Type: Trad, Snow, Alpine, 2000 ft (606 m), 2 pitches, Grade III
FA: unknown
Page Views: 4,926 total · 32/month
Shared By: Theo Barker on Sep 10, 2008
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac, Tyler KC

You & This Route

24 Opinions

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Wear a helmet!

This climb is a less-traveled alternative to the Hourglass Couloir route on Little Bear that ascends the impressive northwest face of Little Bear. It connects with the Little Bear-Blanca ridge near the summit of Little Bear. Most of the work is picking your way through the 3rd class talus and scree at a fairly high angle. Two points on the route _may_ require the use of pro: gaining the "shelf" above the "Black Hand" on the rock, gaining the ridge close to the summit. People have reported being able to pass the "black hand" to climbers right while keeping it 4th class.

Once you've passed the "Black Hand", follow the steep 3rd class gullies up to a more level area. Head up and right to a weakness in the ridge. You may want to simul-climb to the top of the ridge, continuing to the summit.

Arguably safer when snow-covered, since it likes to shed rock, particularly in rain storms.


Follow the road above Lake Como until it gets close to the talus fields. You'll see the "Black Hand" feature as you ascend the road. Once past the "Black Hand" on the road, follow the talus high point back to the base of the Black Hand.


Sparse alpine rack, when you can find decent rock to place it. Arguably, only needed for one or two pitches. Did I mention a helmet?