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cliff

Blanca Lake to Glacier Basin?

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Hello, I'm new here so I hope I'm posting this message in the appropriate area. A hiking buddy of mine has suggested we hike from Blanca Lake to Glacier Basin this September, by finding a way over or around Coleman Glacier. His idea is to meet up with several other friends who will be hiking up into Monte Cristo and Glacier Basin. We would then hike out with them to their parked cars near Monte Cristo. Does anyone know if there is a route bewteen Lanca and the Basin? Most importantly, our mountaineering skills are minimial, although out orienteering skills are good.

Thanks in advance.

Cliff

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Yes, there is a cross country route that goes from Blanca lake to the Monte Cristo area. It doesn't have to go through glacier basin though, I think you can cut down to Twin lakes and out Poodle dog pass. I don't know the specifics but here are some things to consider:

1) The route is described in a book that was published by the Mountaineers back in the 70's "Monte Cristo- A guide to Hiking and climbing" (something like that). I'm sure they would have a copy of this in their library. It may be worth doing the research.

2) I've climbed Columbia from Glacier basin and can say that getting to Glacier basin from the Columbia Glacier this time of year can be problematic due to large moats that can block access. Also, the small glacier in glacier basin that leads down from the notch off of the Columbia Glacier can be blue ice by Sept and if I remember correctly is probably around 30 degrees in spots, not too technical, but not ground for those with "minimal mountaineering skills".

3) A better choice for the adventurous cross country traveler is probably to descend to Monte Cristo via twin lakes and poodle dog pass and hike back up to Glacier basin.

 

I hope this info helps.

[This message has been edited by mark (edited 07-26-2001).]

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Thanks to all of you for your very informative replies. And yes I did mean Columbia Glacier - sorry about that. It sounds as though the idea of crossing directly into Glacier Basin (as much as is possible) might be a little beyond my skills. The Twin Lakes - Poodle Dog Pass idea might be a better option. This would nullify the trip anyway, because our idea was to descend straight down the Glacier Basin snowfields to meet out friends who will be camped in the Basin (Ray's knoll?). Anyway, it was worth exploring. I really do appreciate the help and hard-won knowledge you guys are sharing here. Thanks.

Cliff

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I don't know about the late season conditions, but Memorial Day weekend I climbed up above Glacier B. and was sitting on the dividing ridge, looking down on Columbia Glacier and Blanca Lake. I think it could have been doable easily enough at that time. It's a great area for rambling around, highly recommend hiking there from whichever entry point you want to choose. Twin Lakes w/ the massive wall of Columbia Peak rising above them is one of my favorite views I've come across yet.

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