The Crestones are a cluster of high summits in the Sangre de Cristo Range, comprising Crestone Peak, Crestone Needle, Kit Carson Peak, Challenger Point, Humboldt Peak, and Columbia Point. They are usually accessed from common trailheads.

Ellingwood Point

Ellingwood Point is a high mountain summit in the Sangre de Cristo Range of the Rocky Mountains of North America. The 14,048-foot (4,282 m) fourteener is located on the Sierra Blanca Massif, 9.9 miles (16.0 km) north by east of the Town of Blanca, Colorado, United States, on the drainage divide separating in Rio Grande National Forest and Alamosa County from San Isabel National Forest and Huerfano County. Ellingwood Point was named in honor of Albert Russell Ellingwood, an early pioneer of mountain climbing in the Western United States and in Colorado in particular.

Mount Adams (Colorado) Mountain in Colorado, United States of America

Mount Adams is a high mountain summit of the Crestones in the Sangre de Cristo Range of the Rocky Mountains of North America. The 13,937-foot (4,248 m) thirteener is located in the Sangre de Cristo Wilderness, 5.1 miles (8.2 km) east by north of the Town of Crestone, Colorado, United States, on the drainage divide separating San Isabel National Forest and Custer County from Rio Grande National Forest and Saguache County.

Sangre de Cristo Wilderness

The Sangre de Cristo Wilderness is a long and narrow wilderness area covering 220,803 acres (893.56 km2) of the Sangre de Cristo Range centered about Saguache and Custer counties, Colorado. Smaller areas are located in Fremont, Alamosa, and Huerfano counties. All of the wilderness area is located on U.S. Forest Service land within the San Isabel and Rio Grande National Forests and Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve. The wilderness area is home to several fourteeners and quite a few thirteeners. Crestone Needle is considered the most difficult.

Methodist Mountain

Methodist Mountain is a mountain summit in the northern Sangre de Cristo Range of the Rocky Mountains of North America. The 11,713-foot (3,570 m) peak is located 5.5 miles (8.8 km) south by west of the City of Salida, Colorado, United States, on the drainage divide separating San Isabel National Forest and Chaffee County from Rio Grande National Forest and Saguache County. Methodist Mountain is the northernmost peak of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, which stretch south through southern Colorado to Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Ellingwood Ledges

The Ellingwood Arete is a popular technical climbing route on Crestone Needle in Colorado's Sangre de Cristo Range. The Ellingwood Ledges Route is recognized in the historic climbing text Fifty Classic Climbs of North America. An "arete" is "a sharp narrow ridge found in rugged mountains".

La Veta Pass

La Veta Pass is the name associated with two nearby mountain passes in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains of south central Colorado in the United States, both lying on the boundary between Costilla and Huerfano counties.

Sangre de Cristo Pass

Sangre de Cristo Pass, elevation 9,468-foot (2,886 m), is a mountain pass in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains of the U.S. State of Colorado. The pass is located immediately north of U.S. Highway 160 one half mile northwest of North La Veta Pass. The pass separates Costilla County from Huerfano County, the Rio Grande drainage basin from the Arkansas River basin, and the headwaters of Sangre de Cristo Creek from those of Oak Creek.

Mount Zwischen

Mount Zwischen is a prominent mountain summit in the Sangre de Cristo Range of the Rocky Mountains of North America. The 12,011-foot (3,661 m) peak is located 32.1 miles (51.6 km) northeast of the City of Alamosa, Colorado, United States, on the drainage divide separating the Great Sand Dunes Wilderness in Great Sand Dunes National Preserve and Huerfano County from the Sangre de Cristo Wilderness in San Isabel National Forest and Saguache County.

California Peak

California Peak is a high mountain summit in the Sangre de Cristo Range of the Rocky Mountains of North America. The 13,855-foot (4,223 m) thirteener is located on the Sierra Blanca Massif, 12.1 miles (19.5 km) north of the Town of Blanca, Colorado, United States, on the drainage divide separating in Rio Grande National Forest and Alamosa County from San Isabel National Forest and Huerfano County.

Lake Alamosa

Lake Alamosa is a former lake in Colorado. It existed from the Pliocene to the middle Pleistocene in the San Luis Valley, fed by glacial meltwater from surrounding mountain ranges. Water levels waxed and waned with the glacial stages until at highstand the lake reached an elevation of 2,335 meters (7,661 ft) and probably a surface of over 4,000 square kilometers (1,500 sq mi), but only sparse remains of the former waterbody are visible today. The existence of the lake was postulated in the early 19th century and eventually proven in the early 20th century.

San Luis Hills

The San Luis Hills are a group of small mountain ranges in Conejos and Costilla counties in the San Luis Valley in southern Colorado. The individual mountain ranges that make up the San Luis Hills include the Fairy Hills, the Brownie Hills, the Piñon Hills, and the South Piñon Hills. The San Luis Hills' highest point is Flat Top, elevation 9,206 feet

References

  1. 1 2 The elevation of Little Bear Peak includes an adjustment of +1.733 m (+5.69 ft) from NGVD 29 to NAVD 88.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 6 "Little Bear Peak, Colorado". Peakbagger.com. Retrieved October 20, 2014.
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 "Little Bear Peak". Geographic Names Information System . United States Geological Survey . Retrieved October 20, 2014.
  4. Little Bear on Summitpost